On the Rocks On the Blu

I apologize for the title, but I will not change it.  I have no defense.  It just hit me in the shower and now I'm inexplicably attached.  So let's just move past it together.

I said in my FYC post that this would be a Day 1 pick-up for me, and here it is: Sofia Coppola's latest film, On the Rocks.  The once Apple TV streaming exclusive has now landed on blu from A24/ Lions Gate.  It's come a lot sooner than I would've expected it (or I wouldn't have bothered tracking down that screener), but I'm here for it.  The only reason this review wasn't posted last week is because I wanted to put Halloween 3 up on Halloween.

Update 11/3/22: Just thought I'd quietly add Lions Gate's official DVD release to the mix.
On the Rocks finds Sofia finally dipping herself into adulthood, rather than looking back at lost youth, with Rashida Jones essentially her her first grown up protagonist.  I mean, sure, Stephen Dorff was the lead in Somewhere, but Elle Fanning was obviously the Sofia surrogate that time.  Fan favorite Bill Murray is back, playing a cad: essentially his trademark character from films like Ghostbusters and Stripes, but now in his twilight years.  Imagine that man was your dad.  He walked out on you and your mother in your youth, but now he's back in your life because you were finally ready to reach out and have a relationship with him again once you became a parent yourself.  This is just one of Jones' complicated relationships with men.
The other is with her husband, played surprisingly down to Earth by Marlon Wayans.  His career is taking off while hers is inert, allowing him to stay out late for after-work dinners and fly off on exotic business trips while she plays mommy all day.   The situation's already teetering on midlife crisis when she begins to suspect he's having an affair.  But how to find out for sure?  Suddenly having a world famous womanizer in her corner could prove advantageous... or disastrous.  Murray lectures Jones on men's baser ways and leads her on a series of spy missions as this film turns from character study to Hollywood RomCom.  Half this film's script could be lifted out of a Meg Ryan star vehicle from the 90s.  But that's not entirely a bad thing when the humor works and the stars are classically charismatic.  And Coppola still manages to find lyricism between the gags, landing an ultimately touching if light feature.  It won't go down as one of her masterworks, but it's still an achievement.
1) 2020 Apple/ A24 DVD; 2) 2021 Apple/ LG DVD; 3) 2021 Apple/ LG BD.
As you'd expect, the blu-ray image is clearer and sharper than either DVD.  All the fuzziness around every edge is gone.  And of course, it doesn't have the awful watermarks of the FYC DVD.  Both the LG DVD and BD's 1.85:1 framing also corrects the FYC DVD's, which was stretched slightly to 1.83:1.  It may not look like a huge leap, as they're all sourced from the same master, but finally getting this in HD yields a much more satisfying, uncompromised viewing.  And even the commercial DVD is a slight improvement (even forgetting the watermark).  Also, while all three discs offer the same 5.1 track, it's lossless DTS-HD on the blu.  All three discs also include optional English subtitles, along with Spanish on the DVDs and French on the blu (I know that sounds wrong; you'd think the two Lions Gates would match and the A24 would be the with different subs, but it's correct). 

My heart fluttered when I saw "Special Features" on the menu, but it turned out to be nothing.  Just "Also From A24" bonus trailers for The Green Knight, Zola and Minari.  Not even the On the Rocks trailer.  At least it comes in a nice slipcover.
Still, it's a perfect presentation of the film outside of 4k.  I'm pretty sure it was shot and streams in 4k, so a UHD would've been nice.  But realistically, the blu's all we could expect; I'm not gonna grouse.  I'm happy with a physical copy in HD.  Plus, you can't beat the price - it's list is $17.99, so you can easily get it new for well under that.  Absolutely worth it.

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