St Vincent (Blu-ray) (2014)
|Category||Comedy / Drama||
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Bill Murray Is St Vincent: The Patron Saint of Comedy
|Year Of Production||2014|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Theodore Melfi|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† When Maggie Braunstein (Melissa McCarthy) and her 12-year-old son Oliver (Jayden Leiberher) moved to a new home in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn they are leaving behind an unfortunate situation - Melissa's husband cheated on her and she is now a single mother. The move in goes badly. Her removalists collided with a tree bringing a branch down on her neighbour's car. The neighbour Vincent McKenna (Bill Murray) is hell on a stick. An aged, grumpy alcoholic he appears, on the face of it, not to care about anybody and is happy to let the new neighbours know how much he dislikes them already.
†††† This might have been the end of their relationship but when a bullied Oliver knocks on Vincentís door, having had his keys taken by his new classmates, the old grouch agrees to babysit Oliver until his mother comes home from work - at a price. Vincent is probably the worst babysitter anyone could want. Not only is he a heavy drinker with a personality to match but his only other visitor is a pregnant Russian prostitute named Daka (Naomi Watts) and he spends a little too much time losing at the track despite the threats of a loan shark played by Terrence Howard.
†††† Director Theodore Melfi wrote the script back in 2011, which was on the Hollywood Blacklist of best unproduced scripts. Working on a very small budget he has assembled a fantastic cast, which also includes a screamingly funny turn by Chris O'Dowd as a religious education teacher at Oliverís school. It is a tale of small redemption as the characters come to face their worst sides. Oliver and Vincent are an odd couple with Oliver teaching the old man the value of his own goodness and Vincent teaching Oliver to stand up for himself.
†††† Bill Murray has played grouchy and difficult characters before however this is a sustained performance which is both funny and sad in equal parts. Likewise Melissa McCarthy is extremely funny yet there is a genuine emotion in her performance when it becomes clear that she may lose custody of Oliver due to his association with troublemaker Vincent. Naomi Watts is a hoot as the Russian prostitute still working strip clubs with her pregnant belly.
†††† The film probably doesn't hold a great deal of surprises as we know that Vincent is on a rocky road to redemption but it is still a worthwhile enjoyable journey.
†††† St Vincent was shot on 35mm film and comes to Blu-ray in a 1.85:1 transfer consistent with the original aspect ratio.
†††† The transfer is razor-sharp picking out each line and stubble hair on Murrayís grizzled mug. The overdone make up on Naomi Wattsí face is also prominent. The flesh tones are accurate.
†††† The movie uses a lot of dark colours and drab environments. Vincentís world is fairly depressing alternating between a darkened pub, his shambles of a home and the nursing home where his wife passes her time. The colours are therefore not overly bright but nevertheless accurate and consistent with the theme.
†††† There are no technical problems with the transfer.
†††† There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired.
†††† St Vincent carries a DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack.
†††† The sound is good throughout.
†††† The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The surrounds are not used greatly except for ambience and the subwoofer is only rarely employed. These are not criticisms.
†††† Experienced composer Theodore Shapiro contributes an emotional and engaging score. There are a few songs thrown in for good measure as well as a "performance" by Bill Murray in the closing credits of Bob Dylan's Shelter from the Storm.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† There are two extras included with the Blu-ray.
†††† There are 11 deleted scenes on offer. Most were no doubt excluded for time reasons but all are worth look. Orange is the New Black fans will enjoy seeing their favourite feisty Latino cook as the mother of Oliver's tormentor.
†††† This is a featurette about the genius of Bill Murray in the form of a Q&A session with the cast and crew of the film. A relaxed Murray riffs about his work on the film and comedy in general.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
††††The version available in other Regions matches ours. Buy local.
†††† St Vincent is a, dare I say it, heart-warming film about a man who is at the edge of society and the inner struggle in deciding to come back in. Murray is fantastic and McCarthy gets to extend her considerable range.
†††† The Blu-ray is good in sound and vision terms.
|DVD||Cambridge Audio 752BD All Region Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||JVC DLX 700 with 4K e-shift on 140" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC -LX 78K 9.2 Channel|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|