Little Accidents (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 18-Feb-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Trailer-Accent Entertainment trailers x 4
Trailer-Little Accidents
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 100:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sara Colangelo
Studio
Distributor
Accent Film Entertainment Starring Elizabeth Banks
Boyd Holbrook
Jacob Lofland
Chloe Sevigny
Josh Lucas



Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Marcelo Zarvos


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

†††† When a coal mine shaft collapses killing ten workers a small town in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia is devastated. The sole survivor of the disaster is Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook) who is left with physical and psychological injuries. But this is only the start of Amosí ordeal for he is required to give evidence at the inquiry and is being pressured by the union and families of the deceased workers to help them get compensation but also by the other miners who do not want his evidence to close the mine and destroy their jobs. Amos is having memory lapses and guilt feelings at his survival and just wants his old life back. The community mostly blames mine manager Bill Doyle (Josh Lucas) for the disaster, and the mine owners seem willing to make Bill the scapegoat. He is suspended but tries to carry on which puts pressure on his wife Diana (Elizabeth Banks) and fifteen year old son JT (Travis Tope).

†††† The father of Owen Briggs (Jacob Lofland) was one of those killed in the mine. Owen is in junior high school and lives with his widowed mother Kendra (Chloe Sevigny) and his autistic younger brother James (Beau Wright). Owen is the type of boy who tries to curry favour with the older boys, including JT, by bringing them alcohol in the woods where they hang out. But one day in a fight Owen accidentally kills JT; only James is also there and Owen hides JTís body in an abandoned shaft. JT is listed as missing which devastates Diana and she further withdraws from what is left of her marriage. To escape she joins a bible study group where she meets Amos and the two commence a torrid love affair even though it will be Amos who will give evidence against her husband at the inquiry. At the same time Owen is consumed with guilt at the death of JT and contrives to do odd jobs for Diana in an attempt to atone. Clearly, these complicated situations cannot last.

†††† Little Accidents was written and directed by Sara Colangelo as her first feature although she has made three short films, including a 2010 short also called Little Accidents, although the two cover very different circumstances. Little Accidents, the feature, is a slow moving and intense drama about the accidents, little or otherwise, which polarise and pull a small community apart on a number of levels; management and business, workers, families, victims and children are all affected. There are no evil people here, or villains, just people caught up in events more or less beyond their control. As the plot summary indicates, Colangeloís script covers a range of intersecting storylines and I have not mentioned other strands such as Amosí ailing ex-miner father (James Parker). Indeed Little Accidents is a film which feels it has just too much plot; Owenís story is certainly about the results of an accident, but this strand feels unconvincing and diverts attention away from the other strands involving Billís complicity in the mine accident or Amos and Dianaís relationship, both of which remain unresolved as the film ends.

†††† While Little Accidents may be plot heavy it is worth watching for the good performances, especially Elizabeth Banks, and the score by Marcelo Zarvos which is atmospheric and adds the sense of melancholy. The Appalachian landscape is beautifully rendered courtesy of experienced cinematographer Rachel Morrison (Fruitvale Station) although I could have done without the constantly moving hand held camera in the dialogue scenes.

†††† Little Accidents is overwritten and certainly intense, but it is never bleak due to its good acting, beautiful visuals and the open ending.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Little Accidents is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, close to the original 2.35:1, in 1080i using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

†††† Unlike many independent films, Little Accidents was filmed using Arricam LT film camera. Detail is sharp in both close-up and longer shots and pleasing film grain is evident. Colours are muted, reflective of a small coal mining town, but the greens and greys of the Appalachian mountains and forests look beautiful. Blacks are solid, shadow detail fine, skin tones natural, brightness and contrast consistent.

†††† I did not see any obvious 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 Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps, i.e., not lossless.

†††† This is not a film that required an enveloping audio and the surrounds really only came into use for the score, occasional thunder and the opening mine sequence. Dialogue was sometimes unclear due to accents or soft delivery of lines, when subtitles would have helped. The subwoofer was used for music and occasional effects.

†††† The original music by Marcelo Zarvos was atmospheric and effective.

†††† I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues.

†††† The audio did what was requited.

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

Extras

Trailers

†††† Trailers for War Story (1:52), Iíll Follow You Down (2:12), Itís a Disaster (2:23) and The Big Ask (1:37) play on start-up. The same trailers, plus one for Little Accidents (2:09), can be selected from the menu.

R4 vs R1

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

†††† At this time Amazon.com lists only our Australian version of Little Accidents.

Summary

†††† Little Accidents is an earnest and intense film. I found the premise compelling, the film looks beautiful and it builds up a good tension with the interlocking story lines which seem to be heading for further tragedy. Yet at the end very little is resolved; I was a bit let down but I suppose you could say life is like that!

†††† The video is 1080i, the audio is not loss-less, but the presentation is still good. Extras are only trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, May 08, 2015
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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