IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

Tuesday, 02 December 2014 08:48 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'The Hundred-Foot Journey'

Two words: Helen Mirren.

Those two words should be all you need to hear about The Hundred-Foot Journey, which is available on Blu-ray as of today, Tuesday, December 2nd.

After all, Mirren is a peerless thespian, an Oscar-winner and sensuous British sexpot who has been keeping it classy onscreen and off for more than 45 years without losing a step.  She's beyond description as an acting powerhouse and screen presence of near-impossible charisma and poise.  She's Dame Helen Mirren.

She's the first but far from the only reason to recommend The Hundred-Foot Journey, a sure-footed comedy-drama from director Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules), along with producers Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple, being Oprah) and Steven Spielberg (Lincoln, also The Color Purple).

Obviously, Mirren (The Queen) is the heaviest yet classiest hitter in the cast, which also includes Manish Dayal (90210), Charlotte Le Bon (Mood Indigo, next year's The Walk), and Om Puri (East is East, Aastha: In the Prison of Spring).

The Hundred-Foot Journey won the hearts and stomachs of audiences as a sleeper hit over the summer.  Based on the novel by Richard C. Morais, this tale follows the Kadam family, in which food is a way of life and a good recipe is invaluable.  When the Kadams relocate from Mumbai to Europe, some car troubles lead them to put up stakes in a sleepy French village.  Naturally, they open a restaurant.  The problem is, it's directly across the street from a Michelin-starred establishment run by Madame Mallory (Mirren), a perfectionist whose pride in her kitchen is paramount. 

Before long, it's a battle of wills and cultures as Mallory attempts to hobble the Kadams' restaurant, never knowing that their head chef and first son Hassan (Dayal) is in cahoots with her own sous-chef (Le Bon).  Will their competing eateries devour one another, or will Mallory and Papa Kadam find a way to combine their love of cuisine?

It probably goes without saying that the only home entertainment format that could do Dame Helen Mirren justice is Blu-ray.  Only in pristine 1080p can one properly appreciate the talent, grace, and vivaciousness of our favorite Dame. 

For foodies, Blu-ray is also the only way to go.  Cinematographer Linus Sandgren (American Hustle) lovingly lavishes attention on the culinary delights of both kitchens, creating food porn so sublime that you'll find yourself wishing you could book reservations at both restaurants.

All the sounds of bustling, prime-hour kitchens are brought to your living room, along with the pitch-perfect score from composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), thanks to a DTS-HD 5.1 High Res Audio sound mix.  The only thing missing, really, is the smell of all those gastronomic innovations onscreen.

Of course, The Hundred-Foot Journey on Blu-ray comes with a full compliment of special features which help to illuminate the film itself.

"The Recipe, The Ingredients, The Journey" is a sixteen-minute featurette that goes behind the scenes to show how the filmmakers brought the novel to the big screen.  In an exclusive twelve-minute interview, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg discuss collaborating for the first time in almost three decades.  A four-minute featurette takes audiences into the kitchen with Oprah herself, and chef Anil Sharma gives a how-to tutorial on coconut chicken in one last featurette.

On Blu-ray, the film is also accompanied by a digital copy so that anybody can enjoy The Hundred-Foot Journey on a variety of devices, from laptops to tablets to smartphones.

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