Blu-ray Review Silver Linings Playbook Blu-Ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by mattCR, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    XenForo Template Silver Linings Playbook Blu-Ray Review

    Silver Linings Playbook is a true rarity in film. It’s the romance movie that manages to so effectively capture a storyline that months after the original run, here in late April, 2013, it is still actively playing on local theater screens. Romance films tend to be paint by number affairs. Girl meets boy, boy meets girl, things happen, it almost doesn’t work and then it does. But Silver Linings Playbook goes far beyond that – it asks very difficult questions about whether or not a couple SHOULD be together. What it is like to realize that the love of our life may not really be the one for us - and to open ourselves up for the right person. For these characters, it asks the difficult questions about dealing with our inner demons. The scariest question Silver Linings Playbook asks is both simple and frightening: is there really someone out there for us?

    Posted Image


    Studio: Weinstein

    Distributed By: Starz

    Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

    Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

    Audio: English 5.1 DTS

    Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

    Rating: R

    Run Time: 2 Hr. 2 Min.

    Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy

    Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

    Region: A

    Release Date: 4/30/2013

    MSRP: $29.99




    The Production Rating: 5/5

    As many here know, I’m a parent to a significantly autistic child, and for those of us who live – or know those with mental disabilities of all types, Silver Linings Playbook borders on a love letter to both our deepest fears and our highest hopes for our loved ones, friends, and family members.Posted ImageThrough the story, we learn that Pat Solitano Jr. (Bradley Cooper) has been involved in a violent event that resulted in him requiring a stay in a mental health facility, ordered by the court. Mandated to take drugs and seek help, Pat looks for a way to return to his life and find some sense of normalcy – a normalcy that he can’t quite admit is unlikely to happen. As Pat leaves the mental health facility with his mother, she breaks down and reveals the risks she’s taking checking him out, the hopes she has that her child can be redeemed, and the desire that something good will come of his life.Posted ImagePat’s admission that for years he has been “white knuckling” his undiagnosed bipolar disorder is handled so effectively that you can see for some characters who want to avoid the issue it’s something they can’t relate to.. but for the doctor and Pat, it’s an issue he is coming to terms with.At the same time, Tiffany, a recent widow is struggling with depression, mania and other issues. She has traumatized by the loss of her husband as well as her undiagnosed “weirdness” even before that happened. She blames herself for the outcome of her husband and her following instability and sexual forwardness causes her to lose her job and shut out of the world where she was once an accepted member.Posted ImageSo, when friends know both of these unusual people, what do they try to do? Get them connected. I can’t tell you how often you see this in the special needs community. In some ways, it’s nice. In other ways, it’s a bit demeaning. What Silver Linings Playbook does so effectively is address both issues; it handles the assumption of friends and family members that the only one who can love someone with a mental illness is another person with a mental disability. There is no sugar coating of the bipolar mania, the need for medication, the risks of those who don’t follow.. but there is also a real love, not just of the story but of the characters.Posted ImageWhat makes this film so effective for me are the second and third act. In those acts, our characters who suffer from mental illness use unusual leaps of reason, blue-sky reality shaping and so many of the tendencies that anyone who loves someone with a mental disability can easily relate with. These are the things we see in our loved ones, friends, family. The ability in a mind to go from lovable, happy to scary outbursts that remind us that mental illness is very real. For Jennifer Lawrence effective character, we see a woman who needs to feel in control, to change things in her life.. and when she runs into Pat Jr it’s by shaping him to become something else, writing him a letter that isn’t real. When she meets Pat Sr, his OCD offers her the opportunity to show off her own OCD reasoning and not feel strange. As she rattles through the stats and the odds that she has “observed” we highlight in a way that is so passive the depths of the mental challenges and hangups both she and Pat Sr. face. The conversation is done in such a loving manner that all of the characters in the room – the ‘normies’ as others would call them are not in any way affected by the back and forth.Silver Linings Playbook works on so many levels that for those who know someone with a mental illness to those who don’t, you may find something in this film that will make you laugh or cry; it may remind you of all the hopes you have for someone you know, show you the fears, but give you the idea that good things in the end are possible if those people are loved. “Excelsior” says Pat Jr – as a mantra to remind him that good things can happen or him, despite his mental illness.


    Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA

    Silver Linings Playbook is presented in 2.40:1 and encoded in AVC 1080P. Presented in a VBR encode, this presentation is very, very good. David O. Russell uses effective camera work to make us feel as though we are part of the scene, and close ups provide rich detail. Bobbing and loose camera work when we are shooting from the perspective of Pat Jr. give us an idea of the way he helps view the world, whereas rigid tight camera work that moves with great discipline around Pat Sr. feel as though it conveys the life of someone suffering with OCD.Posted ImageThis is a fantastic presentation with no digital issues to report. The beautiful, shot-by-shot ready view of the world in which our characters inhabit is beautiful and really draws the viewer in.



    Audio Rating: 4.5/5

    Presented in DTSMA 5.1 audio, the presentation is crisp and detailed. No, there are not a lot of scenes that make heavy use of all five channels, but because of that, the scenes that do use your surrounds are really effective. As the Lionell Richie music slowly inches up behind you, you can feel the tension in Pat Jr. rise. When his family cheers or praises him, or when scenes of his rage This is an effective dialog first audio mix that solid and clear dialog and an effective score when needed.


