PictureBroken Flowers is presented in a decent 1.85:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer. The detail is reasonably good throughout, with clarity, little softness, no edge enhancement and negligible grain. The colour palette is relatively dour throughout, with wet weather and clouds and only a little sunlight to brighten the proceedings, but nevertheless the colours (especially the prevalent pinks) are well represented. Blacks are solid and the transfer itself exhibits no sign of print damage.
SoundBroken Flowers gets a pretty good soundtrack considering the slow-paced, thoughtful proceedings. The dialogue, however quite and strewn with mumbling, still manages to be coherent throughout and, although there are no major effects, the ambient noises like sofas creaking and seat-belt warning signs in planes come across fairly well and allow for occasional rear action. The songs that are commonly featured (whether in Don's living room or when he's on the road) are probably the best presented aspect of the mix but, unfortunately they only appear to play about three different tracks - and they play them practically on repeat. The first time around the tracks were quite unusual and interesting, by the second time they might have even grown on you a bit, but by the third playing within an hour it gets a little irritating. Still, overall it is a deserving track for a quietly understated movie like this.
ExtrasThere are previews on disc start-up, including one for Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, for the mystery thriller Brick and for the Constant Gardener. Girls on the Bus is a ninety second extended version of the bus scene where two irritating young girls talk twenty-to-the-dozen about nonsense. Farmhouse is a strange making-of in typical Jim Jarmusch fashion, with lots of behind the scenes footage (particularly of the Farmhouse sequence, with Murray and Tilda Swinton on set) and Jarmusch talking ambiguously over the whole affair. For those who want an insight into the way he thinks, these four minutes are the closest you are going to get.
Broken Flowers: Start to Finish is an eight minute series of outtakes from the movie Murray is probably funnier here than he is in the main movie, with plenty of goofed lines, improvisations, swearing and general mistakes, all padded out by music and clacker shots. Just like the main movie, you could probably trim a whole lot of pointless shots out of this footage (which only serve to tell you that the movie was originally entitled Dead Flowers) and be left with something quite funny, but as it is you have to wade through the tedium to find the gems. Still, it's worth a watch just to see more of Murray actually acting alive. Finally we get a Theatrical Trailer and a Soundtrack Trailer.
VerdictBroken Flowers is a slightly disappointing effort from the generally fabulous Bill Murray and I can only hope that he gets something that truly showcases his talents in the near future. The transfer is good here and the audio presentation is perfectly acceptable and, along with the extras that you get, this is quite a nice package for fans of the film but for those who have not seen it, it is definitely worth a rental first to see if you are likely to want it in your collection.
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