Beyond all the hype and late-night jokes lays a sad story about a forbidden love. Set in 1963 Wyoming, Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Gyllenhall) are cowboys assigned to tend sheep on isolated Brokeback Mountain and, in the process, fall in love. Unselfishly conforming to societal norms, they each marry and raise a family, all while keeping their 20-plus-year affair a secret. Stellar performances, a haunting soundtrack, and beautiful cinematography make for an unforgettable story. Based on the short story by Annie Proulx. (Jack Kelley)
Special features include those found on the standard-definition DVD, and inlcude an-almost-six-minute featurette on becoming a cowboy, seven mintues with Director Ang Lee, an 11-minute interview with Screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, and a 21-minute making-of featurette. Additionally, you will find three featurettes: "Music From The Mountain," "A Groundbreaking Success," and "Impressions From The Film." And, of course, the My Scenes feature.
Colors are well saturated in the VC-1-encoded 1.85:1 HD DVD, with vibrant shades of green and blue rendered nicely. Like the DVD, some textures are sharp and well defined, but there are many scenes that look downright soft. Black levels in the night scenes are somewhat milky. In general, though, this is a good picture—it just isn't perfect. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital Plus 5.1-channel encoding features decent fidelity but good dynamic range. The mix is rather quiescent and hardly involving, and dialogue can often sound forward and unnatural. (Danny Richelieu)