WHEN: 2:40PM EST, August 17, 2012

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

FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 47″ LCD HDTV

COMPANY: Roommate Elliot, for the last half hour.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Neutral. A little hungry.

OBSERVATIONS OF NOTE:

A few weeks ago, I was wondering what the piece of paper, that Rob hands Laura when she visits his apartment to pick up her things, is. Ty theorized that it was a bill that needed to be paid. I realized during this viewing that it is the piece of Ian’s mail that Rob found in the lobby in an earlier scene.  It is a piece of stolen mail.

And that’s a felony!

HIGH FIDELITY IS NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY:

After much waiting, I now have the ability to watch High Fidelity in HIGH DEFINITION.  I can view over an hour and a half of brooding in SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED CLARITY!  I can now experience the glory of Rob’s horrible unpleasant life in MIND-NUMBING VISUAL DETAIL!

 ¡EYE LASERS OF VISUAL QUALITY!

Ok, so, I have been waiting for this release all year.  There are only a few special features on the DVD release, and I have been looking forward to things like director and cast commentaries, production stills, etc. Surely they would scrounge something like that up for the Blu-Ray release of what is regarded by some to be a modern classic…

THE SPECIAL FEATURES:

There aren’t any!

There aren’t any new ones, that is.  The list of special features remains the same as the DVD release.  There are a couple new audio and subtitle options, which would be most helpful if I spoke Spanish, French, or Portuguese.

The back of the box did not list the theatrical trailer as being included, but it is, along with the same deleted scenes and interviews with Frears and Cusack that are present in the DVD release.

The menus got a bit of a touch-up. Now, instead of the purple and green atrocity of the DVD, we literally have the cover art on a white background, with orange buttons for Play, Scene Selection, and Special Features at the side. So, the menus went from offensive to neutral. Oh, except the new ones make noise. It plays a sample of the film’s score (yes, it has one) on a loop. This is very annoying. So, I suppose the menus went from visually annoying to aurally annoying.

THE TRAILERS:

The first thing you see when you put in the disc is a screen which informs you that there are several exciting trailers coming up, including one for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This is the first time I have seen an advertisement for a trailer. Seriously, this amounts to “Don’t skip these trailers, or you might miss a trailer for a movie that has been out for decades!”

The trailers that follow are for ParaNorman, the DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Avengers, and the aforementioned Blu-Ray release of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The relation of these films to High Fidelity escapes me. At least the combination of Mission to MarsDeuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, and Scream 3 found on the DVD release gives a little microcosm of non-award-winning films released around 2000. Hell, Tim Robins is in Mission to Mars. But now, there is no semblance of connection.

YOU DON’T ALWAYS DIE FROM TOBACCO:

After the trailers, but before the menu comes this little gem of a commercial:

Now, I’m not pro-smoking. I am, in point of fact, very much anti-smoking. Many people smoke. Because of that, many people in many movies smoke. High Fidelity is one of those movies. I have no doubt that this is why this ad makes an appearance. But, when I watch a movie in which people smoke, I don’t want to focus my attention on that fact. If a filmmaker wants the audience to focus on a character’s smoking habit, he will find a way of bringing attention to it, through some device within the movie.  Having this ad before the movie only serves to draw attention from other things and center it in on the tobacco use.

I get it. Tobacco is bad. We all get it. My Grandfather had to use one of those voice-boxes for a good chunk of his life. At this point in time, I feel as though everyone knows someone who has had their life negatively effected by nicotine addiction. We don’t need to be hit over the head with it everytime we go to see a movie in which a character smokes.

It seems like a fairly small thing, but it really did effect my viewing. Whenever anyone was smoking, I noticed it, and thought of that obnoxious little song. While this is precisely the effect that the makers of the ad intended when they placed it before the movie, I doubt that it was the effect that Steven Frears intended when he put a cigarette in Rob’s hand.

THE BEAUTY OF HIGH DEFINITION:

All of the special features, and trailers, and anti-smoking ads aside, it is time to talk about the real benefit of Blu-Ray: enhanced, high definition picture quality.

You really could have told me this was a DVD, and I would have believed you. The difference was negligible.

Certain colors seemed to pop out at me a little more. I was able to get a better feel for the fabrics various characters were wearing, but that was about it.  Now, I’m not putting down Blu-Ray as a format, I just think that this may be a movie where the difference is not as noticeable.

Things that I noticed:

-The fabric on Alison’s sweater seemed to jump out at me.

-The colors of the chemistry equipment Rob was using seemed particularly vibrant.

-I really got a feel for the consistency of the Cosby sweater. It looks comfortable. It also has a hole in the shoulder.

-I noticed the “Do you have Soul?” girl in the background of a shot later in her scene.

-One of Marie DeSalle’s windows, in her wall of windows, has a smudge on it.

Oh, the glory of HD.

THE VERDICT:

You do not need to own the Blu-Ray version of High Fidelity.  Save your money. It offers little that the DVD doesn’t.