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A River Runs Through It(1992)
Set in Montana between 1910 and 1935, the story reflects on the communication gap between two brothers and their minister father, all of whom love fly-fishing.
For more about A River Runs Through It and the A River Runs Through It Blu-ray release, see A River Runs Through It Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on July 25, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt, Brenda Blethyn, Emily Lloyd, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Director: Robert Redford
» See full cast & crew
A River Runs Through It Blu-ray Review
Robert Redford's breathtaking vision of life's journey sparkles in high definition.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, July 25, 2009
In our family there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.
Remembered for its wondrous cinematography and recognized for it with a 1993 Oscar, A River Runs Through It represents far more than gorgeous scenery. Though the film often showcases breathtaking scenery that seems more like a Bob Ross painting come to life than a real, filmed location, A River Runs Through It, based on the novella of the same name by Norman Maclean, explores more complex issues but with a lyrical simplicity that both at once compliments and defines the picturesque Montana surroundings. The simple story of two brothers, their religious father, and their shared love for fly-fishing on one of Missoula, Montana's scenic and serene revers, A River Runs Through It is a film about life, the journey from boyhood to adulthood, and the one constant that remains through it all. Wonderfully acted, superbly directed by Robert Redford (The Natural), featuring an Oscar-nominated score courtesy of Mark Isham (The Express), and of course a marvel to behold visually, A River Runs Through It remains an American classic through and through.
Missoula, Montana Presbyterian Reverend Maclean (Tom Skerritt, Top Gun) raises his sons Norman (Craig Sheffer, Fire in the Sky) and Paul (Brad Pitt, Legends of the Fall) on equal parts Bible study and fly-fishing on the Blackfoot River as he home schools them in a demanding environment. As the boys mature, they take what they will of their father's tutelage and head their separate ways, Norman to Dartmouth College in faraway New Hampshire and Paul to a local school that leads him to a career in journalism in neighboring Helena. In the spring of 1926, Norman returns home with but few career prospects and an uncertain future, much to the chagrin of his father. As time passes, the brothers become reunited through fly-fishing, Norman somewhat rusty but Paul now an artist with the rod. As they continue to experience life on the burgeoning commercial and industrial streets of Missoula, they find solace on the river that remains the one constant in their ever-changing lives.
Robert Redford's 1992 A River Runs Through It thrives superficially on its serene settings and slow and deliberate pacing as it reflects on its primary theme, a glimpse into life's journey set against a wondrous Montana backdrop. Recalling what seems today a far simpler time but one that's shown nevertheless to be just as complex, difficult, and challenging in its own way, A River Runs Through It tells a timeless story of man's odyssey through life. His ups, his downs, and everything in between that define an ever-changing being, are contrasted against a seemingly immutable environment that serves as a sanctuary amidst the troubles of life. The film's title, A River Runs Through It, represents a metaphor for life and the theme of the film, stating that no matter how things change, who comes, who goes, no matter how they fish, what they do, who they love, when they die, the river remains a constant. In the lives of the Maclean's, the river represented a rock, a calming influence, a place that could always rekindle old memories, bring a family together, and if only for a day, fill the hearts of those that fished its waters with a peace that superseded all. Its parallels to the church and the religious undertones in the film are uncanny. Both the church and the river represent havens from the troubles of the world, each strong, fortified, and enduring. The river represents Heaven on earth, its important place in a family headed by a preacher no coincidence as it serves as an Earthly escape and a reminder of the transitory nature of life and the everlasting essence of the soul.
A River Runs Through It delivers a cinematic experience that's the antithesis of the kinetic and rather shallow sorts of films that nowadays dominate the Hollywood scene. There's no one primary, immediately-recognizable plot in A River Runs Through It; it's more akin to a personal journey through life as seen through the eyes of a man and his younger brother as they grow together, apart, and together again, the two constants in their lives their father's love and the river that binds them. A lyrical picture and perhaps cinema's most gorgeous, A River Runs Through It showcases a backdrop that shows the world as it was, in some places still is, and how it ought to always be, the river a sanctuary from the realities of the world beyond its shores both in the town miles away and the continents that are oceans apart. The film revels in its characterization, and what rich characters it offers. Two young boys steeped in tradition and strictly educated through the difficult yet loving guidance of their father's traditional and religiously-centered means, they grow to lead vastly differing lives, neither following in their father's footsteps but always returning to the one place that taught them more about life than even their father's own church: the river that runs through it.
