Sea Of Trees, The

Featured In Issue 211, November 2016

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.
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
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Mature thematic material, some disturbing images, and brief strong language.
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Gus Van Sant
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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The Sea Of Trees is a powerful story of love and redemption. Arthur (McConaughey), an American professor, travels to Japan in the midst of a personal crisis. As he wanders through a mysterious forest with a dark past, he meets an enigmatic stranger (Watanabe) who is lost and injured. The two embark on a spiritual, life-changing journey of friendship and survival that reconnects Arthur with his love for his wife (Watts). (Gary Reber)

Special features include the featurette The Sea Of Trees: A Story Of Beauty And Tragedy (HD 08:17), upfront previews, and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is characteristically natural in appearance, switching back and forth between United States interiors, mainly the professor’s home and a dense forest in Japan. The Aokigahara forest scenes comprise both filtered daylight and moon-lit nights. The day scenes exhibit an earthy color palette with richly saturated greens and browns, while the night scenes, at times drenched in heavy rain, are dark with wanting shadow delineation and black levels. The home interiors are realistically rendered, both daylight and night lit with typical home lighting. These scenes are naturally hued with accurate fleshtones and generally recognizable home objects.
Resolution is particularly excellent in the home scenes, and generally good during the daylight forest scenes, but far less revealing during the forest night scenes, except for closeups. Overall, this is visual in emotion and mood, which works well to tell the story of relationships under stress. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dialogue focused but at times wanting in spatial integration. Atmospherics are prominent in the forest scenes, especially during the night. The interior scenes are Foley rendered to convey nuanced sounds of motion. Deep bass is limited to the accidental events in the forest. The orchestral score is nuanced with a generally light touch, and is the main source of surround envelopment. Overall, this is a quiet sonic experience centered on interpersonal relationships. (Gary Reber)