    Special Features Rating: 4/5

    Silver Linings Playbook comes with a decent array of extra features. There aren't really stand out items, but each one of these are effective at expanding the film and providing you insight into the creative process that managed to get it off the ground.
    • Deleted Scenes (1080p; AVC Encode, 26:14) I normally don’t go in for deleted scenes, but watching through the deleted scenes gives you a good idea of how much Russell really whittled down this film to get the presentation he was after.
    • Silver Linings Playbook: The Film that Became a Movement (1080p; AVC 28:37) This is your typical behind the scenes featurette with cast and crew.
    • Q&A Highlights (1080p; 27:00) This is somewhat disjointed, but a set of interviews cut together that give us a look at the question and answer of cast.
    • Dance Rehearsal (1080p; 1:22) Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence walk through their dance moves.
    • Learn to Dance Like Pat and Tiffany (1080p; 11:45) Mandy Moore provides a look at the scene that compromises the big dance number in the film.
    • Going Steadicam with Bradley Cooper (480i; 00:56) a fairly silly insert that follows Bradley Cooper pretending to be a director/cameraman.


    Overall Rating: 5/5

    2012 was a surprisingly good year for films. I have told several people that even beyond the best picture nominees, there were some great works at the theater that really told a story well. As a Best Picture nominee, it goes without saying that Silver Linings Playbook is a great film. But years from now, it’s love stories and personal stories that will are most open to a rewatch that still works.As film fans, most of you who read this forum are in the group that will be amongst those who buy just to collect. But Silver Linings Playbook should attract people who don’t just buy to collect, but buy for value. I say that because this is one of those films you will stick in your library and break out to watch more than once, and enjoy it every time. There isn’t a higher recommendation I can give for a film than that. HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDPosted Image


    Reviewed By: MattCR


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  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Thanks for the review. I watched the HD iTunes version on Monday and did not like it quite as much as you, but did enjoy it. I liked the first scene where Tiffany is sizing Pat up by comparing the medications they have been on--those are real medications they are talking about. David O'Russell did his research.I also read the book, which was no small feat to translate into a screenplay. The book is told entirely from Pat's perspective. There were also some significant changes between the book and the movie, but I won't get into them here.I noticed that it is still playing in theaters around here, too. (D/FW)
     
  3. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think for some people it will resonate more than others. Yes, the dinner scene where they compare drugs is a great moment. I personally really like the moment between Pat & the school principal that goes by quickly.. she's obviously freaked out and scared - but she knows Pat isn't a bad person, she just can't figure out how to do anything with or for him except be scared.

    I also really like the "I'm not the Big Slut" rebuttal by Jennifer Lawrence. It's a great moment that likely was the one many used to lay out her Oscar run
     
  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Loved this one when I saw it in theaters. Glad to hear the home video presentation is up to par. Thanks for the review, Matt.
     
  5. sidburyjr

    sidburyjr Second Unit

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    It was one of my favorite movies of last year. When you watch it again, look at the scene between Tiffany and Pat, Sr arguing about whether Pat Jr's being with Tiffany caused an Eagles meltdown. Then watch that scene again and don't look at anything except Bradley Cooper.

    The predictability of the last few scenes was a slight let down to me and made the film an A- instead of an A. But it was refreshing to see a Rom-Com with real characters that basically did not depend on the stupidity of actions to make it go. I'm probably going to wait for the price to drop down to the $15 area or so before I take the plunge but it's definitely on my to-buy list.
     
  6. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    This movie, Amour, The Master and The Life of Pi were my four choices for top movies of 2012. None easy, but very rewarding.
     
  7. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I still have yet to see this. Trying to decide if I want to. And, I know it is a good movie...

    Alcoholic/Manic(before they called it Bipolar)/tyrant father.
    Alcoholic/drug addicted brother
    Alcoholic brother x2
    Possible "other bad trait" brother...that caused the other three brothers to have their addictions(there are those of you who will read into that...and you will be correct)
    Enabling/instigating mother(and yes, I mean instigating)

    I got a front row seat to the circus. I'm the product of the 2nd marriage. I was shielded(mainly by age difference) from the other 4 brothers. But my mother enabled from sheer lack of caring what my brothers were doing.
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Sam:

    As someone who has struggled with mental illness in the past (and partly as a result has a social circle filled with people who are struggling with mental illness), when I watched this for the first time I felt like this was finally the film that got it right. In spite of the pretty standard romantic comedy story arc, the very specific flavor and rhythm of the dialog and some of the situations the characters find themselves in rang completely true to me. I've had these conversations before. The lack of filters, the delayed social awareness of the surrounding people when out in public, the loneliness and the freedom all rang so true to me and my experiences. These characters were speaking my language.

    Most movies about mental illness are either deadly serious or use it as a punchline. This one finds both the humor and the pathos in mental illness.
     
  9. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    This nails my thoughts. I really came to appreciate in subsequent viewings how good the contrast is between Pat Sr - who obviously suffers from OCD and other issues from his son. Pat Sr. grew up in an era where people just thought of those things as "quirks" and let it go. But the moments I really came to appreciate was how in the second and third act they gave a very wide perspective that showed us not all traits of a mental disability are always "bad". They are, good or bad, also something that make those people who they are.

    This is one of those films that I think has a very high repeat watch value, and years from now people will still watch it now and again and say "I get this". Good films get that, but a good romance film that gets it are rare.. and they last.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    As someone with little experience (but some) with mental illness, I watched this movie for the first time tonight.

    I was enthralled. It certainly wasn't your average run-of-the-mill romantic film--that's for sure. But it was a lot of fun to watch all the familial components interact throughout the film to create such an interesting tapestry.

    I had been wanting to see this for months and was not disappointed.
     
  11. Reggie W

    Reggie W Cinematographer

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    I thought this was one of the best films of the year and maybe the best film of the year. This is one of those films that gets everything right. It is beautifully acted, directed, written, and shot. It feels a bit old fashioned and contemporary at the same time. I've read and heard some complaints about the ending but I think the ending was perfect and they really nailed it.
     

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