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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Ranking:
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Release Date: April 5th, 2024 Movie Release Year: 2023

Lost in the Stars - Imprint Asia (AU Import)

Overview -

Lost in the Stars received little exposure here in the United States but was a blockbuster film in its native China last summer. Imprint brings it to a region-free Blu-Ray release with all-important English subtitles. It's a compelling thriller of questioned identities and sanity with many twists, and the presentation is close to top-notch although it is missing the Dolby Atmos mix said to be featured in theaters. Recommended.

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-ray
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
122
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
Mandarin: DTS HD-MA 5.1, Mandarin: DTS HD-MA 2.0
Subtitles/Captions:
Optional English & Chinese Simplified Subtitles
Special Features:
Theatrical Trailer
Release Date:
April 5th, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Lost in the Stars is said to be based on an earlier film and play titled Trap for a Lonely Man. The story abruptly begins as the main character He Fei (Yilong Zhu) bursts into a police department shouting that his wife has been missing for fifteen days while they've been on vacation at an unnamed island resort outside of their country of residence. The authorities brush him off, as his behavior is a bit insane and they've heard no other reports of anyone going missing. He frustratingly goes back to his hotel and wakes up with a strange woman (Janice Man) in bed next to him, claiming to be his wife and acting as if nothing unusual ever happened. This of course makes Fei's predicament all the more stressful. When he again tries to get help from the authorities, it's shown that he's been on medication for psychological problems so he could very well just be making everything up. Now he not only has to find out what happened to his missing wife, but also prove that this other woman is in fact not his wife and that he isn't crazy as many are claiming him to be. To say anything else would spoil the experience so I will just leave it at that.

I will say in revisiting the movie, there were a few things that I would have questioned. This movie is however made well enough that you can suspend a bit of disbelief and go along with how the filmmakers unravel the story. It uses a few devices that have been used in the past, such as the idea that the character being victimized isn't entirely sane and can't be believed even by the authorities who could be helping him out.

With most of the dialogue spoken in Mandarin, the included English subtitles are the only way for English speakers who don't know Mandarin to know what's being said. With the language barrier, the acting itself is able to get away with more than it could otherwise; not knowing the language myself I could only read the emotions of the cast which came across as authentic but had no clue as to the sincerity of their dialogue. The atmosphere this movie creates is what really makes it work- the music score conveys a sense of urgency, and while the majority of the scenes are dialogue-driven there are a few moments involving chasing in vehicles and on foot. I wouldn't call this an action film but these scenes add a bit of adrenaline. 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Lost in the Stars comes to Blu-ray by way of Via Vision's new sub-label Imprint Asia. A single-disc Region Free BD-50 disc release, the disc is housed in a standard clear case with a paper slipcase. The disc loads to a basic main menu with standard navigation options. 

Images will be coming soon, delayed due to a technical glitch we hope to fix soon

Video Review

Ranking:

Lost in the Stars is presented in a 2.39 scope ratio; watching this at home I was reminded of how unfortunately rare proper wide screens are even in theaters nowadays and that it would be great to see this on such a screen. The wide frame is used to good effect in many shots, such as characters facing each other from opposite ends of the frame. There are a few moments however where the camerawork takes on a handheld, video-like quality looking less than cinematic. Colors are bright and natural-looking with very sharp details. A 4K transfer would probably still look better, but this presentation certainly delivers. I did deduct a point for some very slight compression artifacts that appear in a couple dark moments, they don't stick out badly but I can never help but watch critically for things like this.

Audio Review

Ranking:

The main audio track is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and is quite immersive. Most of the dialogue stays centered with occasional movement to the left or right if someone is offscreen. Ambient sounds are heard in all channels throughout the movie, everything from sounds of cars going up and down streets to club music, thunder and rain, and sounds of the ocean. Both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X logos appear in the ending credits however, so it is a let-down that neither of these formats are included on the Blu-Ray. What we do get is still quite spectacular however.

A second 2-channel audio track is also included, also in DTS-HD Master Audio and not PCM as indicated on the back cover. This is a more subdued track, keeping most of the audio up front in Pro-Logic mode.

A note about the optional English subtitles: A small amount of English dialogue is spoken, and that is reproduced in the subtitles. Annoyingly, some Mandarin text appears onscreen in the form of phone text messages and even a text screen before the ending credits appearing to explain the aftermath, and these are NOT translated by the subtitles.

Special Features

Ranking:

The only extra is a 2-minute theatrical trailer (with hard-coded English and Chinese subtitles) which does a decent job of motivating audiences to see the movie without giving away too much. 

  • Theatrical Trailer

Final Thoughts

Lost in the Stars is a compelling and intense thriller, at least on first viewing. Those (like myself) who tend to pick movies apart afterward will find some flaws, but I still give it credit for how most of it was delivered. Again, I've tried not to share too many plot details as this is definitely a movie you should know as little about as possible going in that way you can try to answer some questions yourself and then be surprised when they're eventually revealed. This Blu-Ray delivers a high-quality presentation in a nice package, with a 1080 transfer that's only a bit less than perfect and an immersive 5.1 audio mix. Recommended

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