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AWAY WE GO ($40) is a quirky, but enjoyable dramady that benefits from a somewhat episodic structure and some fine character performances. In AWAY WE GO, John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph star as Burt Farlandern and Verona De Tessant, a young couple who are expecting their first child. The goal of living close to babyís grandparents Gloria (Catherine O'Hara) and Jerry (Jeff Daniels) becomes a moot, when Burtís parents announce their intention to move to Belgium a month before their grandchild is due to be born. Without the ties that bind, Burt and Verona begin a journey of discovery- traveling around the country looking for a new place to live and raise their unborn child. Taking to the road, our young couple starts auditioning locales by visiting friends and relatives in Phoenix, Tucson, Madison, Montreal and Miami. Along the way, Burt and Verona find some of their encounters to be bizarre, but somehow, the couple manages to go with the flow, while at the same time, learning some things about themselves. The cast of AWAY WE GO also features Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Samantha Pryor, Conor Carroll, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Josh Hamilton.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made AWAY WE GO available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. AWAY WE GO features a striking 1080p presentation that beautifully represents the various locations of the film. The image is sharp and quite dimensional, in addition to delivering a nice level of texturing and fine detail. Colors schemes shift a bit as do the locations, but the saturation is fairly strong, while the flesh tones are consistently natural. Blacks are inky, whites are pure, plus the picture sports very smooth contrast and more than respectable shadow detail. The elements from which AWAY WE GO have been mastered are free from flaws. There is a mild veneer of grain throughout, which helps maintain an organic quality.

AWAY WE GO is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The sound design is in sync with the material, and as the majority of AWAY WE GO plays in the talky dramady mode, sounds tend to be localized front and center. This isnít to say that the outlying channels donít see any activity, because they do. However, sound effects are of an environmental nature, so this isnít a soundtrack that is going to show off oneís home theater system. Of course, thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is strong, which enhances the musical component. The bass channel keeps the sound grounded, but is limited by the nature of the material. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and is always easy to understand. French and Spanish DTS 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Sam Mendes and writers Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. Featurettes include the following: The Making Of Away We Go (sixteen minutes) and Green Filmmaking (seven minutes). AWAY WE GO is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

As I stated above, AWAY WE GO is a quirky, but enjoyable contemporary dramady. The Blu-ray presentation looks great and sounds just fine.



Away We Go [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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