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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Days Of Heaven
Days Of Heaven
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 21, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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THE FILM:
Richard Gere stars in this film about a man who loses his job in a Chicago factory after a fight with his boss. He leaves to join a band of workers headed South looking for work, and he's joined by his sister and his girlfriend, Abby. Bill(Gere) and Abby don't want to be suspected of anything, so they pretend to be siblings to keep their relationship a secret as they find work on the farm of dying man(Sam Shepard). After a while, the dying farm owner begins to fall in love with Abby and the three characters find themselves in a love triangle.

"Days Of Heaven" is directed by Terrence Malick, who recently returned from a 20 year absence after this film recently to direct "The Thin Red Line". Malick displays his immense talent for visual poetry; every image here seems to tell a tale of its own. Images of the farmers spending their days and nights on the field are richly emotional and beautiful. Performances are all quite outstanding and the richness of every frame is similar to a painting; every frame is wonderfully emotional and rich with images. A wonderfully well acted and touching film that I highly enjoyed.

THE DVD:
VIDEO Quality:Stunningly beautiful. colors are wonderfully rich and naturalistic. Contrast is phenomenal and color saturation is perfect. Colors of the fields are wildly rich and vivid. The light pouring into the fields from the sunset is the kind of beautiful image that you find on DVD that just thrills you. The oranges of the sunset are beautiful. The details of each stalk of grain is apparent in this image, a truly stunning anamorphic transfer that is simply masterful. Occasionally there are some instances of slight shimmering, but it definitely doesn't distract from an overall viewing experience that is simply captivating in the sheer goregousness of the image. I did not notice any major compression artifacts in the transfer and although the print itself does have some minor scratches, I wasn't distracted by them. Generally, this has to be one of the more beautiful transfers I've seen lately. Skin tones are generally well rendered; contrast and color saturation are also excellent. Shadow detail is very nice as well. One can only hope that this good of a job will be done when it comes time for 20th Century Fox to bring director Malick's next film, "The Thin Red Line", to DVD. There are other instances as well where this disc looks stunning; the vibrant reds of the metal tractor; the hot oranges of the fires raging in the mill or the deep and beautiful hues of the setting sun.Nestor Almendros' stunning photography is captured wonderfully here in a very pleasing presentation. Even some of the night scenes look wonderfully clear and detailed. Frequently, I see movies that are far more recent be released on DVD and not look nearly as this 20 year old film does. It's frustrating, though. If Paramount can do this incredible a job with "Days Of Heaven", why doesn't it try to make every disc look this stunning?

AUDIO QUALITY:Wonderful. Incredible sound during the opening steel mill scenes of the fire raging and the machines clanging. The sounds of the machines harvesting the fields create a wonderfully deep rumble that's full of bass. A passing thunderstorm sounds beautifully realistic. Ennio Morricone's score is rich and haunting as well. Dialogue and ambient sounds are both rich, full and clear. The sounds of quiet are beautifully effective throughout as there are scenes where we only hear the chirp of the birds far out in the fields or the wind blowing through the fields. A locust attack has incredible detail to the sounds.

MENUS: Very nice looking and easy to navigate, but still fairly basic.

EXTRAS: The trailer.

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