Blu-ray Review: Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ Only Gets Better with Repeat Viewing

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Average: 5 (10 votes)

As a full-time film/TV/game critic and father of three, I very rarely have time to watch something more than once, even if it’s my favorite of the year. And yet I’ve revisited Spike Jonze’s “Her” twice now (for a total of three viewings) and it’s that very rare film that gets richer and more emotionally engaging with each subsequent viewing. I think by the end of the year, it might be my favorite film of 2013. Blu-ray rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

The glorious winner for Best Original Screenplay (I walked around for hours afterwards just yelling “Spike Jonze has an Oscar!”), “Her” is as complex as screenwriting gets. On its very surface, it’s a relatively simple tale that can be summed up in one line—In the future, a guy falls in love with his operating system. And yet, that’s really just the starting point for Jonze to dig into so many themes, some current and some timeless. The way we interact with technology has a modern currency that makes the film seem relevant to how we will proceed through the next decade but the brilliance of Jonze’s script is in how he addresses classic themes like the capacity for love and the way we deal with losing it. Every performance in the film resonates, especially the truly underrated one from Joaquin Phoenix; Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography captures modern life through windows in a mesmerizing way; the score from The Arcade Fire fits the film perfectly, and so on and so on. My love for “Her” is well-recorded at this site and others, and so on the occasion of its Blu-ray release, the most important thing to convey is this: It has only grown stronger. See it again.

And maybe if enough of you see it again, we’ll get a slightly more special edition of the film. The HD video and audio here are great and there’s something appropriate about providing a digital copy of “Her” but the special features are a bit slight. I want a commentary. Maybe in the future, I’ll get a responsive, personal commentary from Samantha herself.

Her was released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 13, 2014
Her was released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 13, 2014
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Set in Los Angeles in the slight future, Her follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice (Scarlett Johansson) who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other.

Special Features:
o A Short Film By Lance Bangs
o The Untitled Rick Howard Project: Creating Her
o Love In The Modern Age: Intimate Conversations About Love And Relationships In Our Time
o Also Includes: How Do You Share Your Life With Somebody

“Her” was released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 13, 2014. Contributor Brian Tallerico


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