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Luca Guadagnino
Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg
Writing Credits:
James Ivory

In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father's research assistant.

Box Office:
Domestic Gross

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Supplements Subtitles:

132 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 3/13/2018

• Audio Commentary with Actors Timothée Chalamet and Michael Stuhlbarg
• “Snapshots of Italy” Featurette
• Music Video
• “In Conversation” Featurette
• Trailer
• Previews


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Call Me By Your Name [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 9, 2018)

One of the year’s nine Oscar Best Picture nominees, 2017’s Call Me By Your Name takes us to northern Italy circa 1983. American teenager Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) vacations at his family’s villa and enjoys a pleasurable summer in this idyllic setting.

Into this environment steps 24-year-old Oliver (Armie Hammer), a grad student who will work as an assistant to Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an accomplished archeology professor. As Elio and Oliver get to know each other, an unexpected relationship builds.

While I strive to see each year’s Best Picture nominees theatrically, I don’t always make it. Along with Lady Bird and The Phantom Thread, Name became one of three from 2017 that waited until Blu-ray for me, as I just didn’t feel enough interest in those flicks to shell out $10 for them on the big screen.

As I write this, Thread still waits, but I saw Lady Bird, and it offered a very pleasant surprise. Another tale of a teenager’s “coming of age”, I hoped Name would work similarly well.

Alas, the pleasures of Lady Bird wouldn’t repeat themselves with Name. Slow, redundant and dated, the movie fails to ignite.

Honestly, Name often feels like a semi-rewrite of 2005’s Brokeback Mountain, as both follow similar trajectories. However, Brokeback served more of a purpose, as it offered a gay romance in an unlikely setting with unusual protagonists.

In the case of Name, the story lacks obvious goals other than as a character piece – and maybe that’s enough. A movie about closeted gay cowboys made a social dent in 2005, so perhaps I should applaud the fact that Name doesn’t need to create some cultural niche and make a “statement”.

Which I would do – if I felt the story went anywhere. A character piece with dull personalities and little real narrative drive, Name tends to meander and drag.

Granted, I won’t really fault its lack of concrete story, as a movie like this doesn’t need a concrete “A to Z” story. It’s an experiential tale that follows events without an inherent “plot” beyond the developing romance.

Because it lacks a true narrative, though, Name needs strong, compelling characters, and that’s where it falls short. While not total duds, neither Elio nor Oliver ever become especially interesting, and with their lack of magnetism, their relationship fails to offer much intrigue.

It doesn’t help that it seems to take forever for the film to go anywhere. Name telegraphs the same-sex interaction to come with a wealth of homoerotic hints, all of which feel contrived.

These also make the audience impatient to get where we know the film will go. Since it’s inevitable that Oliver and Elio will eventually start a romance, all the foreshadowing feels more like a tease than real development, especially because our leads don’t develop strongly before they finally do indulge in their passion.

Because of this, when they get around to their affair, it feels like too little, too late. The character development doesn’t offer much intrigue so the results of the romance fall flat as well.

I appreciate the subtlety of Name, as it avoids the melodrama typical of the genre. We get no shocking revelations or angry confrontations, staples of this sort of film, and I feel happy that it explores the characters without those typical trappings.

I just wish it explored them with more depth and meaning. As much as Name wants to present a life-defining relationship, it feels more like a summer fling between two forgettable characters, one that fails to make an emotional dent.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Call Me By Your Name appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a dazzling image, the presentation worked fine.

For the most part, sharpness seemed satisfying. The movie could take on an intentionally gauzy feel at times and come with some soft shots, but those failed to create substantial distractions.

I witnessed no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. The transfer also failed to display any specks, marks or other print flaws.

With its semi-dreamy tone, the palette opted for a light blue tone that seemed acceptable. While the colors never excelled, they seemed appropriate for the story.

Blacks came across as dark and tight, but shadows could be a bit on the dense side, with a few slightly opaque low-light shots. Again, this wasn’t a great-looking image, but it became more than acceptable.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 seemed perfectly serviceable, with an emphasis on general ambience. No one expects a vivid soundscape from a character-oriented tale like this, so few fireworks emerged.

That said, the movie offered a decent sense of space, and a few scenes opened up a bit, such as those on the beach or in clubs. Music added reasonable stereo spread to become an adequate soundscape.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Music showed warm, rich tones as well.

While rarely prominent, effects offered nice reproduction, as they remained accurate and tight. At no point did the soundtrack impress, but it satisfied.

A few extras flesh out the set, and we open with an audio commentary from actors Timothée Chalamet and Michael Stuhlbarg. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and related domains.

While not a bad commentary, this never becomes an especially good track either. At times, Chalamet and Stuhlbarg offer some insights, but they often just praise aspects of the film. That makes this a spotty chat.

A featurette called Snapshots of Italy runs 10 minutes, 45 seconds and includes notes from Chalamet, Stuhlbarg, director Luca Guadagnino, and actor Armie Hammer.

“Snapshots” covers the movie’s development, the source novel and its adaptation, story/characters, cast and performances, cinematography, locations, and the film’s impact. This becomes a decent overview with a few insights involved.

In Conversation lasts 25 minutes, 10 seconds and presents a panel with Chalamet, Stuhlbarg, Hammer and Guadagnino. They discuss the film’s ending, cast and performances, story and characters and locations.

The actors dominate, as the audience questions mostly head their way. That’s fine, as they offer a mix of good thoughts in this reasonably informative piece.

We also get a music video for Sufjan Stevens’ Oscar-nominated “Mystery of Love”. It’s a basic compilation of movie clips that seems pretty bland.

The disc opens with ads for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Novitiate, A Fantastic Woman, Happy End, Foxtrot and The Leisure Seeker. The set also provides the trailer for Name.

As a character drama, Call Me By Your Name fails to ignite. It lacks real movement or drive, so it seems too sluggish and bland to deliver the emotional impact it desires. The Blu-ray presents largely positive picture and audio as well as a few decent supplements. Name fails to find a groove.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.3333 Stars Number of Votes: 9
0 3:
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