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Kate Mulleavy, Laura Mulleavy
Kirsten Dunst, Joe Cole, Pilou Asbaek
Writing Credits:
Kate Mulleavy, Laura Mulleavy

A haunted young woman spirals in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug.

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 11/28/2017

• “A Mental Landscape” Featurette
• Previews


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Woodshock [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 30, 2017)

1969’s Woodstock Festival was known as “three days of peace, music and love”. At least two of those concepts remain in short supply during 2017’s Woodshock, a moody drama.

When Theresa’s (Kirsten Dunst) mother dies after a long illness, the young woman spirals downward due to her grief. In an attempt to cope, she begins to use a powerful cannabinoid drug.

This causes a substantial impact, as it affects Theresa’s sense of reality. This disrupts her life in a variety of ways.

Boy, that synopsis sure makes it sound like Woodshock tells a real story, doesn’t it? I couldn’t just write “chick gets high and not much happens” for the plot, so I had to broaden those narrative horizons.

But in truth, “chick gets high and not much happens” sums up Woodshock pretty well. Slow-moving and atmospheric, the film favors mood over plot.

Which will likely endear the movie to some folks – what we’ll call the “Malick Crowd”. Like old Terry’s work, Woodshock tends to focus on long, languid shots of gauzy beauty without a lot of character of narrative elements onto which one can hang a proverbial hat.

And again, that will be enough for some people, but not me. While I’m fine with movies that take a slow, deliberative path, I like for them to eventually go somewhere, and I find it tough to determine an actual purpose to the film’s antics.

This goes back to my feeling that Woodshock leaves us with a whole lot of nothing. Oh, it starts off well enough, as the issues with Theresa’s mom and her other relationships show real promise.

But as the movie goes, it sheds those themes and becomes… a chick who gets high and not much happens. This seems to intend to resemble the impression of being high, which sounds intriguing on the surface.

But it remains on the surface, as nothing about Woodshock digs deeper. A sluggish, pretentious effort, the movie lacks much purpose or merit.

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

Woodshock appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a good representation of the source.

Sharpness mostly looked fine. Some shots came across as a bit soft and ill defined, but those instances didn’t occur with any great frequency, and they occasionally seemed to reflect the original photography, as the movie sometimes opted for a gauzy look. While not the world’s most precise image, it appeared positive.

I saw no issues related to jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Woodshock featured a fairly stylized palette, with broad greens, reds, and blues dominant. These could be a bit garish but the disc reproduced them as intended.

Black levels were deep and dark, and low-light sequences followed along the same lines. Shadow detail seemed smooth and demonstrated good clarity within the restrictions of the source photography. Overall, the image showed some photographic drawbacks but still came across well.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Woodshock seemed mostly limited in scope, as the majority of the movie focused on atmosphere. Music used the various speakers in the broadest way, as the score opened up across the various channels.

Effects seemed more restrained. Even scenes that could’ve offered impact – like forest or bar sequences – tended to be without much dimensionality. They boasted a bit of breadth but not much.

Audio quality appeared fine. Speech always sounded clear and easily intelligible, and I noticed no problems with brittleness or other issues.

Effects played a small role in the movie, but they seemed accurate and clean, while music seemed full and rich. In the end, the movie offered a pretty positive soundtrack given its ambitions.

Entitled A Mental Landscape, a featurette runs 13 minutes, 23 seconds. It provides notes from writers/directors Kate and Laura Mulleavy, as they discuss the project’s roots and influences, story/characters/themes, cast and performances, visual elements and cinematography and music. I still don’t care much for their film, but the Mulleavy sisters offer a good explanation for their choices.

The disc opens with ads for Good Time, A Ghost Story, The Glass Castle, The Disaster Artist and It Comes At Night. No trailer for Woodshock appears here.

A moody character piece, Woodshock makes promises on which it can’t deliver. The film tends to ramble and meander without a lot of substance to make it worthwhile. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture and audio along with skimpy supplements. Woodshock becomes a slow, dull effort.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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