09/02/2015  
Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1The Goldbergs: The Complete Season Two on DVD Sep 8Catching Faith on DVD Aug 181931 The Front Page on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 11Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13...
Kelly Osbourne congratulates Melissa Rivers on 'Fashion...
The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1...
VMAs 2015: Behind Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj's Onstage...
You have to see BFFs JLaw and Amy Schumer dance on top ...
Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani Shine Together on Red Carpe...
VMAs producer: Miley Cyrus has 'free rein,' no rules fo...
Taylor Swift's 'musical crush' Justin Timberlake helps ...
Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette slayed 'You Oughta K...
Amy Schumer's advice for the new 'Bachelor'...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

TH!INKFilm presents
Down in the Valley (2005)

"I like looking at it, I don't plan on drowning in it."
- Harlan (Edward Norton)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 26, 2006

Stars: Edward Norton, Evan Rachel Wood, David Morse
Other Stars: Rory Culkin, Bruce Dern
Director: David Jacobson

MPAA Rating: R for (violence, sexual content, language, and drug use)
Run Time: 01h:57m:17s
Release Date: September 26, 2006
UPC: 821575548755
Genre: suspense thriller


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- C-AA- B

DVD Review

A lot of talented actors will show up in just about anything that guarantees a paycheck. Edward Norton is much different from most great actors, though. He is as particular as they come when choosing roles, let alone scripts to read. After an interminably long layoff (he last had top billing in 2002's 25th Hour), Norton is seemingly making 2006 his comeback year—he gives an Oscar-worthy performance in The Illusionist, is featured in the upcoming The Painted Veil, and fronts Down in the Valley, which received a very limited theatrical release, and is now hitting DVD.

Harlan (Norton) is a bit of a loner who works at a local gas station in the San Fernando Valley. Teenager Tobe (Evan Rachel Wood) is a normal kid who likes to go to the beach with her friends, and lives in a decent house with her father (David Morse) and younger brother Lonnie (Rory Culkin). When they stop for gas on their way to bask in the sun, Tobe locks eyes with Harlan and invites him along for the day. By the time they're in the car on the way home, Tobe and Harlan are locking lips. Her father doesn't approve of Harlan, suspecting that there's something rotten under his surface. Unfortunately, Tobe might be in far too deep to turn back on her new man.

The one thing that is instantly clear from the opening 10 minutes is that Edward Norton is back in fine form. His work here is a reminder of how much he's missed when he takes these long layoffs. As Harlan, Norton brings to mind his unforgettable turn in Primal Fear, where his character is far from what he initially appears to be. This wannabe cowboy is difficult to figure out even in the end. We're never sure if he really does care for Tobe, or even Lonnie, whom he takes under his wing in a way the young boy's father has never done. Norton impresses throughout, and, despite the script's shortcomings, makes Harlan another unforgettable notch in his acting belt.

Norton gets plenty of support from Evan Rachel Wood, who continues to perform beyond her young years. The infallible David Morse has played this type of fatherly role before, and he's among the best at it. Rory Culkin's role is pretty standard, but he makes the best of it. Wood is the real stand-out, and she's only going to get better.

The setup is extremely engaging, with director David Jacobson (Dahmer) creating an unsettling tone that keeps us guessing about Harlan's true nature and intentions toward Tobe. Then, a pivotal shocking event occurs that changes the direction of the picture completely. Once the shock wears off, we realize there aren't many places the rest of the story can go and still be effective. The obvious result of this event could have made for a sad, revenge-driven finale. Instead, the ultimate cop-out occurs where we're left with a mess that is drained of any emotion, and all we can do is think about how well the movie could have turned out.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation does a fine job of capturing the lush vistas of the San Fernando Valley, thanks to crystal clear images that are always sharp. There is a slight bit of dirt and grain, but not at all enough to be disruptive. A beautiful, bright color scheme sparkles on the screen, while the contrast and black levels are consistently strong.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: There's both Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, with the former the easy choice between the two. Featuring a subdued score that has a few gems gems, the entire mix springs to life when guns are fired. The sound plays a big part during the film's major turning point, and there's even some bass that blends in well with the crisp dialogue and other audio elements.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring The King, Little Athens, 10th & Wolf, I Love Your Work
4 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Q&A with Edward Norton and Director David Jacobson
Extras Review: A handful of engaging extras include a Q&A with Edward Norton and Director David Jacobson that occurred in New York City on May 1, 2006. We get all of the basic questions in this 22-minute segment, but this pair does shed some light on some of the choices that were made with the second half of the film.

Four deleted scenes lasting nearly nine minutes give us a more in-depth look at the inner workings of Harlan's personality. There's also the theatrical trailer for Down In the Valley and a collection of trailers for other ThinkFilm releases.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

The little-seen Down in the Valley suffers from a poorly crafted final hour, but does sport another amazing performance from Edward Norton. The DVD features excellent audio and video, and even includes some nice supplements, including a group of deleted scenes.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

drama, television, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, celebrity, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago, gwen stefani, blake shelton, the voice, adam levine, pharrell williams, music, los angeles microsoft theater, vma awards, garrit english, staples center, concert, taylor swift, 1989 tour, lisa kudrow, selena gomez, justin timberlake, alanis morissette, you oughta know, natalie maines, ellen degeneres, bachelor, jared fogle, subway pitchman, sex with minors, shannen doherty, beverly hills, 90210, breast cancer, law suit, tanner, mainstain, glynn & johnson, steven d. blatt, kelly clarkson, tinder, heartbeat song, jimmy kimmel, celine dion, family, comedy, faith.drama, fresh prince of bel-air, will smith, fuller house, the x-files, twin peaks, gunsmoke, burt reynolds, bruce boxleitner, buck taylor, jess walton, lane bradbury, merry florene, the man from u.n.c.l.e., robert vaughn, david mccallum, guy ritchie, henry cavill, armie hammer, anna faris, mom, chris pratt, jurassic world, redbook, john landgraf, mr. robot, ray donovan, the strain, difficult people, news late night, jon stewart, peter jennings, the daily show, coco, ice t, conan, keith richards, beatles, rolling stones, crosseyed heart, norah jones, paris hilton, emily ratajkowski, stella maxwell, jada pinkett smith, jaden, willow, howard stern, classic, foo fighters, learn to fly, fabio zaffagnini, betty white, walt palmer, cecil the lion, mia farrow, valerie harper, nice work if you can get it, ogunquit playhouse, mary tyler moore show

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store