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Barney's Version Blu-ray Review

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by AVForums Jun 1, 2011

  • Movies review


    Barney's Version Blu-ray Review
    SRP: £19.99


    ‘Barney’s Version’ comes to UK Region free Blu-ray with an excellent 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer, framed in the widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

    We are served up a warm, colourful image that is very pleasing to the eye. Colours are strong with typically tanned American skin tones and most scenes are beautifully lit by cinematographer Guy Defaux. The blue skies of the lakeside locations look wonderful, while foliage has a verdant appeal. Contrast is excellent throughout and blacks are truly black. Film grain isn’t really noticeable yet the whole enterprise has such a filmic look. Sharpness just can’t be faulted and, in close ups, the eyes are pin sharp. This is how every High Def image should look. You’d expect no less from such a recent source which has no dirt, dust or damage and no obvious DNR, image sharpening or other digital tinkering.



    The audio on ‘Barney’s Version’ comes in a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix. This isn’t really a great test for your surround system as it’s mostly dialogue led, but the surrounds do contribute to the experience with ambient sound effects. The dialogue is clear and crisp throughout so Ms Pike’s American accent stands up to the critical ear of the sound track with no problems. While there is some bass, there’s nothing to kick you in the forehead. The main stereo pair spring to life with Pasquale Catalano’s delicate score that would be a good listen on its own. Generally though, the soundtrack aims to do its job effectively without trying to interfere and attempt to become the star of the show. This leaves you free to enjoy the script, the story and the performances. It’s all good.



    Behind the Scenes of ‘Barney’s Version’ (SD, 10 mins) - This is the only bonus feature on ‘Barney’s Version’ and the short featurette does what it says on the tin with input from the producer, director and cast members. It’s the usual mix of clips with behind the scenes footage and actors telling us about their characters, much back slapping etc. Nothing new here folks. Yep, it's a promo.



    The recent ‘Barney’s Version’ arrives on UK Region free Blu-ray with an excellent 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Strong colours, great contrast and a sharp though filmic image make this a pleasure to behold. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio is fairly gentle on the ears, delivering clear, crisp dialogue throughout and using the surrounds for ambient effects while the main stereo pair is warmed by the delicate score.

    A ‘behind the scenes’ promo piece constitutes the bonus material but the film itself is what we’re really after. A superb casting including Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike and Minnie Driver does full justice to an intelligent script from the Mordecai Richler book about the ups and downs of Barney’s life as he consistently does the wrong thing at the wrong time. Funny, poignant, entertaining and thought provoking with a much deserved award winning performance from Paul Giamatti. Sheer quality!


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