SRP $29.99 2.35:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT

“NORTHFORK” is the latest film from the Polish brothers, the duo responsible for the critically acclaimed “Twin Falls, Idaho.” Visually stunning but lacking in depth, “NORTHFORK” takes place in a small Montana town(NORTHFORK) in 1955.  The entire town is forced to confront dramatic changes about to occur when the evacuation is called for due to the construction of a hydroelectric dam. 

The cast is magnificent. James Woods plays one of a six-man crew assigned to convince citizens unwilling to evacuate, to come to their senses.  A coinciding plot involves a sick boy that may be an angel, under the care of Father Harlan(Nick Nolte) while the town folk spends time coming to terms or neglecting the possibility of other angels in their midst.  There’s plenty of symbolism, thrown out in every other scene, but there’s little in the way of emotional context.  It’s one thing to have the audience need to fill in the blanks at times, but for the entire film???

“NORTHFORK,” while visually arresting, is emotionally bleak, and too cold to really serve as an entertaining experience.

PARAMOUNT has given the film a wonderful transfer. The original 2.35:1 aspect ratio is intact.  The film’s color design varies in color depth, often intentionally appearing close to “black&white”.  Still, the image is splendid, and there’s great detail throughout.  Fleshtones appear natural. 

PARAMOUNT has presented a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.  While surrounds are often restrained, there’s great clarity and detail.  When rare surround effects are utilized, it’s with great impact.

Dialogue is “amost” always intelligible. We still needed captioning for Nolte’s lines at times.

PARAMOUNT has offered several extras for this release.  A running commentary with the writers/directors, offers more explanation of the film’s intended symbolism. It offers plenty of explanation and detail we only wish the film had been able to convey.

“BARE KNUCKLE FILMMAKING” offers a compilation of featurettes, actually more entertaining than the final film managed to be.  It also offers an inspiring look at how a film with no budget actually could get made!

A “photo gallery” is offered, with some stunning images.

“24 FRAME NEWS SEGMENT” is a brief Sundance Channel featurette about final moments leading up to the hometown screening of the film.