PictureThis is one of those weird ones. Sometimes the picture looks like an old 80's movie on Sky, while at others the picture is totally natural. The scene at the beginning of the movie where Carrey climbs out of bed is so real you feel like you can walk through the TV into his room. Whereas the in car conversations subsequent to that scene appear to have a gritty peppery feel to them. So is this done on purpose, or not? I can't be sure, but the overall quality of both R1 and R2 copies is very good indeed. The only difference that I could make out is a slightly lighter picture on the R2 copy, but nothing too distracting.
SoundThis isn't the kind of movie with crash bang demo clips present. That isn't to say the sound has nothing to recommend it. The mix (with one exception) is very listenable, never calls attention to itself and yet isn't boring. The in-memory parts of the movie have some good use of bass, a good mechanic to introduce unease. Treble is deftly handled too, with the ice on the frozen lake creaking. R2 DTS sound has a more full mix than DD with slightly more clarity. Strangely the R1 DTS track is way too loud, and I wound up listening to the, still very good, Dolby Digital one instead.
ExtrasExtras are identical on both R1 and R2 versions of this disc.
The commentary is okay as far as commentaries go. There is too much analytical comments, where perhaps Jim Carrey or Kate Winslet may have alleviated the tone. There is a good quote where writer Charlie Kaufman says right at the beginning “Are you going to narrate it - 'Jim is waking up'?” after director Michel Gondry does just that. So at least this particularly irritating commentary characteristic is avoided.
A Look Inside Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is a standard making of documentary. While it is interesting, these documentaries are starting to wear thin. After all you already have the conclusions you want to get out of Eternal sunshine after you have watched it. If you watch a making of documentary before the movie, then there is a chance it will spoil the watch.
A Conversation with Jim Carrey and Director Michel Gondry is much better. Here we have genuinely interesting behind the scenes info. The motorised bed and elephant anecdotes alone are worth it and the forced perspective demonstration is a little freaky to see.
VerdictFrom someone who prefers the shlock horror of Reanimator or the grim retributions of Thriller - a Cruel Picture, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind took me by surprise. I once heard Ralph Brown say of Withnail and I that it was a good movie “because there isn't any crap bits in it.” Well, that same maxim can certainly be applied to this movie, even if the extras are a bit lacking.
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