Perfect Sisters (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 10-Sep-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 96:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Stanley M. Brooks
Studio
Distributor
Anchor Bay Entertainment Starring Abigail Breslin
Georgie Henley
Mira Sorvine
James Russo
Zoe Belkin
Jeff C. Ballard
Jonathan Malen
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Carmen Rizzo


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Teenage sisters Sandra (Abigail Breslin) and Beth (Georgie Henley) and their seven year old brother Bobby have been dragged through numerous house moves and constantly changing boyfriends by their alcoholic mother Linda (Mira Sorvino). The sisters are academically gifted, with good grades, and intelligent. The constant changes have drawn them close together against the rest of the world and they have created a fantasy world for themselves including a “Perfect Mum”. Sandra is the oldest who takes responsibility for looking after Bobbie and, as much as she can, her mother. Beth is the more cynical and gothic sister. When Linda loses her latest job due to unsatisfactory attendance, she takes up with Steve (James Russo). He is an older man who beats her and Bobby and who also takes a fancy to Beth. This is the last straw for the sisters; they seek help from their biological father, the authorities and their aunt, but no-one is prepared to intervene. So the sisters decide that if they are to have any chance of a different life they have to kill their mother and make it look like an accident. They coldly plan and execute the deed, but success does not bring the peace they envisaged.

    Perfect Sisters is the first feature film of director Stanley M. Brooks, who has a long record of producing films and TV drama. The film is based upon the book The Class Project by Bob Mitchell and is advertised as being “based on the chilling true story”. How much is actually true is open to speculation but if even only part is it is unbelievable how intelligent young women (as the film tells us) thought they would get away with the murder! According to the film they told people at school they were going to do it, unnecessarily enlisted two fellow students Ashley (Zoe Belkin) and Justin (Jeff C. Ballard), spoke about it in emails and texts and after the event revelled in their notoriety at school and confessed to anyone who would listen: and finally the police did!.

     The main problem I have with this based on a true story is that the development of the motivation of the characters is not convincing! By any measure the life led by the sisters with their mother was difficult. The film suggests they had an alternative, unreal fantasy world yet the speed in which they develop the idea to kill their mother, their calculated planning and the cold-blooded way in which the murder was done is all too quick and cursory. This means that we never really get to know the sisters; one moment they are almost normal teens, the next cold-blooded killers. The events after the murder are more cogent and here Abigail Breslin (an interesting young actor who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and who has also appeared in films such as Nim’s Island (2008) and Ender’s Game (2013)) is very good as the sister who almost turns into a replica of their mother! Indeed, if it were not for the watchable performances of Breslin and Georgie Henley (who was Lucy in the The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy (2005, 2008, 2010)), Perfect Sisters could be even less effective as Mira Sorvino does not convince as the alcoholic mother.

     Perfect Sisters took me a while to get into, but the very watchable leads and the more convincing last quarter resulted in a film that did grow on me.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Perfect Sisters presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, close to the original ratio. It is in 1080i using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     This is a nice looking print. It is crisp and sharp, except for some intentional haziness in the “Perfect Mum” and flashback scenes, and the colours are natural. Blacks and shadow detail are fine, skin tones natural, brightness levels and contrast consistent.

     I did not notice any marks or artefacts.

     There are no subtitles.

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

Audio

     Audio is an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 track.

     The dialogue is centred and mostly understandable although in some cases subtitles would have been useful. The rears and surrounds were used mainly for music, but some ambient effects and occasional pans were evident. In truth, this is a film which did not need anything else. The subwoofer added a little bass to the music.

     The original score by Carmen Rizzo was good, and was augmented by a variety of pop songs.

     Lip synchronisation was fine.

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

Extras

     There are no extras of any sort.

R4 vs R1

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

     While there is a Region 1 US NTSC DVD of Perfect Sisters listed on Amazon.com, there does not seem to be is any Blu-rays available in other regions at this time.

Summary

     While the two lead actors in Perfect Sisters are very watchable, the film does not convincingly explain just how two intelligent young women become cold blooded and calculating murderers.

     The video and audio are fine. There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, October 20, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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