Desert Blue

Desert Blue (1998)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Christina Ricci, John Heard, Sara Gilbert, Brendan Sexton III, Kate Hudson
Extras: Music video, Trailer

Starting out rather slowly, “Desert Blue” is a movie that develops its own pace once it has picked up speed a little. Undoubtedly as a result of the comfortable pacing, the movie will have lost a number of viewers by the time the story really takes shape.

Columbia Tristar’s release of “Desert Blue” features a 16×9 enhanced widescreen presentation in the film’s original theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio. As you would expect from such a new film, the transfer is very clear without defects like speckles or scratches. Film grain is at a minimum, creating a very stable image that contains a high level of detail, mostly due to the increase in resolution from the anamorphic transfer. Blacks are deep and solid but never obscuring shadow detail. Highlights are balanced and bright and never overpowering the overall image quality. The transfer has a very natural look with finely delineated colors, especially in the movie’s many outdoor scenes. The compression is also flawless, perfectly reproducing the picture without introduction of compression artifacts of any sort.

“Desert Blue” contains an English Dolby Surround audio track. It is nicely transferred and also very natural sounding. With its wide frequency response, high ends sound good and naturally pronounced while the low ends add the vital punch without overemphasis. Dialogues are well integrated and never drowned out by the music or the sound effects, while the surround channels are sparingly used, mostly to create a more lively ambient feel.

Featuring some highly eccentric characters, “Desert Blue” is a movie that is entertaining once you get over the slow pacing and the obvious flaws and inconsistencies in the script, although it is not nearly as “sophisticated” as the atmosphere suggests. Take it for its face value, as a nice teenage film without deeper meaning.