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Magnolia Blu-ray Review

“Magnolia” may be a bit pretentious, but it’s still an absorbing epic drama.

Grades:

Content: B

Picture: A-

Audio: A-

Extras: B-

To explain what “Magnolia” is about is difficult to say the least. In my opinion, it’s a sprawling dramatic epic that contains interconnected series of a dying television star and his messed up daughter, a down on his luck former kid genius, a lonely cop, a quiz kid, a cancer stricken TV mogul (and his sex self-help guru son) and his unstable younger wife and his male nurse. All of these stories are about the past, pain, regret, and forgiveness. It’s essentially a unique slice of tale.

Clocking in at over three hours, it’s not harsh to say that PTA’s “Magnolia” is over indulgent and a tad bit pretentious. However, you shouldn’t hold that against the movie. A decade after it’s release, PTA’s unique voice here is still as fresh and emotional as ever. With it’s rich characters and deep themes, “Magnolia” is a sophisticated and intelligent drama that is unlike anything you’ve really seen before. You could argue it’s a bit Altman esque, but that would be selling it short.

On the downside, I do have to say that I find the use of songs and the score a bit distracting here. I know they are used for effect but I find it rather annoying when the music is blaring so loud that you cannot hear the dialogue. It’s one thing if that only occurred a few times, but it occurs frequently throughout the movie.   

Summary: The films of PTA are not for everyone, but if you are a fan of cinema and original stories, you should seek out “Magnolia.”  

The 2.4:1 1080p picture quality is clear. This is a good catalogue title. I was especially impressed by the frog rain sequence. That still looks incredible 10 years later and in hi-def!

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track is fine. It’s just as I remembered it in the theater.

Extras include Aimee Mann “Save Me” music video, “Seduce And Destroy” infomercial, 2 “Magnolia” trailers, 9 TV spots, Frank T.J. Mackey Seminar, and a “Magnolia Video Diary” with PTA talking about the film and writing.

February 2, 2010 - Posted by | 1 | , , , ,

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