(500) Days of Summer, Blu-ray, with Digital Copy (2009)

by | Jan 8, 2010 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

(500) Days of Summer, Blu-ray, with Digital Copy (2009)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel
Director: Mark Webb
Studio: Fox Searchlight [12/22/09]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced color 1080p HD
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 DD, Portuguese 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD, English Audio for Visually Impaired
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai
Extras: Audio commentary by director and Gordon-Levitt, Deleted and extended scenes, “Bank Dance” music video, “Sid and Nancy/(500) Days of Summer,” Making-Of featurette, Conversations between Zooley & Joseph, “Sweet Disposition” music video, Summer @ Sundance, Audition tapes, more
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: *****

An original and creative alternative to the usual romantic comedy, this effort from previous music video director Mark Webb has an occasional voiceover which at the start warns you that it is not a love story.  It is actually a love story that comes to a rather painful but realistic end.  The guy does not get the girl – or at least doesn’t keep her – and his life goes thru some serious changes as a result. Along the way there are plenty of laughs, but of an intelligent, sharing sort and not the embarrassed belly-laugh of so many similar films focusing on young people’s relationships.

Young Joseph trained as an architect but has settled for a job as a writer at a greeting-card company. A new female assistant to his boss enters the workforce and he feels she may be “the one.” Their offbeat yet predictable relationship is illustrated in an extremely non-linear manner with little clips and scenes from various points in it – sometimes showing a scene of his coming apart at the seams after she has obviously dropped him prior to showing one where he has finally slept with her and as he walks down the street turns into a celebratory music video with a dancing crowd around him. Each clip is prefaced by a rotating number display showing which day of the 500 it is in the relationship. Its length seemed to be more brief than well over a year, but perhaps I missed some cues along the way.

The two main actors are good friends and have worked together before. Their relationship seems very natural and real, unlike that of certain older Hollywood stars who have appeared in romantic comedies and are just not believable. Deschanel has amazing eyes and cute hairstyle which should have many both young and old men salivating. Music of The Smiths is featured on the soundtrack and in the actual story. The Bank Dance music video is a kick, using the two young actors in a very creative dance piece. Webb deserves credit for using his music video expertise in making this movie a highly individual take on a much-covered subject.  The transfer looks great and though the surround is not much used the dialog is always understandable. The informal diner-table conversation between Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel is a welcome alternative to the usual actor interviews in extras.

 – John Sunier

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