SRP $38.95 2.35:1 PCM 5.1 SONY

Pedro Almodovar’s earlier films, “WOMAN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, “TIE ME UP, TIE ME DOWN,”etc, were arguably great films, however their intentionally provocative subject matter disinterested the masses. His latest, “VOLVER,” is his most accessible and certainly one of his best. Penelope Cruz stars as Raimunda, a strong, beautiful and kind woman, juggling one responsibility after another, who is also regularly visited by her dead mother. It’s due to Almodovar’s excellence as a writer/director that the story is never pigeonholed into the cliché’s of mainstream trappings, while dealing with various complex characters. “VOLVER” blends humor, heavy drama, a ghost story(of sorts) and the call for human decency into a powerful “must-see” film.  Almodovar has high hopes for the women in his film and the viewer feels an investment in their plight.  Those who’ve doubted Cruz’s abilities before should be won over by her performance here, and she can even sing! But, ultimately, it’s Carmen Maura whom steals the film. She’s much like a latin Meryl Streep!

The 2.35:1 aspect ratio is perfectly rendered in this 1080p/MPEG-2 dual layer Blu-ray.  Colors are boosted to near extreme at times, but never with any noise. Typically rich and vibrant, "VOLVER" looks terrific on Blu-ray and noticeably superior to the already impressive dvd.  The detail is flawless and amongst the best on blu-ray thus far. Even dinnerware settings are perfectly, minutely detailed for the most discerning audience.

SONY has provided a PCM 5.1 mix.  Surrounds come into play for some effective moments, but for the most part, this is a dialogue-driven film, with emphasis on the front center channel. Ambient effects are impressive throughout, but even in terms of music, there are few immersive moments. Dialogue is always discernible and free from distortion.

The same extras from the dvd have been carried over. Trailers for Upcoming blu-ray releases are presented in full 1080p!