UNIVERSAL is getting around to releasing some of their recent catalogue titles, previously released on hd-dvd and dvd, onto blu-ray. Their latest, "BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN," gives those viewers wrongly thinking it's a "gay" movie, to have the opportunity to watch a powerful film that's hard to forget or not be moved by. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal star as two seemingly tough cowboys, feeling lucky to have found some work, taking care of a farmer's herd during harsh winter months. They become good friends, and eventually, lovers. As years turn into decades, the men meet girls, marry and start their own families, but their efforts to meet the standards demanded by a society that scolds their true inner feelings, only brings about more pain for more people. These two men can't find the peace or warmth anywhere in the world that they found in one another, even during the harshest winters, and that overriding theme, is the message and warning to those who'd seek to stop two adults in love from being with one another, and opt for them to start families with those they don't love, for show only. While this reviewer must admit to not particularly "enjoying" the film in theaters, it's the kind of film that grows on the viewer and can be appreciated with successive viewings, making it a worthwhile addition to a film lover's collection. Although still not "enjoyable," one might have a hard time describing "Ordinary People" as "enjoyable," but that was an equally great film as well! All of the performances, and especially that of the late Heath Ledger, are terrific.
UNIVERSAL has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/VC-1 blu-ray. Director Ang Lee and his Oscar nominated cinematographer, have given "BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN" startling and beautiful imagery, perfectly captured in this transfer. The colors vary in intensity, however they veer towards looking vibrant. While blacks aren't inky, they're deep enough to offer impressive depth in darker moments. Few scenes fall flat, and most offer the jump-off-the-screen type of depth complimenting the natural scenic outdoors locations inhabiting most of the film.
UNIVERSAL has upgraded the Dolby Digital Plus mix of the HD-DVD to a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix for this blu-ray release! Surrounds are subdued more than one might expect for a film filled with potentially great aural moments from the outdoor settings amidst nature. But, ambient effects pop up sporadically and with great fidelity. The film's score is haunting and unforgettable, and perfectly complimented through all speakers. The score sounded great before on dolby digital and dolby digital plus, but what's been achieved on this mix, aptly demonstrates the improvements which lossy can offer over all other formats.
There are a variety of featurettes offered, but the only one really worth viewing is "music from the mountains," a look at the composer of the great score.