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Woodshock on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital

Manufacturer: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided NewTechReview with a NFR unit of this product for review.
Reviewed by Scott R. Garrigus
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Woodshock on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Lionsgate"Golden Globe nominee Kirsten Dunst stars as Theresa, a haunted young woman spiraling in the wake of profound loss, torn between her fractured emotional state and the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug. Immersive, spellbinding, and sublime, Woodshock transcends genre to become a singularly thrilling cinematic experience that marks the arrival of Kate and Laura Mulleavy as major new voices in film." That is the official description for Woodshock, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Lionsgate, which has provided NewTechReview with a Blu-ray NFR copy for review.

First, let me say that I love Kirsten Dunst. She's an excellent actor and she's had many wonderful performances throughout her career. Her work in Woodshock is no exception. She portrays the character of Theresa who becomes severely depressed and emotionally disturbed after performing an assisted suicide for her ailing mother. To cope with her condition, she turns to abusing a very potent strain of marijuana that not only doesn't help, but pushes her further and further toward the edge of an inevitable mental breakdown.

Unfortunately, the film itself isn't quite as good as it could have been, at least that's how I view it. I understand what the filmmakers were trying to do in conveying the mental state of the character through a mostly visual depiction, but the low-budget effects and constant jumping from scene to scene just don't work, in my opinion. Instead of relating to the story and moving things forward, many of the scenes just seem out of place. During the later part of the movie, things get a bit better (especially with the somewhat shocking - no pun intended - scene toward the end) but not enough to save it.

The Blu-ray edition comes in the standard package with a single disc along with a code for the Digital HD copy. The picture is presented in 1080p with an AVC encode and a 2.39:1 aspect ration. Because of the nature of the film, most of the scenes are intentionally dark, dreary or both with plenty of basic effects during the "mentally unstable" scenes. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track provides an excellent representation of the film environments and soundtrack. And there is a single bonus feature entitled Making Woodshock: A Mental Landscape, which is a 13-minute featurette with the filmmakers discussing the movie.

As I mentioned earlier, Kirsten Dunst does a wonderful job of portraying Teresa, but the film itself is too unfocused to be enjoyable.

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