Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2012

ARTICLE INDEX

"Out of Africa" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-march-2012-out-of-africa

Synopsis

Based on the life of Karen Blixen, a woman from Denmark who moves to Africa with her husband to start a farm.  Once there, she finds her marriage of convenience isn't much of a marriage at all as her husband continues to see whomever he wants on the side, and then she meets a man who also has come to Africa for an adventure, but also to live life as freely as he can.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 1985, Color, PG, 2 Hours 41 Minutes
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford
  • Directed by Sydney Pollack
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Implied
  • Language: No

Commentary

The idea of a sweeping, romantic epic that won Best Picture could be good, or it could remind me of The English Patient, which also fits that criteria and never connected with me at all.  Out of Africa did better than that, with a story that was enjoyable and acting that was really first rate.  I wouldn't put it up there as one of the best winners of Best Picture, but it's far better than something like Crash.

Technical

There is a bit of DNR that you can sometimes spot, with faces losing their texture and appearing flat, but typically it is used with a light hand and most details and textures come through well.  Overall it looks quite good for a film that's over 25 years old now, and much better than it's been seen at home before.

The soundtrack is good, but unfortunately you can tell it was done 25 years ago.  Almost all of the action is lodged in the front channels with the surrounds being used for some effects and the score, but not used to build ambience, as they would be today.  Dialogue is easy to understand and doesn't get buried in with the other sounds, which is key on a drama, and so overall the soundtrack is good but not fantastic.

Extras

Directors Commentary, a full-length feature on Karen Bilxen, Deleted Scenes, the Theatrical Trailer, and a DVD copy of the film are included.