Featured In Issue 140, May/June 2009

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Language, some sexual content and brief violence
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Color With B/W Sequences
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Gus Van Sant
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Academy Award® winner Sean Penn stars in this stirring chronicalization of Harvey Milk, a leader in the gay community of San Francisco. Based on the true story of the first openly gay man elected to major public office, this compelling film follows Milk's powerful journey to inspire hope for equal rights during one of the least tolerant times of our nation's history. (Gary Reber)

Special features include three featurettes: Remembering Harvey (HD 13:21), Hollywood Comes To San Francisco (HD 14:32), and Marching For Equality (HD 07:58); My Scenes; and BD-Live interactivity.

The 1.85:1 1080p VC-1 picture has a dated quality, with soft resolution, but generally good color fidelity, though slightly desaturated. This is contrasted with Milk's scene recording his story, which serves as a transition point from scene to scene. The feel is documentary style, often with a rough cinematic edge and grainy and noisy imagery. Blacks are not well presented, and shadow delineation is weak and often crushed. Fleshtones generally look natural at times but are often inconsistent. Overall, this is a mediocre visual experience stylized to create a dated look. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby® TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack features a wonderfully recorded symphonic music score, with a wide and deep soundstage and nicely delineated instrumental timbre. Dialogue sounds very natural, with good spatial integration at times. Sean Penn often narrates at the beginning of scenes. The sound focus is the front hemisphere. Foley and sound effects are well executed throughout. Surround envelopment is pretty much limited to the music score. Overall, this is a mediocre soundtrack that tends to distance the sense of immediacy, to enhance the documentary experience. (Gary Reber)