Blu-ray Review “Before Midnight”

beforemidnightStarring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Director: Richard Linklater
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Run Time: 109 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have been loving the 18 year journey that Richard Linklater has set out with this romantic drama series starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. “Before Midnight” is the third film in the series and is a sequel to “Before Sunrise” (1995) and “Before Sunset” (2004). “Before Midnight”, like the prior two films, is very dialogue heavy and very smartly written. It plays like an emotional rollercoaster and is quite exhausting and yet still very charming as we follow-up with this nearly two decade romantic relationship. I have that this trio has plans to continue this series in the next decade since it only gets better with each installment.

Official Premise: Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) first met in their twenties in “Before Sunrise”; reunited in their thirties in “Before Sunset”; and, now, in director Richard Linklater’s amazing “Before Midnight”, they face the past, present and future: family, romance and love. Now on a writer’s retreat in Greece, the couple looks for a night of passion, but instead their idyllic night turns into a test of their relationship and a discussion of what the future holds for them.

Sony released this film as a Blu-ray combo pack with an Ultraviolet digital copy. Since “Before Midnight” consists of a long scenes of extended dialogue, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sounds good for what it is worth but not really challenged. The 1080p transfer looks great with the film’s location in Greece but there was some major issues with Delpy’s dress throughout the film. It was consistenly giving off some major backlash and it was quite distracting.

In terms of special features, Sony didn’t pack a lot but what they did is very impressive especially for fans of this series. There is a must-listen audio •commentary with all major players including Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater. It truly shows how these films are a real labor of love for these three very talent artists. “Revisiting Jesse & Céline” features Hawke and Delpy chatting about their characters for their third go around with these characters. Lastly there is a solid Q&A discussion with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and Richard Linklater.


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