Hereafter tells the story of three people who are haunted by mortality in different ways. George (Damon) is a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, Marie (de France), a French journalist, has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when Marcus (McLaren), a London schoolboy, loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each on a path in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might—or must—exist in the hereafter. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the documentary The Eastwood Factor (HD 88:27); nine featurettes seen through the optional Focus Points Bonus View feature, with Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon exploring the world of skeptics, psychics, and mediums, and possibly life after death: Tsunami! Re-creating A Disaster, Is There Life After Death?, Cling On Casting, Delving Into The Hereafter, Twin Bonding, French Speaking French, Why The White Light?, Hereafter's Locations—"Casting" The Silent Characters, and The Eastwood Experience; a DVD version of the film; and a digital copy.
The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture's appearance exhibits inconsistencies in visual quality, at times is nicely resolved and clean, and at other times seemingly "plugged-up" and weighted down with dark overtones. The color palette is generally naturally hued. Fleshtones appear accurately represented and lifelike generally. Blacks are deep, solid, but at times undefined and crushed. Shadow delineation can be revealing, but at times, poorly resolved. Resolution is sometimes impressively sharp, revealing detail, especially in close-ups of facial features, clothing, and object textures. Some scenes are absolutely stunning in terms of clarity and dimensional depth, such as the French countryside with the mountainous background. The picture is filmic, with a deep density that is appealing and at times striking. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is quite reserved, in terms of surround envelopment, which generally is subdued. With the exception of the tsunami disaster, an accident, and the subway blast, the soundtrack is quietly conversational and somber. Dialogue, however, is nicely integrated spatially in several scenes and always intelligible. Ambiance effects are expressed realistically, though, generally heard subtly in the surrounds. Some scenes that would suggest a more dynamic presence remain frontal stage focused and restrained. At times the surrounds are energized, which provides some invigoration. Even Eastwood's music score, which is nicely recorded, is at times hauntingly somber, but often delightful and engaging, especially the segments featuring strings and a guitar or piano. Foley and interior sound effects are well executed, which substantially enhances the realism. Low-frequency .1 LFE is effectively used to heighten the action moments and provide a deep bass foundation. This is a nicely executed soundtrack that, though generally reserved, has moments that are immersive and energized. (Gary Reber)