SRP $28.95 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SONY

"THE BAND'S VISIT" is one of those small, simple character-accentuated comedies, that tends to get overlooked, if not for word of mouth. Hopefully, with the fine dvd presentation given by SONY, the film will find its rightful place in the libraries of most film lover/dvd collectors. The film revolves around the trials and tribulations of a small Egyptian band whose bus has dropped them off in the wrong Israeli town, before their performance at an Arab Culture Center. All of the characters, Egyptian and Israeli, are allowed to flourish in reality, without having to succumb to heavy-handed twists and story arcs, and the result, while not ever knee-slapping, is sure to leave a smile on most audiences. There are a fair share of bittersweet moments, but also some moments of cautious optimism throughout the film.  The comedy never feels forced, and the actors are all splendid and surprisingly restrained as is the direction.

SONY has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this dvd release.  The image is surprisingly bright and colorful. Scene upon scene, offers great depth and rich color. While not affording the resolution of blu-ray, one wonders at the potential possible with a blu-ray release, as the standard def image is often stunning. Contrast is nearly flawless, with great detail in darker scenes, due to deep black and gray definition.

SONY has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The dialogue is mostly in English, but when arabic or hebrew is spoken, the english subtitles are perfect.  A restrained mix, there are rarely ambient effects. However, dialogue is always intelligible and the film's minor effects are well presented.

A short featurette about the film's production is included.