Regarding Henry still holds up after all these years with an emotional and melodramatic screenplay, top performances by Harrison Ford and Annette Bening, and wonderful direction by Mike Nichols. Watching this central character transform both physically and mentally over the course of the film after the tragic attack is wonderful and feels quite timeless. With a good 1080p HD video transfer, a solid DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, and a couple of new and old bonus features, this release comes Recommended!
It's super rare when legendary Hollywood titans all come together to work on one film simultaneously. It happened in 1991 with a great but mostly forgotten movie called Regarding Henry. The film centers around a man who is shot during an armed robbery and in the aftermath must learn the basic functions of living again while discovering he doesn't like the man he used to be. Regarding Henry is still a wonder to watch and showcases the best of the cast and crew involved in roles that feel outside their wheelhouse based on their previous works. All said and done though, Regarding Henry still stands the test of time and emotes a grand transformation by the end.
Speaking of those Hollywood titans, Regarding Henry stars Harrison Ford and Annette Bening, is directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate, The Birdcage), was produced by Scott Rudin (No Country For Old Men, Uncut Gems) and Robert Greenhut (Big), written by a very young J.J. Abrams (Super 8, The Force Awakens), with cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno (All That Jazz), and music composed by Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Trilogy). That's a phenomenal list of talent who all joined forces for one film.
The film follows Henry Turner (Ford), who is a successful hot-shot lawyer who leaves his teenage daughter and wife (Bening) by the wayside in order to focus on having affairs and screwing over colleagues for more money. He isn't exactly the picture of a good family man or citizen. One night before a lavish party, he heads to the corner drugstore to purchase a pack of smokes where the store is robbed and Henry is shot in the head. Luckily he survives but must re-learn all the basic motor functions such as speaking, walking, reading, and remembering who everyone is all over again. Through all of this rehabilitation, Henry also relearns what it is to be a good man and a better person as he patches up the relationships with his daughter and wife.
It's a powerful melodrama that yanks on the heartstrings from time to time but also feels very subtle in its execution. As Henry gains more memory and strength in his body, he also comes to terms with and confronts his horrid behavior from his past. Regarding Henry's score always brings the emotional notes to its core from Zimmer and its beautiful city landscapes look excellent on film. There is a ton of heart in Regarding Henry and tells a great and important story about self-discovery and starting over again, meaning that it's never too late to reconcile. This is still a fantastic film all these years later.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Regarding Henry walks to Blu-ray courtesy of the new Australian Home Video company Imprint. The disc is housed in a clear, hard plastic case along with a hard cardboard sleeve. The collectible spine number is 36. There are alternate artwork covers on both sides of the case as well. There are no inserts for digital copies or promos.
Regarding Henry rehabs its way to Blu-ray in a 1080p HD transfer in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Paramount Pictures provided the master of the film to Imprint for this release. It's not a brand new master, but this transfer looks good, but not the best it possibly could be. Colors are a bit more vibrant and nuanced with those early '90s business-like color palettes of greys, greens, and blues that riddle the giant cityscape. This isn't exactly a super bright-looking movie that one might expect from Pixar, but it rather takes a gloomy tone that goes in line with its central themes.
As the film progresses, the colors become a litter brighter as Henry transforms into a better person. The detail reveals good closeups with facial pores, individual hairs, practical makeup effects, and textures in the business suits also look great as well. There are some instances of dirt and debris on the transfer as well, along with some fluctuations of film grain, but overall, this Imprint transfer is solid. Black levels are mostly deep and inky and the skin tones are natural when in good lighting conditions. There are no real major video issues to speak of.
This new release comes with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix, along with a 2.0 stereo option. This isn't exactly a loud or energetic soundtrack except with the one or two gunshots heard toward the beginning of the film. This audio track is dialogue-driven and mostly takes place on the front speakers. In that case, it succeeds. Sound effects are loud and robust, but the rear speakers really amp up with ambient noises of vehicles driving by in the city, car horns, people working in hospitals, and the law firm. It can become an immersive experience in these moments. Zimmer's score always adds to the emotional tone of the film as well. The dialogue is always clean and clear, free of any audio problems.
There are only about 22 minutes of bonus materials here, only being three vintage interviews with the main cast, a commentary track by a film critic, and a theatrical trailer.
Regarding Henry is still a marvel of a movie to watch where the top leaders in Hollywood all came together and made a melodramatic film with heart and soul. It still packs an emotional punch and shines a light on Ford's early acting career where he wasn't flying a spaceship or studying archeology. Australia's Imprint Films deliver a good A/V presentation and are a welcome addition to the home video market that comes with great packaging, artwork, and some new and old bonus features. Recommended!