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Song to Song (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 14, 2017 by  



No doubt this film is not for everyone but I have watched my fair share of Terrence Malick films to know that I enjoy his style and non-traditional presentation and that includes his latest film”Song to Song”.

Images courtesy of © 2015 Buckeye Pictures, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Song to Song

FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 129 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:39:1 aspect ratio, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English SDH, Espanol

COMPANY: Broadgreen Pictures

RATED: R (Some Sexuality, Nudity, Drug Use and Language)

RELEASE DATE: July 4, 2017


Directed by Terrence Malick

Written by Terrence Malick

Produced by Jeff Abberley, Diane Miller Levin, Jamie Patricof

Executive Producer: Julia Blackman, Marc Butan, Jessica Chastain, Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Monroe, Joanne Sennitt, Pete Shilaimon, Michael Tollin, Robbie Tollin, Kevan Van Thompson

Co-Producer: Katie McNeill

Music by Harry Gregson-Williams

Cinematography by Andrij Parekh

Edited by David Coulson

Production Design by Suzie Davies

Art Direction: Jan Kalous, Dan Taylor, Magdalena Zemanova

Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Costume Design: Bina Daigeler


Starring:

Ryan Gosling as BV

Rooney Mara as Faye

Michael Fassbender as Cook

Natalie Portman as Rhonda

Cate Blanchett as Amanda

Holly Hunter as Miranda

Bernice Marlohe as Zoey

Val Kilmer as Duane

Lykke Li as Lykke

Olivia Grace Applegate as Emma


In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples — struggling songwriters Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling), and music mogul Cook (Michael Fassbender) and the waitress whom he ensnares (Natalie Portman) — chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.


Filmmaker Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line”, “The Tree of Life”, “The New World”, “Badlands) is known for creating art films that explore humanity, nature and instinct.

Characters that are explored via voice-overs from individual characters, it’s a style that is unique to Malick’s oeuvre which are praised by his fans and jilted by cineastes who feel his films are lacking true character development and comprehensive plot.

People often love or dislike his films but no doubt, they are films that are though-provoking, fascinating and whimsical.

His latest film is directed and written by him but also stars an ensemble cast which include Ryan Gosling (“Drive”, “La La Land”, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”), Rooney Mara (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Social Network”, “Carol”), Michael Fassbender (“Inglorious Basterds”, “Prometheus”, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Natalie Portman (“V for Vendetta”, “Black Swan”, “Leon: The Professional”), Cate Blanchett (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Lord of the Ring” films), Holly Hunter (“The Piano”, “O Brother, Where Art Thou”), Berenice Marlohe (“Skyfall”, “Twin Peaks”, “5 to 7”), Val Kilmer (“Heat”, “Batman Forever”, “Top Gun”), Lykke Li (“Tommy”), Olivia Grace Applegate (“Krisha”, “The Honor Farm”, “Aevia”) and more.

The film also features cameo appearances by Florence Welch, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, The Black Lips, Alan Palomo, John Lydon, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Spank Rock, Big Freedia and more.

The film revolves around BV (portrayed by Ryan Gossling), Cook (portrayed by Michael Fassbender), Faye (portrayed by Rooney Mara) and Rhonda (portrayed by Natalie Portman).

Cook is a music mogul often busy at music festivals, while Faye and BV are struggling musician who have a strong friendship with Cook and in the process, they discover each other.

Faye, once a secretary for Cook, has a sexual relationship with him.  But meanwhile, she has a relationship with BV and despite messing up in life, the one true happiness that she has found for herself was being with BV.

But to make it in the music industry is important and what matters most is her music and BV.  But to stay relevant in the music scene, she knows that she needs to be close to Cook and fulfill his sexual needs, while trying to have a relationship with Cook.

But BV is suspicious and feels that Faye is keeping something from him.

Meanwhile, Cook meets Rhonda, a waitress at a restaurant and the two build a relationship and he brings her into his life and circle of wealth.  But the more she stays with him, she realizes that with his power and the women he surrounds himself with, Rhonda feels dirty with being with a man like him and she questions her existence of being with a man like Cook.  Cook wants to have sexual adventures, Rhonda is not that type of person and is reserved and unwilling to join Cook in his erotic adventures.

But with these individuals, can they ever find love?  Can they ever be satisfied?


VIDEO:

“Song to Song” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). Featuring close-ups with very good detail, the film looks very good as many of the scenes were shot outdoors. I didn’t notice any major artifacts, banding or issues with picture quality during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Song to Song” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and features a soundtrack that is driven by its crystal clear dialogue, music and ambiance.

Subtitles are in English SDH and Espanol.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Song to Song” comes with the following special feature:

  • The Music Behind the Movie – (2:02) A short featurette about “Song to Song” with interviews with cast and crew.

When it comes to Terrence Malick, there are people who love his films and there are those who can’t stand his style of filmmaking.

Malick doesn’t subscribe to the traditional way of creating films.  His films may seem like an abstract work of art, featuring different characters, fragmented moments, lives intertwined yet lives that are quite different.

People who search for happiness but are not sure if they deserve it or not sure how to love as they are conflicted with their own purpose in life.  May it to be successful at their career, may it be searching for a moment in life of feeling alive or finding a life which in truth is not what one wanted or expected.

For the most part, the primary players of the film are the struggling music artists, BV and Faye.  Faye is a person who wanted to live life free, may it be her way she approaches jobs or the way she approaches sex.  But being with music mogul Cook, she has been treated as a sexual object.  Where BV treats her as a woman that he has fallen in love with, as she has with him.  But does someone like her deserve something good like him.  Needless to say, she is conflicted by her sense of excitement and pursuit of a music career by having a sexual liason with Cook, while struggling with the love that BV gives to her.

Other characters in the film include Natalie Portman’s Rhonda.  Not happy with the life she is living with Cook and the way he wants her to be a sexual plaything, which she is not ready yet.    Fitting along the spiritual theme of a good girl corrupted by evil, Rhonda signifies the purity in Cook’s life which he desperately wanted to make dirty.

Cate Blanchett’s Amanda is more of the rebound that BV finds himself in after things between he and Faye do not work out.  She feels withdrawn when she is with him and the level of passion that he has given to Faye and the lack of it towards Amanda is evident.

And as the film has many cameos.  While one may question why Patti Smith has a role in the film, she does play the guiding force to Faye, trying to break down the walls that she has has surrounded for herself from finding true happiness.

As for the Blu-ray, as most of the film is shot outdoors, the film looks great in HD.  Closeups show great clarity and detail while music and ambiance are crystal clear.

Overall, Terrence Malick films are not going to win a mass audience.  In fact, his films are frustrating for those who want comprehensive storylines, can’t stand narrations and experimentation.  If anything, I found the film to be entertaining as it reminds me of a fractured mirror with its pieces going backward to re-attach and form itself to something whole as it was meant to be.  Love often finds its share of hurdles and a lot of romantic films often feature a problematic situation that leads its protagonists back together.

Instead of something straightforward, Malick films are told in fragments and as the audience, we watch and see how Malick tries to put the pieces together.

No doubt this film is not for everyone but I have watched my fair share of Terrence Malick films to know that I enjoy his style and non-traditional presentation and that includes his latest film”Song to Song”.






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