Dec 212019

Snow Falling on Cedars is a poignant, somber little drama-mystery, with great cinematography, that for one reason or another has kind of been forgotten.



Snow Falling on Cedars
— Shout Select | Collector’s Edition —

Genre(s): Drama, Romance, Mystery
Shout Factory | PG13 – 127 min. – $29.99 | November 5, 2019

Date Published: 12/21/2019 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Scott Hicks
Writer(s): David Gutterson (novel); Ron Bass and Scott Hicks (screenplay)
Cast: Ethan Hawke, James Cromwell, Richard Jenkins, Youki Kudoh, James Rebhorn, Sam Shepard, Rick Yune, Max von Sydow

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 49.05 GB
Total Bitrate: 39.12 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


A murder trial has upset the quiet community of San Piedro, and now this tranquil village has become the center of controversy. For Ishmael Chambers (ETHAN HAWKE), a local reporter, the trial strikes a deep emotional chord when he finds his ex-lover (YOUKI KUDOH) is linked to the case. As he investigates the killing, he uncovers some startling clues that lead him to a shocking discovery.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover.

Audio Commentary with co-writer/director Scott Hicks

Accident Rules (51:39) is a newly produced retrospective featurette with interviews by Co-Writer/Director Scott Hicks, Cinematographer Robert Richardson, Novelist David Guterson and Composer James Newton Howard. Featurette looks back on adapting the novel and its themes to the casting and, of course, the score. A little disappointing some of the cast, like Ethan Hawke couldn’t be wrangled to provide some sound bites.

A Fresh Snow (10:12) — Pretty fascinating featurette, another new to this release, with Robert Richardson as he guides viewers through the process of restoring the film as the previous transfer on DVD was at the very least, inadequate.

Spotlight on Location (21:43) — This is more or less a promotional featurette from circa 1999 with interviews by members of the cast and crew.

Deleted Scenes (21:59) are a collection of nine scenes either alternate cuts or deleted completely that are in rough form but interesting to check out.

Theatrical Trailer (2:29)


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Shout Factory releases Snow Falling on Cedars onto Blu-ray which has been given a 1080p high-definition transfer taken from a new 4K transfer which was supervised by director of photography, and Academy Award nominee Robert Richardson. On the surface, this doesn’t appear to be a fantastic picture, but that’s probably because this is a darkly lit film and very much muted colors even during some of the daylight scenes, in keeping with the more somber tone. With that, I did feel detail was pretty good and there didn’t appear to be any obvious signs of artifacting, aliasing or apparent film damage.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The movie comes with a satisfactory DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 which does output good dialogue which this film is mostly comprised, though there is some okay depth thanks to James Newton Howard’s haunting score (which I personally have on my old iPod). Nothing spectacular yet still suitable.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

Snow Falling on Cedars is a poignant, somber little drama-mystery, with great cinematography, that for one reason or another has kind of been forgotten. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, thanks to Shout Factory it has received a new transfer and a couple featurettes in addition to the features ported over from the DVD version.

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