Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

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Released 21-Dec-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Audio Commentary
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 96:46
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:24) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Lorene Scafaria
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Brad Morris
Steve Carell
Nancy Carell
Mark Moses
Roger Aaron Brown
Rob Huebel
Case ?
RPI ? Music Jonathan Sadoff
Rob Simonsen


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     There have been quite a few films about the end of the world, mostly action films such as Armageddon or 2012, however this is now the second film I have seen recently which focuses on relationships and romance as the end of the world approaches. The other one was Perfect Sense which is quite a different film, much more bleak and depressing than this one. This film Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was released cinematically in the US during 2012 but did badly at the box office, taking less than $10 million. It does not seem to have been released cinematically in Australia. As usual, box office success is not necessarily a reflection of quality.

     The basic setup here is that an asteroid is heading towards Earth and will destroy all life in three weeks time. Man has tried everything possible to stop it without success. Different people respond to this in different ways with many going on wild rampages of sex, drugs and alcohol. The film opens with Dodge Petersen (Steve Carell) sitting in a car with his wife, listening to the news on the radio. As soon as the newscaster confirms that there is now no chance of survival, Dodge's wife jumps out of the car and runs away. Dodge continues on with his life as before, even continuing to go to his insurance sales job and not having the heart to sack his cleaning lady. His friends try to encourage him to go wild with them, but he finds it hard to get interested in anything. He is a nice guy but somewhat boring and lacks personality. A few nights later he sees a girl crying on the fire escape outside his apartment window and opens the window to invite her in. She is Penny (Keira Knightley), a girl who lives downstairs from him but has never really noticed him before. She lives with her loser boyfriend who is a guitarist. She is an avid record collector and hypersomniac, i.e., she sleeps for a long time without waking up. Because of the riots in the city, they decide to head out together on a road trip, him to find his first love and her to try to get back to her family in the UK. Along the way they meet a variety of people and their relationship develops.

     This is a quirky and different romantic road movie with some comedic scenes and elements rather than an out and out comedy. It is basically a two-hander with the relationship between Dodge and Penny taking centre stage, supplemented by the people they meet. The film starts somewhat slowly, with seemingly unrelated scenarios taking up screen time, however as the relationship between the characters develops so does the quality of the film. It is a low-key and light take on the end of the world which will interest those looking for a different comedy with a touch of melancholy. Martin Sheen also makes an appearance. The acting is good without setting the world on fire and the music used is interesting and gives one possible perspective of what songs should be played if the end of the world was coming. The overall feeling is heartwarming and amusing while also getting you thinking.

     Good but not great.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good for DVD.

     The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture is very clear and sharp for DVD. Shadow detail is very good.

     The colour is very good with no issues to report.

    There are no noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are clear and easy to read.

     The layer change occurs at 57:24 but is not noticeable during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 plus an Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0 plus the commentary in the same format. The sound is quite front focused.

     Dialogue was mostly easy to understand and clear, although the subtitles were useful at times.

     The music consists of a variety of pop and rock songs which work well in the film and sound good.

     The surround speakers were used for mild atmosphere and music and the subwoofer supported the music mostly.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A decent selection of extras.

Menu

     The menu featured music and motion.

A Look Inside (4:39)

     A short EPK featurette which includes interview segments and scenes from the film. OK.

Music for the End of the World - What's Your Playlist? (2:07)

     Cast & crew talk about what music they would listen to if the world was ending.

Commentary - Writer/Director Lorene Scafaria, her mother, Producer Joan Gorman and actors Adam Brody & Patton Oswalt

     Decent commentary which covers trivia, casting, things stolen from other movies, shooting challenges and more. The presence of the director's mother is questionable.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film is available on Region 1 DVD and seems to have the same extras. There is also a Blu-ray version.

Summary

    A heartwarming end of the world drama with comedic elements.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    A decent selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, January 07, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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