George Lonegan (Matt Damon) is a normal person or at least that’s what he tries to be. George is gifted with the ability to see visions of the afterlife after he had a near death experience as a kid. He feels that is no more than a curse because it doesn’t allow him to live a normal life. Marie Lelay (Cécile De France), a successful TV anchor in France, has just look at death straight in the face after almost dying in the aftermath of a tsunami. Marie had visions that shake her entire foundation and is about to change her life. Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren) is a young kid who just lost his twin brother Jason Frankie/George McLaren) in a car accident that has left him wondering for answers. All three individuals are from different walks of life yet their paths are inevitably will intertwine in the search for answers.
Hereafter is a typical Clint Eastwood film, it is slow, methodical, and sometimes action-less. Eastwood doesn’t take the time to explain the background story of the characters in fact, it allows the viewers to evolve their mind and understand what is happening on screen as the story moves on. This technique isn’t something he just picked up by the way. The film is intriguing and while some may just be turned away due to the ideas presented in the motion picture the rest may enjoy it. Eastwood and his writers attempt to show us their idea of the afterlife. The very same question that everyone has asked themselves across the ages, but the film is nothing but the pure idea and interpretation of the filmmakers. The film features three very distinct characters that are equally impacted by close encounters with death leading them on a path of uncertainty and on the search for answers.
Matt Damon and Cécile De France are great for their roles through them we see their visions and the way their gifts affect their lives and those around them. The McLaren twins who play Marcus did a great job with the character. Marcus is the character who is left scarred after losing his twin brother. We see him looking for answers as he wonders around in search for that one person who can give him another chance to contact his brother. One can’t argue that twins might have a special connection that those without twins do not have and the McLarens do a good job portraying that emptiness lonely brother. Clint Eastwood does a wonderful job at creating the story and intertwining the characters together creating a more complex story.
Hereafter arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 2.35:1. WB did a great job with this title bringing it very close to a demo disc. Colors are vivid and natural. Black colors are bold and deep. There’s good deal of sharpness, well-resolved shadows, and proper delineation throughout. The film is primarily filled with darker scenes, but that doesn’t detract the details on the screen. Detailing overall is great. There’s no noticeable annoying edge enhancement or any artifacts swarming around on the image. Overall, Warner’s presentation of Hereafter looks great.
Hereafter arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. Dialogue is clean and clear during most scenes, but during the soft-spoken dialogue the viewers may be forced to raise the volume a bit. The track excels during the first chapter; during the tsunami the bass is relentless creating a feeling that you are in the middle of the chaos. The rest of the track involves Clint’s magical piano score that smoothly flows through the soundstage. Overall Hereafter sounds good on Blu-ray.
Step Into the Hereafter Focus Points – This is split into 9 different segments that can be viewed sequentially or one by one. There’s a broad range of topics from filming locations, theme, locales, etc. There are plenty of goodies there for everyone to enjoy.
The Eastwood Factor: Extended Version – Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the featurette covers Eastwood’s iconic moments and characters that he has played along his illustrious career. This piece is about 2 hours long and if you are a fan of Clint Eastwood this shouldn’t be something you would want to miss.
Hereafter it is very faithful to Clint Eastwood’s style that’s complex and methodical. The story is intriguing and it just gets better as it starts to evolve, but if slow films aren’t your thing the film can feel like it’s dragging on. The main actors of the film are good with their roles, but I think the McLaren twins did a very good job. The Blu-ray offers a good video and audio, but it’s a bit light on the supplements. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy this film more than I expected, I agree it’s more complex than necessary, but it evolves very nicely and there’s enough room for interpretation at the end. I recommend at least a rental.