Writer/Director Mark Fergus'(co-writer of "Children of Men") overlooked "FIRST SNOW" is getting a new chance to find its rightful audience with the dvd release it's getting from SONY, November 27! Guy Pearce stars as Jimmy, an unscrupulous flooring salesman,(a "salesman" slightly amoral?) who finds out some troubling things about his future, upon visiting a fortune teller while having his broken down car fixed. While at first, not paying much mind to the fortune teller's predictions, things get extremely eerie as some predictions begin to come true. But, the other shoe falls as Jimmy finds the fortune teller originally kept secret that he will die upon the first snow of winter!
Guy Pearce is terrific in the lead role. In little time, we actually begin to empathize with a guy we could've easily cared less about in a less capable actor's hands. But, the whole cast, including Piper Perabo(astonishingly under-appraised in Hollywood)and J.K. Simmons, is fantastic!
Fergus has created a compelling story, with a terrific noir-like atmosphere, successful in being unique, at least until its somewhat disappointing, over-extended conclusion.
SONY has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. Colors are intentionally muted, and the New Mexico setting and pending Winter, make this appropriate. Contrast, so important in a noir-ish film, is excellent, providing fine detail in the darkest scenes.
A cropped(1.33:1)version is also provided, but is a complete waste, due to so much information being lost.
SONY has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It's not an aggressive mix, but ambient effects and music are well complimented with impressive dynamic range in key sequences. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.