The Good

An American classic gets the treatment on HD.

The Bad

I thought this movie might look a little better on Blu-ray disc.After spending his whole life in the house of an older man, gardener Chance (Peter Sellers) has his world upended when his benefactor dies. Finding himself out on the street in the big, bad world, Chance discovers that real life is much different than the one he has only seen on television. When Chance gets hit by a limousine, he finds his world further changed when he is taken in by his offenders who also happen to have their hands on the pulse of the Washington D.C. political scene. Going by the name Chancey Gardner, he now finds himself suddenly ensconced in a world he had heretofore seen through TV but never known himself.

Being There is a classic American film that features glistening performances from stars Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine.

Features

Memories from Being There

This featurette looks at the making of this film. The features are in 480i or 480p Standard Definition. Normally, I might complain about this but Being There ally a movie that I would think needs something like that. The footage looks good here but there isn't anything about it that really screams to be in that format. I would certainly recommend viewing this piece if one is a fan of the film.

Two Recently Discovered Scenes

Gag Reel

Having Peter Sellers as your main star you are most certainly going to have gags. Lets be honest, a lot of what he did was improvisational. He made directors very comfortable and it was through this comfort zone that he was allowed to thrive. While I do believe that a good majority of this film was scripted and taken from Jerry Kosinski's article, I also think that Sellers was given ample time to riff (Director Hal Ashby was known for going long on the shooting and then solving the film in the editing room), and this is how ended we up with this reel.

Alternate Ending

Video

1080p High Definition - 16x9 - 1.85:1. Shot by Caleb Deschanel this movie looks really awesome. At the same time, I don't know that Warner Bros. really compressed it as well as they could've. Some parts of this film looked a little too grainy, but I am also aware that Blu-ray often allows for a certain bit of grain to be true to the original way that the movie in question was shot. This movie didn't look terrible on Blu-ray disc but I guess I am too used to watching newer films in this format. For being 30 years old, this movie seems as if it has both literally and figuratively held up pretty well.

Audio

Dolby TrueHD: English 1.0. Dolby Digital: English, French and Spanish 1.0. Stereo and Mono. Subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The audio on this release was good. While I can't say that anything about the sound really wrapped me up in the film. I think that the soundtrack had a nice, full sound to it. There was a simplicity inherent in the way things were configured here that almost makes playing this film on an amazing home theater system a tad nonsensical.

Package

Peter Sellers is presented on this front cover with a tree seeming to grow out of his body. The back features two shots from this film, another image of Sellers, a quote from Roger Ebert, Technical Specs, a description of this movie, a Special Features listing, and a credits list.

Final Word

This has been a movie that I have been hearing about my whole life. I had always wanted to see Being There and now MovieWeb has given me that chance in this next generation format. What made this movie such a special experience for me is the fact that I know what a strong actor Peter Sellers is. I had only really known him through the work of Stanley Kubrick. In a movie like Dr. Strangelove, Sellers played so many different roles it was almost hard for me to gauge just how strong his performance was. Here, Sellers is the whole show but sticking to one character I think he shines more because I get to see his performance layered throughout the entire film.

If you are a gamer or your favorite movie is something from the Evil Dead family, you probably don't need to own this film. However, if you are DVD collector with multiple tastes than Being There will certainly be a cinematic tale for you.