Director: Spike Jonze
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson
Release Date: Own it today on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
Set in Los Angeles in the slight future, “Her” follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.
From the singular perspective of Oscar®-winning filmmaker Spike Jonze comes “Her,” an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and risks—of intimacy in the modern world.
‘Her’ tells the story of a man named Theodore who has recently seen the end of a long term relationship and has now found himself at a very lonely place in his life. On a whim he decides to buy a new piece of technology that has recently hit the market, an Operating System that is uniquely created to the specific individual and before long Theodore realizes he has formed an extremely intimate bond with this OS known as Samantha, possibly even falling in love as impossible as that may seem.
Spike Jonze has done an absolutely tremendous job with ‘Her’ as both writer and director (he in fact took home the academy award this year for best original screenplay for the film) and is definitely a name I will be continuing to pay close attention to in the future. I can see him being a real force to reckon with if he continues to deliver gems like this. Hopefully some of you are already familiar with him or at least with some of his previous directorial efforts, such as the truly fantastic films ‘Being John Malkovich’ & ‘Adaptation.’
The performances in this film are absolutely outstanding as well with Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams delivering particularly noteworthy performances in each of their respective roles. Rooney Mara was impressive as always in the limited screen time she was present for, although not her most notable role by any means. Scarlett Johansson is absolutely perfect as ‘Samantha’ and I quite frequently found myself completely forgetting that it was even her. Chris Pratt (who I’m personally a fan of), Olivia Wilde and a few other familiar faces (and voices) make appearances in the film too.
Overall ‘Her’ is an expertly crafted emotional masterpiece that will throw your emotions and your mind for quite a journey. This is definitely a love story like I’ve never seen before, but nevertheless it truly is a love story in every sense. The film is expertly crafted and executed, then amplified even more so by its impressive, powerful and expertly placed cast. I would highly recommend that everyone who doesn’t mind a film that’s a bit out of the norm to check this one out, I’m pretty sure you will be quite pleased you decided to do so.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Her’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty fantastic in every regard. All of the colors and surroundings are perfectly detailed and placed, with everything down to the edges of the picture looking pretty much spot on in every regard. I personally couldn’t find any notable flaws within and I think most folks will be extremely pleased with this high definition video presentation.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Considering the type of film that ‘Her’ is, there isn’t a whole lot of activity occurring throughout the film that really presents an opportunity for this lossless multichannel soundtrack to fully utilize the surround channels, though that is in no way a shortcoming of the audio track’s quality. The film is intentionally calm and composed, though certain moments such as those with music sound truly wonderful. Some scenes, such as those in restaurants implement a bit of surround activity while all of the dialogue is consistently clear, discrete and sounds pretty perfect in every regard. While it may not be an active soundtrack in too many ways, it nevertheless is as good as it gets and sounds fantastic, perfectly complimenting this wonderful film.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Her’ features a number of interesting and informative bonus features including ‘A Short Film By Lance Bangs: The Untitled Rick Howard Project: Creating Her’ which is a behind the scenes documentary that runs approximately thirty minutes and thoroughly details the creative process involved in creating ‘Her.’ Also included on the release is ‘Love in the Modern Age: Intimate Conversations about Love and Relationships in Our Time’ featurette as well as another short featurette titled ‘How Do You Share Your Life with Someone.’
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
Own “Her” today on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD Download from Warner Bros. Entertainment.