Lost In Translation DVD Review

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by AVForums Jun 1, 2004 at 12:00 AM

    Lost In Translation DVD Review
    SRP: £19.99


    Lost in Translation's DVD
    transfer has been the subject of a fair
    amount of comment on the Internet. Both
    this release and the earlier American disc
    feature an anamorphic 1.85:1 image that
    is apparently noticeably darker than the
    original theatrical print, and a look at the
    trailer included on the disc does show a
    lighter and more vibrantly coloured film
    (although, personally speaking, I found the
    colours in the trailer to be rather overcooked).
    Whatever the case, Momentum
    states that the transfer was approved by
    Sofia Coppola and director of
    photography Lance Acord, so we must
    accept that this is how the film is now
    meant to be seen.
    Although Lost in Translation is a pretty
    low-budget film, the transfer is solid. As
    mentioned above, colours are rather cold
    and muted (but this seems in keeping
    with the tone of the film) and things aren't
    improved by obvious grain in a number
    of the darker sequences. However, there
    are far more things that the transfer
    does right; there is no sign of edge
    enhancement or artefacting, and the
    overall look of the film is sharp.


    Lost in Translation's soundtrack
    was never particularly overblown, but
    that hasn't stopped Momentum from
    offering up both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS
    audio mixes. As you might expect, there
    is practically no difference between the
    tracks, with both being front-heavy and
    lacking in bass effects. There's nothing
    wrong with either track; they certainly do
    everything the film asks of them, and the
    modern musical score sounds suitably
    ethereal. But you're better off sticking
    with your Bad Boys 2 DVD if you want
    something to show off your speaker
    system to the neighbours.


    The first of the extra features on
    offer is 'Lost on' Location, a fascinating
    30-minute documentary about the making
    of the film shot by Sofia Coppola's then
    husband Spike Jonze. It is far more
    impressive and revealing than the usual
    PR fluff you find included on most DVDs,
    and provides a genuine snapshot into the
    creation of the film and some great
    footage of Bill Murray goofing around.
    Next up is Matthew's Best Hit TV, a
    full-length version of Bob's appearance on
    the 'wacky' show of the same name
    (imagine a Japanese Graham Norton and
    you are pretty much there) that is briefly
    glimpsed in the movie. Following on from
    this is a music video for Kevin Shields'
    City Girl presented non-anamorphically
    at approximately 1.78:1.
    After that piece of filler comes some
    more genuinely worthwhile extra material
    in the form of five deleted scenes - More
    Aqua Aerobics, Charlotte with Robots,
    Kelly's Press Conference, Morning After
    Karaoke and Bob in Hospital Waiting
    Room. While none of the scenes add
    much to the story, they are interesting
    little character pieces that merit inclusion
    on the disc. The press conference
    sequence is particularly funny, and should
    leave viewers in no doubt as to which
    Hollywood actress Sofia was having a
    dig at. All five scenes are presented nonanamorphically
    in workprint form with
    timecodes, and are available to view
    individually or through a 'play all' option.
    Lastly, after the original theatrical
    trailer, is A Conversation with Bill Murray
    and Sofia Coppola. This final featurette,
    filmed last October in Rome, runs for just
    shy of ten minutes and gives Bill and
    Sofia a chance to talk about working
    together, the development of the story,
    the making of the film and Bill's Japanese
    pick-up lines.
    While the disc isn't exactly overflowing
    with extras, it's pretty hard to think what
    else could be added to the DVD with the
    exception of a commentary track. Couple
    this with the strength of the 'Lost' on
    Location and A Conversation with Bill
    Murray and Sofia Coppola extras and you
    have a package that really compliments
    the movie.


    An exceptional film that deserves the mountain
    of praise heaped on it in the last six months on
    a disc which does the movie proud.
    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99

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