A River Runs Through It Blu-ray, Video Quality
A River Runs Through It floats onto Blu-ray with a marvelous 1080p, 1.85:1-framed transfer. Sony has delivered another winner with this disc. The picturesque scenery translates marvelously well to Blu-ray, and most every shot in the film steals the breath and fills the display with frame after frame of awe-inspiring scenery. Detail is extraordinary throughout. Nearly every leaf and pine needle appears as an individual; every fabric on clothing stands out with distinction; and the flowing river and the rocks, pebbles, and tree trunks that line its borders offer a texture that's second to none. Every nature shot sparkles, delivering not only fantastic levels of detail but also offering a discernible depth that rounds out a completely convincing lifelike visual, all of which added together opens a doorway that invites viewers in to soak up the natural beauty of the American West. The streets of Missoula and the interior of its many structures look fantastic, too. The gravel streets and the brick fašades showcase the utmost texture and fine detail. Flesh tones generally remain neutral, and blacks, too, never drift too far from a pure and convincing shade. Film grain isn't heavy at all throughout the film but instead appears very subtly. A River Runs Through It is just the sort of film that's meant to benefit from 1080p, and Sony's release doesn't disappoint in the least.
A River Runs Through It Blu-ray, Audio Quality
A River Runs Through It casts its line on Blu-ray and hooks a well-done Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Though not a terribly active or engrossing track, A River Runs Through It thrives on subtleties, particularly in those natural outdoor shots where minor ambience compliments the visuals wonderfully. Water does splash about the soundstage to fine effect on several occasions, notably on a canoe trip through rapids in chapter four, but its subtle and gentle flow to and fro in most every other scene sells the experience and practically places the listener in its midst in every shot. Other environmental sound effects -- for instance the chirping of birds -- fills the soundstage with the wonder of nature and, like the flowing water, allows viewers to practically experience Montana firsthand. A few rough-and-tumble sound effects do spice things up on occasion, notably during a fistfight in chapter four that features plenty of shattered dishes and several thuds accompanying fists hitting flesh, and later fireworks burst all around the soundstage with authority and a subtle rumble from the subwoofer. Completed by strong dialogue reproduction, A River Runs Through It tends to sound marvelous within the confines of what it has to offer.
A River Runs Through It Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Sony's DigiBook Blu-ray release of A River Runs Through It contains several on-disc special features as well as handsome 33-page full-color book built into the packaging which features the essay Exploring A River Runs Through It, Thoughts on the Filmed Adaptation of A River Runs Through It by Jean Maclean Snyder, A Summer on the River: Memories From the Movie Set by Dennis Aig, An Interview With Robert Redford by John Randolph, an excerpt from the original shooting script, and cast and crew biographies. The Blu-ray disc's features begin with Deep Currents: Making 'A River Runs Through It' (1080i, 29:59), a piece that looks back on the life of Norman Maclean, his novella, and the process of bringing the story to the silver screen, including the search for the river on which to film the picture. Included are plenty of interview clips with cast, crew, and others. The Blackfoot Challenge: Rescuing a River (1080i, 15:12) looks at the environmental difficulties facing and the process of restoring the Blackfoot River that served as the real-life setting for the story. Casting a Line: A Beginner's Guide to Fly Fishing (1080i, 6:06) is a short instructional piece meant to introduce viewers to the world of fly fishing. On the Blackfoot River in Hi-Def allows viewers to "sit back and relax to the sights and sounds of Montana's wilderness in full HD with 5.1 surround sound." Viewers may choose from "Rocky Mountains," "Big Sky Country," "Forest Bend," and "Rushing River," all available with optional music from the film. Rounding out this collection of supplements is a collection of 17 deleted scenes (1080i, 16:25) and BD-Live (Blu-ray profile 2.0) functionality.
A River Runs Through It Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
For as wondrous as A River Runs Through It is to behold, its true beauty lies within its simplistic and rich storytelling that chronicles the life of a Montana family in the first decades of the 20th century. Norman and Paul Maclean, guided by their father yet choosing their own paths that take them away from home, find themselves yearning to return to the river that draws them closer together and sets them free from the burdens of the world where they find a solace and serenity that seems to transcend Heaven and earth. With a religious undertone and wonderful commentary on the importance of family, A River Runs Through It is a timeless film for all generations to enjoy and embrace. Sony's Blu-ray release befits the quality of the picture. Featuring a strong 1080p transfer, a fine lossless soundtrack, and a few good supplements, A River Runs Through It comes highly recommended.
A River Runs Through It: Other Editions
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A River Runs Through It Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Book Edition for A River Runs Through It Blu-ray - May 18, 2009
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced the details for the Blu-ray release of 'A River Runs Through It', which will street on July 28. Video will be presented in 1.85:1 1080p AVC accompanied by a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. It will come in the now-familiar ...
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