SRP $29.99 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 BUENA VISTA

Acclaimed director Krzystof Kieslowski’s last un-filmed script, “HEAVEN” caught the attention of another terrific director, Tom Tykwer.  Kieslowki’s soulful reflections and sentiments blend wonderfully with Tykwer’s existential yet kinetic style of filmmaking for a terrific, provocative film.

Cate Blanchett stars as Philippa, a teacher living in Italy, whom takes it upon herself to bring justice to the drug kingpin she holds responsible for having killed her husband as well as some of her students with drugs.  Philippa comes across as a truly decent, humane individual, who is in despair due to her inability to get law enforcement to do its job.  Her plans to kill the man with a bomb, take a horrible turn, when after having left the bomb in his office, it’s moved by an unwitting cleaning woman.  The result of this unplanned turn events cause the death of the woman, a father and his children. This is “only” the beginning of the film!

After being arrested and interrogated, one young carabinieri(Giovanni Ribisi in his best performance yet)begins to fall in love with her, bringing about another chain of events, both unpredictable, and moving.

BUENA VISTA has preserved the film’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement.  It’s a sensational transfer!  Tykwer’s fluid compositions are perfectly captured here.  Colors are rich and vibrant in many scenes, and when they’re subdued, they’re still dead on!  Contrast is also flawless, allowing for exquisite detail in darker scenes.  Fleshtones appear natural.

BUENA VISTA has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for this release.  While it’s not an aggressive mix, directional and ambient effects are used effectively.  Most of the effects are delegated to the front soundstage, but surrounds kick in to emphasize some key moments, as well as the wonderful score.  Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.

Director Tom Tykwer provides yet another great commentary for this release.  He provides plenty of production information, but also a great deal of insight regarding the film’s various themes and issues.

A featurette, “THE STORY OF HEAVEN”, is far too short in length, but it’s still great to find such talents as Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella explain their enthusiasm for the project.

There is also a “deleted” scenes segment, with optional commentary, and “Space Cam Fly-By”, an extended sequence that looks incredible!