Blessed (Blu-ray) (2009)
|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Ana Kokkinos|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 EX
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 EX
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Skanky bogan mothers begat skanky bogan kids: The Movie.
Blessed follows the disparate misadventures of a series of children (all bar one being skanky kids) in Melbourne's inner west, juxtaposed by their various mothers' misadventures. The motley crew of kids includes a variety of runaways, abused kids and brats. The mothers comprise a mixture of stereotypical Aussie battlers, alcoholics, gamblers and tramps. The film is based on the ironically named play Who's Afraid of the Working Class? - ironic in the sense that, with two notable exceptions, there isn't a whole lot of working going on with this lot.
Any one of the subplots featured in the film could have been fleshed out into a more interesting film of its own. The shortness of each intertwined plot forces each to be shallow and trite (in some cases laughably so) despite them tackling some potentially interesting issues. Take, for example, the film's absurdly half-baked stolen generations sub-plot which gets as far as clumsily identifying that it is indeed a stolen generations plotline then quickly paints the biological mother as a magical fairy and wallows in its social relevance.
Each of the performances on offer varies wildly. Every single actor manages at least one impressive scene and one cringe worthy scene, particularly the kids, but even the likes of Frances O'Connor (who deservedly won an AFI for her performance), Miranda Otto and Deborra-Lee Furness (who is arguably the most consistent of the lot) fail uniformly to find their feet. The impressive acting moments are the only thing that really keeps the film together and thankfully they happen with enough frequency that the film is engaging even if it is hard to love.
The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.
The film looks as good as it did theatrically on this Blu-ray edition. Unfortunately that is not particularly flattering as the film has a deliberately harsh look to it. Every background is loaded with coarse murky grain. There is quite limited shadow depth and the colours all look rather crushed, particularly the blacks. The colour palette is murky and high contrast. There are definitely a handful of particularly nice looking shots in the film, which do look nice on this disc, but it is not a film that screams out for the Blu-ray treatment.
There is no sign of any compression artefacts or film artefacts in the transfer.
The film features optional English subtitles, which appear to be reasonably accurate to the spoken word and well timed.
The film features an English DTS HD-MA 5.1 audio track and an English Dolby Digital True HD 5.1 Audio Track.
The audio tracks are of an excellent standard. The dialogue is crystal clear and easy to understand.
The film features an effective spot of music from Cezary Skubiszewski. Unfortunately the same couple of minutes of music seem to be played at ever moment of the film that is supposed to be emotional, which really reduces its impact.
The film makes good use of the surrounds throughout, creating a realistic ambience. The subwoofer gets very little play, but there is little call for it.
|Surround Channel Use|
This disc is sadly devoid of any extras (or even a main menu) unless you count the two trailers for other films that open the disc. I don't.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Blessed is not yet available outside Region B.
A pretentious Australian ensemble drama, cast in the mould of Crash, that wallows in the misery of skanky bogans and their skanky kids. Despite a myriad of issues, not least of which is that five thin plots simply don't add up to one cohesive whole, Blessed is oddly compelling viewing.
The video is representative of the film's theatrical look, but that isn't saying much. The audio is excellent. Extras are non-existent.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Optoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|