How I Live Now

WSR Score4.5
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Magnolia Home Entertainment
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Violence, disturbing images, language and some sexuality
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Kevin Macdonald
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Based on the young adult novel, How I Live Now is set in the near-future UK. Daisy (Ronan), an American teenager, is sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside. Initially withdrawn and alienated, she begins to warm up to her charming surroundings and strikes up a romance with the handsome Edmund (MacKay). But on the fringes of their idyllic summer days are tense news reports of an escalating conflict in Europe. As the UK falls into a violent, chaotic military state, Daisy finds herself hiding and fighting to survive. (Gary Reber)

Special features include interviews with the cast, director, producers, and author (HD 53:10); the featurettes Behind The Scenes Comparisons (HD 06:17) and Making Of (HD 05:52); three deleted scenes (HD 04:58); an AXS TV Look (HD 02:57); upfront previews; the theatrical trailer; and BD-Live functionality.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed digitally using the Canon EOS C303 and the Arri Alexa. The imagery has a very fluid flow and a cinematic appearance. The pre-war scenes were essentially photographed handheld, while the war-torn scenes were more formally executed. The picture is beautifully portrayed with sharp and detailed images and excellent contrast that reveals deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Fine resolution is revealed in close-ups throughout, particularly facial, hair, and clothing characteristics, as well as object texture. The color palette presents a beautiful English countryside, with warm earth tones during the pre-war scenes. As the terror of nuclear war descends on London, the palette turns cool and bluish. Overall, this is a gripping visual cinematic experience that is engaging throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is effectively enveloping with an aggressive surround presence presented with dialogue, countryside atmospherics, and the intense sound effects of nuclear detonation. The military engagements are intense, as well as the destruction of London, with deep explosive rumblings in the .1 LFE channel. Low-level atmospherics are effective in creating soundscapes. The orchestral music score is subdued but nicely presented with surround envelopment. Dialogue sounds natural and intelligible with good spatial integration. This is a holosonic® experience, with stark contrast that effectively supports the epic story.(Gary Reber)