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CloserCloser on DVD

Joe meets Alice and they fall in love. Joe meets Anna and they fall in love. Anna meets Larry and they fall in love. Larry meets Alice and they fall in love. Is there any possible way for all to live happily ever after?

It sounds like your typical love square, but Closer has two things that set it apart from most films of its nature: actors and a writer. Adapted from his own play by Patrick Marber, Closer tells the story of a series of chance encounters between strangers. The people they meet change their lives, for better and/or worse.

Alice (Natalie Portman) gets hit by a car, and Joe (Jude Law) just happens to be there to take her to the hospital. They hook up. Many moons later, Joe is getting a professional photo taken by Anna (Julia Roberts), and the two hit it off. And they hook up. That night, Joe is online posing as a beautiful woman, and tells Larry (Clive Owen) to meet “her” at the aquarium. As it turns out, Anna is at the aquarium, and her and Larry hit it off. And hook up. Finally, when Joe brings Alice to Anna’s photo event and Anna brings Larry, it’s merely natural that Alice and Larry will cross paths and subsequently hook up.

With four main characters constantly falling in and out of love with each other, breaking up and hooking up with each other, it’s a wonder this isn’t the saddest movie ever made. But Closer shines with great dialogue, solid direction, and some fantastic performances by its lead actors.

Natalie Portman is adorably lovable (as always) as the young, seemingly naïve girl who gets caught up in more than she anticipated. Jude Law plays a handsome, charming and decent guy who just can’t help falling in love. Clive Owen plays ultimate nice guy Larry to a T, and Julia Roberts plays Julia Roberts as best she can, but is not irritating simply by her presence this time around.

Marber’s script has plenty of great lines and features some great interactions between characters (made all that much better by the actors). Without such an exceptional screenplay, things probably would have gotten boring right off the bat.

Closer is the kind of film that has a lot to say about relationships. It doesn’t encourage infidelity, rather demonstrates the effects of it, and all of our main characters learn a thing or two about the ways of life. This is an entertaining movie that is highly recommended.

Generally, when a film is released solely as a Superbit title, it means there will be a super-mega-ultra-hyper edition along sometime within the next year or so. And Closer is not exactly the kind of movie you’d expect to get a Superbit treatment, so it seems even more likely in this case.

However, the DVD presentation is quite superb. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the picture quality radiates with bright colors, accurate fleshtones and stunning detail. There is not a single trace of dust or grain, and there are no halos visible anywhere. Audio gives you the choice between Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 tracks, and both sound pretty darn good. It’s only during certain scenes (such as those involving the strip club) that you really notice the surrounds, but the front channels always do a good job. Dialogue is crystal clear and score and sound effects mix nicely without any one element overpowering another.

The Elephant Man of Superbit releases, this disc actually features an extra (!!), but it’s only a music video by Damien Rice.

Closer, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
104 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital & dts 5.1
Starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen
Produced by Mike Nichols, John Calley, Cary Brokaw
Screenplay by Patrick Marber, directed by Mike Nichols


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Updated May 13, 2006