Details, The (Blu-ray) (2011)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 14-Aug-2013

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Black Comedy Trailer-The Place beyond the Pines (2:29)
Trailer-The Call (2:26)
Trailer-Mud (2:27)
Alternative Version-Alternate Opening (2:06)
Alternate Ending-(4:52) Directly connected to alternate opening.
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 101:29 (Case: 97)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jacob Aaron Estes
Studio
Distributor
Weinstein Company
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Tobey Maguire
Elizabeth Banks
Laura Linney
Ray Liotta
Kerry Washington
Dennis Haysbert
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $44.95 Music Tomandandy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD High Resolution Audio 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, V/O and action to credits end at 5:35.

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

Plot Synopsis

     The Details is the 2011 offering from director Jacob Aaron Estes, his first work after the critical acclaim given to his Mean Creek (2004). The Details is a black comedy, which has much to offer without totally succeeding. The fact that I can be so particular about a film like this stems from the fact that here is a film that actually is worth discussing. When there are so many empty, pointless, puerile movies around it seems unfair to be too harsh on a film that is adult, intelligent, provocative and beautifully produced. Estes succeeds in establishing the general tone for the film, not an easy task for this genre. Perhaps the major fault with the film lies in the choice of the leading man. If Tobey Maguire does not succeed it is not from want of effort or talent, but from his physical suitability for the role. Originally cast was James McEvoy, who withdrew due to a commitment clash. McEvoy's more "normal" attractiveness would have been much better for the film. Nevertheless, the good far outweighs the bad in this adult, comedic offering.

     The screenplay, also from Estes, concentrates on a small group of characters. Central is Dr Jeffrey Lang (Tobey Maguire), a paediatrician apparently happily married to his pertly attractive wife Nealy (Elizabeth Banks). They have a toddler son, but there are problems in this marriage, with sex a twice a year event, and Dr Jeff leaving the marital bed at night to relieve himself as he watches internet porn. Their best friends are the Mazzonis, Peter (Ray Liotta) and Rebecca Kerry Washington). Also involved in the unravelling of the Langs’ domesticity are their "wackadoodle neighbour"- that's Nealy's description, played to the hilt by Laura Linney, and a local basketball coach, Lincoln (Dennis Haysbert). The Langs are battling with a family of raccoons which have invaded their yard, are in the throes of illegally adding to their home to accommodate any future addition to their family, while Jeffrey becomes sexually entangled with both Rebecca and the wackadoodle neighbour. There are other plot points which are best left for the viewer to discover as this comedy of errors unfolds, some surprising, others not so. The plot, however, never fails to hold attention, and the performances are very solid. Outstanding is the scene in which Ray Liotta (Field of Dreams) confronts Jeff over his dalliance with Rebecca. This is yet another recent film showing a reinvigorated Liotta on screen. Also solid are the beautiful Kerry Washington (Lakeview Terrace) and the earnest Dennis Haysbert (Far from Heaven). As the central couple Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville) and Elizabeth Banks (Man on a Ledge) work extremely well together. Banks, an actress not afraid to test her boundaries, as she proved in The Hunger Games, hits just the right note as the sit-com pretty wife, whose marriage is on extremely thin ice. As I said earlier, I have my misgivings about the casting of Tobey Maguire. He is, for me, too naturally quirky for the role. I feel a blank slate is required for Jeff, not an actor with such eccentric features and a bagful of quirky mannerisms. It is very difficult to physically accept him as the husband of the lovely Nealy. Nevertheless, Tobey Maguire works very hard in the role, and he and Elizabeth Banks are so very, very good in their big dramatic scene near the end of the film that doubts re the casting were, for a time at least, dismissed. This scene, in which the Langs finally confront the realities of their marriage, is, as they used to say, "alone worth the price of admission".

     This is a film that is certainly worth seeing. Though not totally successful, it is entertaining and thought provoking. There are laugh out loud moments, while some of the scenes are painfully honest and confronting. The often gorgeous transfer adds another layer of enjoyment to a film that already has much to offer any movie fan seeking something a little different.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     The Details has no shortcomings in the visual department, coming to us in a beautiful Blu-ray transfer.

     The film is presented at the aspect ratio of 2.40:1 its original theatrical ratio.

     The film was photographed by Sharone Meir, whose earlier credits include the excellent James Franco starrer Camille. Her fine work is given another flawless high definition transfer. The image is sharp, smooth and clean, with great detail in every scene. At times the clarity of the fabrics in the clothing was a little distracting. The colour spectrum is wide, with some moments that are quite startling. Look at that first close-up of the cheese platter tray near the beginning of the film. The red rose leaps off the screen. The simple domesticity of the Langs is used to create images that are stunning, with the greenery of their simple backyard splashed on the screen in calendar-like quality. Blacks are solid and deep, and skin tones are outstandingly good. This is a film that obviously has been carefully designed and executed., and it is here given a superb transfer.

     There are excellent English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired, utilising a variety of colours to differentiate between speakers, as well as sound effects.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There are two audio streams: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Encoded with the option of the Audio Description track.

     The DTS 5.1 soundtrack is basically dialogue centred, but there are enough instances of interesting use of sound, including direction, to create a soundtrack that is vibrant and alive. Dialogue is rendered perfectly, with never a syllable in doubt, or any sign of sync problems. The suitably unusual music credited to tomandandy - actually Tom Hajdu and Andy Milburn (Resident Evil: Retribution) continually hits the right note in every way.

     The Descriptive Narration for the Vision Impaired is delivered in the usual bland manner by a youngish male. (Tobey Maguire is rather simply established as being "a brunette man".)

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The feature related extras are limited to a matching alternate opening and closing.

Menu

     The menu is presented over a colourful cut-out of the principal characters, with minimal animation and accompanied by the quirky theme from the film.

Start-up Trailers

     The Place Beyond the Pines (2:29): 2.40:1 1080p, The Call (2:26): 1.78:1 1080p, Mud (2.27): 2.40:1 1080p.

Alternate Opening (2:06)

     This is an interesting alternate opening, with an alternate ending that matches it.

Alternate Ending (4:52)

     This alternate ending complements the alternate opening. Both are interesting, though what ended up being in the released print is considerably more satisfying.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

     The only difference between the two is that the U.S. release has Spanish subtitles.

Summary

     The Details is an unusual film that will reward anyone who is looking for something a little different. This black comedy deftly balances the humour with some sharp comments on society and individual human frailty. The performances are extremely good, though the leading man may seem out-of-place, and the Blu-ray transfer glows with colour and impressive clarity. The only extras are an interesting alternate opening and ending.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Garry Armstrong (BioGarry)
Friday, August 30, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BLU RAY BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA55A950D1F : 55 inch LCD HD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS777
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE