After Life
New Yorker Video
Review by Blake Kunisch | posted March 11, 2001
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The Movie: After Life tries to answer the age-old question - what happens after we die? Where do we go? By taking a very interesting look at the after life, the movie is actually quite captivating and engaging throughout. While it does seem to move a bit slow in a couple of scenes, the pace always picks up and draws the viewer in once again. With the help of dedicated caseworkers, each soul is given three days to choose one cherished memory from their life that they will relive for eternity. As the film reveals, recognizing happiness and finding a life's worth of meaning in a single event is no simple task. If Heaven is only a single memory from your life, as Kore-eda suggests, which memory would you choose?

The Picture: The picture, presented in widescreen letterbox is devoid of an anamorphic transfer and presents some flaws at times. The picture seems muted and there were signs of pixelation and artifacts. Although they are hard to spot, they still exist and the bland colors do nothing for the film.

The Sound: This movie doesn't rely on any special effects, so the sound is hard to judge at times. Presented in Dolby 2.0 surround, the sound is sufficient for the movie it is presented with, but a 5.1 transfer would have been nice with the inclusion of some ambient sounds.

The Extras: The extras are quite slim. It is interesting to see the Japanese trailer that is included, but that's about it. The production info is quite slim and the director's profile isn't anything special.

Conclusion: Despite the 8 chapter stops for this 2 hour movie along with the sub-par video and audio quality, the movie itself is quite interesting and engaging and if you have seen it, or any other films by Kore-Eda Hirokazu, you most likely will enjoy the DVD. The extra features are slim and uninteresting for the most part and the $30 price tag might be prohibitive and the only way I could recommend this DVD is if you must have the movie. Other than that, there's really no reason to own it.



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