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DVD Review: Snow Angels

Posted on Friday, October 3rd, 2008 12:04 PM and updated on Thursday, October 16th, 2008 9:33 PM

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Front Cover ArtworkSnow Angels
Warner Independent Pictures
107 Minutes

List Price: $28.98 (Check Price at Amazon.com)

Available 9/16/2008

Rated R

Click here for additional movie details, including the full plot summary, cast listing, trailers and videos, photos, reviews of the movie, and links to the official movie web site and more.

 TheatricalThis Disc
Video Format:
480i MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio:2.35:1 2.35:1

Dolby Digital
DTS Digital

Dolby Digital 5.1

Disc Contents

  • Upfront Ads (9:04) (can be skipped by selecting the Menu button)
    • "Casablanca" anti-piracy ad
    • Towelhead in theaters
    • Run Fatboy Run Trailer
    • "You Don't Always Die from Tobacco" Public Service Announcement
  • Movie

About the Movie

Two stories of love and loss converging. One is of a recently separated couple attempting to pick up the threads of a future when faced with tragedy. The second is about an awkward young man, currently in the throes of discovering his first romance, forced to deal with the separation and subsequent strife of his parents' relationship.

About This Disc

This disc has two complete versions of the movie on opposite sides of the DVD; commonly referred to as a "flipper" disc. The original theatrical aspect ratio is intact in the Widescreen version, and there is also a severely cropped "full screen" version for those that prefer to fill their old-style TV screen at the expense of composition.

We do not endorse cropping movies to fit TV screens here at The BigScreen Cinema Guide, so we will not review movies or versions of movies that have been drastically altered from their intended aspect ratio. As such, the pan and scan side of this disc has not been reviewed.For more information about the evils of Pan and Scan, please see our Help document titled "Why am I seeing black bars when I watch movies?"

How Does it Look?

Annie fears the worst

This is a very bleak movie. Not only in tone but in color palette; which I believe is intentional. Not since the excellent A Simple Plan in 1999 have I seen a movie where the surroundings transmitted the attitude the movie has towards its characters and the story.

As a result, this isn't going to be a disc you'll pull out to demonstrate awesome picture quality. However, if your system cannot render the shades of gray present throughout this movie, you're going to lose some of the impact that the director obviously wanted to impart through the choices made in the setting of this movie.

How Does it Sound?

This is primarily a talking movie, so there isn't much call for active channel separation. While there are opportunities to do so, using the surrounds probably would distract from the focus of the story. At all times, the dialog was easy to understand and I never had to reach for the remote.


I like to see the theatrical trailer included with movies, so I was disappointed to find that none was included here. In fact, there aren't any extras at all; it's completely barebones. That fact alone sends this DVD in the direction of a rental only.


The performances by all the major actors are pretty good. Kate Beckinsale has the chops to convey the heartbreak and depressed situation that her character's life has turned into, and Sam Rockwell does his part very well, too. The one bright spot of the movie is the relationship shared by teenagers Michael Angarano and Olivia Thirlby.

Overall, the movie has a very "real" feel to it. The characters don't engage in witty conversation at every turn, nor do they overact their situations. You get the impression that you're a fly on the wall, seeing a slice of the lives of these couples.

This isn't a happy movie by any means, but not every movie has to be. It does need to be a compelling way to spend almost two hours, and in that regard, I find it difficult to recommend this movie. That's a subjective opinion, though. Maybe we've become too accustomed to the witty dialog and clever storytelling to appreciate a story more simple and straightforward that requires the viewer to look deeper for the cues and the subtexts that may exist beneath the surface.

Check out some of the reviews in the links below for more information and decide for yourself. If the story is interesting to you, the performances elevate this movie to one worth considering under the right circumstances

Recommended Reading

Don't just take our word for it, check out these resources for more reviews of the movie and of the disc.


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Also available as a downloadable
rental and purchase.

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