Judge, The (Blu-ray) (2014)
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||David Dobkin|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Robert Downey Jr
Billy Bob Thornton
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
My site colleague RayN reviewed the DVD of this film a few weeks ago and his review can be found here. Ray provides an excellent plot summary in his review. I tend to agree with Ray's view's on this film. It is a quality family drama combined with a courtroom drama, highlighted by some great acting by an ensemble of excellent actors including Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vincent D'Onofrio, Vera Farmiga, Jeremy Strong and Billy Bob Thornton. The original story was written by the director, David Dobkin based on his own life and then was turned into a screenplay by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque.
As Ray rightly notes this is an excellent family drama which has rich and interesting characters and characterisations, however it is probably a little too long for the story, despite the great acting. Fans of courtroom dramas should certainly take a look and those who enjoy acting at its finest will also do well to pick this up. Those who want car chases and gunfights should look elsewhere as D'Onofrio points out in one of the extras. The score by Thomas Newman is also a highlight and the quality of writing shines through.
Recommended as a film but read on to see if this Blu-ray version is worth the upgrade.
This transfer is quite disappointing for a new release, major studio film. I can only guess that the source material had a part to play in this because many of the issues from the DVD mentioned by Ray also occur on this Blu-ray. There is significant grain in many scenes especially inside ones. One particular example occurs early in the film at 2:00 where Hank Palmer is arguing in a bathroom, although this is certainly not the only scene with this problem. Many of the outdoor scenes are much better with very minimal or no grain, however faces tend to the pale throughout. In addition to the grain many interior scenes are afflicted by significant light colour bleeding. There is also quite a bit of aliasing and shimmer on shirts, clothes and other things. To sum this transfer up, it is quite variable and seemingly only a little better than the DVD, although I am sure the shadow detail would be better on the Blu-ray.
There are subtitles available in English for the Hearing Impaired. They were clear and easy to read.
The main audio on this Blu-ray is a DTS HD-MA 5.1 track in English, plus an Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0 and the commentary.
This is a good quality Blu-ray sound transfer without setting the world on fire. There is nice atmosphere and appropriate use of the subwoofer, although these are mostly mild in nature suiting the style of film. The music by Thomas Newman sounds good combined with some country flavoured folk tunes plus Willie Nelson singing Coldplay! The dialogue is generally good, although some lines are indistinct and the subtitles are useful.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras are better than average.
The menu included music.
Dobkin has interesting things to discuss on this commentary but is not a very interesting speaker. He talks about the cast, the story and its basis in his own life, his approach to telling the story onscreen and more. Worth a listen.
A better than average making of which involves mostly chats between the actors and some scenes from the film. The actors discuss working together, their styles of acting and give some insight into the process they use which is much better than the usual claptrap. Well worth watching.
This set of jokey interviews is repeated from the DVD. Mildly amusing.
An interesting collection of deleted scenes which are certainly worth seeing and show more of the characters.
The US Region A Blu-ray has the same features. Tie.
The video quality is disappointing for Blu-ray.
The audio quality is very good.The extras are better than average.
|DVD||Panasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|