DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Blu-ray (2012)

A surprisingly thoughtful and deep exploration of an unusual situation.

Published on October 27, 2012

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Blu-ray (2012)

Cast: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Martin Sheen
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Studio: Focus Features/Universal Studios 62123584 [10/23/12] (2 discs – Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy+Ultraviolet)
Video: 2.35:1 anamorphic/enhanced 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Extras: Outtakes, a look inside Seeking a Friend, Music for the End of the World: What’s on Your Playlist?, Commentary track, Pocket BLU-app, BD Live
Length: 1 hr. 41 mins.
Rating: ****

With Carell aboard, this could have been another goofy comedy, but it has a great deal of depth and Carell is perfect in his poetic role. A 70-mile-wide asteroid is going to strike and destroy the earth in three weeks, and the film begins with Dodge’s (Carell) wife running away when she hears that. People react in various way to the news: some go full tilt into the most hedonistic lifestyles, some insist on plodding thru the same elements of their work life, others just kill themselves.  Dodge runs into another dweller in his apartment building, Penny (Knightley), who it turns out has failed to give him his misdirected mail—including a note from his high school girlfriend who is divorced and tells him he was the love of her life.

When their apartments are attacked by a crazed mob, the two set out on an odd journey—him to supposedly visit his old girlfriend and her to fly back to England to see her parents once more. Neither works out in their various adventures, which are both comic and often serious and thoughtful. They run into a variety of lost souls. Eventually their separate journeys converge. There are no special effects of the asteroid – just a few TV newscasts reporting on it.  Both leading role actors are excellent in their roles. It looks like a feature directed by a woman, and that’s a good thing. There’s also a cute dog, and a couple of vinyl-positive scenes of interest to analog audiophiles—tho you’ll cringe at the turntable they use.

—John Sunier

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