The Details (2011)

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Released 14-Aug-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-Start-up Trailers
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 97:20
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:43) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jacob Aaron Estes

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Tobey Maguire
Elizabeth Banks
Kerry Washington
Ray Liotta
Laura Linney
Dennis Haysbert
Cathy Vu
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $28.95 Music Tomandandy

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† Tobey Maguire has been a bit quiet of late. Since Spiderman 3 in 2007, he's been in one major feature film, Brothers, which had mixed reviews and wasn't as successful as intended at the box-office. That was 2009, and even though this film, The Details, was shot in 2009; it was not premiered until the 2011 Sundance film festival.

†††† Last year was meant to be Maguire's big comeback role, playing the role of Nick Carraway in Baz Luhrmann's remake of The Great Gatsby. As you know, The Great Gatsby was moved from a Christmas 2012 release to May 2013, and so this dark comedy is all we've had of Tobey Maguire in the last four years. It's not likely that you've heard of it either, as it was screened in just 73 theatres for only ten days for a total gross of $US64000. So, this film is about as independent as they come in comparison to the usual blockbusters that Maguire features in.

†††† The Details was written and directed by Jacob Aaron Estes. Dr. Jeffrey Lang (Tobey Maguire), a Seattle obstetrician, has been married to his wife Nealy (Elizabeth Banks) for ten years. Even though they seem a loving couple, their relationship has soured, lacking integrity and intimacy. You would think that this would concern Jeff, and this would be logical, but instead he is distracted by the raccoons who have settled into his garden renovations in preparation for renovating his house to prepare for a second child. Jeff turns to poison after wind chimes and traps fail to fix the problem, something that starts an unintended chain of events.

†††† Firstly, Jeff has to cater to his crazy next door neighbour Lila (Laura Linney), who has been affected by the raccoons. He seeks advice from his friend Rebecca (Kerry Washington), an old medical school classmate and the two of them have a one-night stand. Rebecca's husband Peter (Ray Liotta) finds out and exhorts money from Jeff to maintain his silence. Then, just to complicate things, Jeff helps out a basketball buddy, Lincoln (Dennis Haysbert), by getting him a coaching job and donating him a kidney, as he is on dialysis. Then, Jeff learns something from Lila that will turn his world upside-down, if it hasn't already!

†††† The Details is like most independent comedies; black, dark and typically unconventional. There's coarse language, sex scenes, infidelity, extortion, unplanned pregnancy, and organ donation. All these elements to the plot make the film limited in its appeal to a mass audience; this is definitely for those of you who love quirky comedies, and not feel-good ones either.

†††† The characters are not one-dimensional though, there's faults and graces in each which makes it difficult for audiences to sympathise with anyone's point-of-view. Estes, in my opinion, has written this to extol the virtue of empathy and non-judgement; we are consistently challenged to interpret events through more than one character in the film.

†††† The experienced cast have a great time playing characters against type here, from Ray Liotta's forgiving Peter, Laura Linney's moodful Lila and Dennis Haybert's unlucky Lincoln.

†††† In the world of The Details, nothing is black-and-white, the twists and turns will surprise.

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Transfer Quality


†††† The Details was shot on 35mm film using the Arriflex 435 camera.

†††† The aspect ratio is 1:78:1, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1:85:1.

†††† The film comes on a 6.01 gb dual-layered DVD with an average bitrate of 7.87 m/b per sec, which is excellent for DVD.

†††† Colour is a little subdued, favouring a slight blue-green hue in contrast.

†††† Apart from a fine layer of film grain, there are no film or video artefacts.

†††† Subtitles are available in English for the hard of hearing.

†††† The RSDL change occurs at 55:43 during a cut in a scene. The pause is noticeable in the film soundtrack during this cut.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


†††† The original soundtrack was composed by tomandandy (Tom Hajdu and Andy Milburn) who met at Princeton University's Graduate Music Department. Together, they have done a sterling job on the soundtrack here.

†††† The main audio track is a Dolby Digital English 5.1 track encoded at 448 kbps. A descriptive audio track is also available in English for the hard of hearing in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, encoded at 224 kbps.

†††† The dialogue is clear from the centre channel and the audio is synchronised.

†††† The main theme is somewhat sinister, yet incorporates a choir! The music in the film is eclectic but it is in the background of things; you'll find that you'll concentrate more on the characters rather than the soundtrack while watching The Details.

†††† The surround mix is sparse. They are a few ambient effects, but mainly the action comes from the front three channels.

†††† The subwoofer supports the film score but is not often utilised or is too noticeable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Start-up Trailers

††††Start-up trailers for The Place Beyond the Pines (2:24), The Call (2:20) and Mud (2:20) play sequentially before the opening menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

††† The Region 1 United States DVD contains two extras; a 2-minute alternate opening sequence and a 5-minute alternate ending sequence. There are also subtitles in Spanish.


†††† The critical reaction to The Details was mixed. It has a Metacritic rating of 56 out of 100, while itís Rotten Tomatoes score is 47% at the current time of writing this review. Reviews tended to be highly favourable or highly critical, there didn't seem to be too many in-between. The Details, with its quirky non-redemptive characters, is just that sort of film which you'll either enjoy or dismiss. For me personally, I found it funny, but it may not be the type of film that I'll return to anytime soon.

Ratings (out of 5)


© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Monday, August 12, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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