SRP $29.98 1.78:1(16:9) Dolby Digital 5.1 ANCHOR BAY/STARZ
 
SRP $39.98 1.78:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 ANCHOR BAY/STARZ
 

ANCHOR BAY/STARZ has released a surprisingly fresh pseudo-documentary, "PAPER HEART" on blu-ray and dvd. While "pseudo-documentaries" are typically used for mediocre horror films,(CLOVERFIELD, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY), writer/actress Charlyne Yi uses it in a creative and engaging way here. Yi and co-writer/director Nicholas Jasenovec have put forth the premise that Yi is travelling across America doing her own documentary with an actor standing in as the actual director, to understand what real love is through her discussions and filmed interviews with various people sharing their perspective and experiences. Charlene has real doubts as to whether "real" love is nothing but the idealized fantasies she has found through film and other "romanticized" arenas, seeming to be too perfect for the struggles existing within the human condition.
 
Alongside her best friend, a novice director, Nicholas(played by an actor), she films her encounters with a variety of people, from a wide range of backgrounds, including professionals, motorcycle riders, couples with longstanding relationships, and more.
 
Along her journey, she meets Michael Cera, playing himself, and even while taking in a large assortment of information regarding the "truth" behind what love is, she finds her relationship with Cera growing towards,....?
 
While "PAPER HEART" has some stumbling blocks, due to a few instances in which the "documentary" feel comes across a bit too staged with its two main actors, and some slow moments ocurring in the 2nd half. However, there are moments between these two that feel very natural. Most moving and intriguing are the interviews with the various unknowns, having the same kind of impact Woody Allen achieved with the "documentary" footage his character cared so much for in his film, "CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS."
 
Imperfect as it is, "PAPER HEART" is still one of the more original takes on the "pseudo" documentary film genre of recent memory.
 
ANCHOR BAY/STARZ has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for the (16:9 enhanced)dvd and AVC-MPEG 4 encoded 1080p blu-ray. The original source material was HD, but the HD image isn't anything striking in the way that Michael Mann's latest work has been. Colors are often subdued, and contrast problems are sometimes prominent due to lighting conditions. While detail is notably better on blu-ray than dvd, both formats offer a consistently "flat" image. Artifacts are slightly more prominent on the blu-ray than the dvd.
 
A dolby digital 5.1 mix for dvd and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for blu-ray have been provided. While neither mix is all that impressive, the lossy mix is notably more impressive when surround effects do occur. Music is also presented with better fidelity on the blu-ray. Neither mixes are immersive, or poorly executed. However, the blu-ray is notably better in terms of overall fidelity.
 
Other than a few more trailers, both formats offer the same extras. These include extensive deleted scenes, two music videos, one with Charlotte and another with her and Cera. Interviews with various comedians, cut from the final film, contain some memorable moments. There is also some interesting behind-the-scenes footage. The blu-ray offers these extras in 1080p for the most part, and some 1080i.