WHEN: 9:30PM EST, September 20th, 2012

WHERE: At my apartment in Portland, ME (Alderaan)

FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 47″ LCD HDTV and VHS on a Phillips 20-something” CRT

COMPANY: Bill, my brother Matt (for the beginning).


Trying to focus on one specific thing for an entire viewing of High Fidelity is getting to be pretty difficult at this stage in the game. Trying to focus at all is getting hard. So I’ll warn you now, there is no grand unifying cohesion to this viewing. Consider it an opportunity for some random elements to come together for a soiree. This is a mish-mush.

If you ask for this to make sense, your request will not be granted.


The most significant element of this viewing is that I watched it on two televisions simultaneously. On my large LCD was the HD theatrical version. On my smaller CRT was the Open Matte VHS home video version. My hope was to catch subtle differences lurking somewhere in the areas removed to create the letterbox.

Due diligence.

Turns out there aren’t any secrets hidden outside the frame at any given time. A bit of floor here. The leg of a chair there. Sometimes a couple inches of shirt you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. I think Laura’s sister Jo is wearing a rather nice necklace that you cannot see in the theatrical cut. So yay, mystery solved, I suppose.

Potentially of note is the fact that the VHS finished a split second faster than the Blu-Ray. I synced the two formats using the flash at the end of the Touchstone logo at the start of the film. As you can see here, they started almost perfectly synced. Hooray for me. As the film went on, the two started to slowly drift apart, creating the slight echo noticeable here, near the middle of the movie. By the end, the two had become noticeably unsynced and the echo was more prominent. It’s kind of like Rob and Laura are talking to each other over stadium speakers. I guess lasers work better than magnetic tape. Who knew?


Obviously just having two screens was not going to be enough to sustain a full viewing, so I asked Bill for a suggestion. He cited the Top Gun viewing where he came up with potential sci-fi twists to put on the movie. So I put him to work pumping out sci-fi surprises potentially hidden in High Fidelity. Here are some of his ideas:

– Rob has been genetically altered to be a repeat reject.

– An anti-libido agent has been released into the water of Rob’s town, hence Penny’s reluctance. This theory is backed up by the presence of a lab in the subsequent scene.

– Rob’s women are programs in a Matrix-like program he is stuck in.

– Barry is a time traveler from the year one. (Get it?)

– Rob’s fourth-wall-breaking is just him talking to a holographic friend (a la Quantum Leap).

– Rob is a space traveler in hyper-sleep. The women he encounters are dream versions of other members of his crew. Their rejection of him is a manifestation of his subconscious knowledge that sleeping with his space co-workers is a bad idea.

– Barry is an alien.

My personal theory is that Rob is the real world manifestation of someone’s angsty comic book.


Bill notes, and I agree, that the conversations Rob, Dick and Barry have would fit very well in a Kevin Smith movie. Unlike a Kevin Smith movie, however, the dialogue doesn’t sound stilted and out of place in reality. We think that this is probably because High Fidelity features actors, rather than a bunch of Kevin Smith’s friends from New Jersey.

Snoochie Boochies, or what have you.


More astute High Fidelity viewers will have noticed that during the flashback where Rob and Laura hear Ian having sex, Laura is reading a book entitled Love Thy Neighbor.



Well, I looked the book up, and it turns out, it’s full title is Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War, and is about war in the Balkans. It’s by Peter Maass and has rape and the U.N. in it. So now you know.


Watch out for Brad Pitt, Iben!