Ides of March, The (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 5-Apr-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Featurette-Making Of-4
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 100:52
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By George Clooney
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ryan Gosling
George Clooney
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Paul Giamatti
Evan Rachel Wood
Marisa Tomei
Case ?
RPI ? Music Alexandre Desplat


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    George Clooney stars in big studio productions but also finds the funding for and makes his own films, such as Good Night & Good Luck, Leatherheads & this film, The Ides of March. This film is a political thriller but dialogue rather than action based. There are no guns or explosions. It was written for the screen by Clooney, his regular collaborator Grant Heslov and the writer of the play it is based on Farragut North, Beau Willimon. This film was quite successful at the box office considering the style of film, taking $74m globally. It was also critically successful, with an Oscar nomination for writing but also nominations and wins of other awards for direction, writing and the ensemble cast. In many ways this is very much an actor's film, obviously attractive to the excellent cast members involved. According to the extras they all worked much cheaper than normal.

    The story focuses on a campaign for the democratic party nomination for president, in the modern day. One of the candidates is Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) who is assisted in this endeavour by his campaign manager, Paul Zara (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a very experienced consultant who knows all the tricks and traps. His number two is a younger, talented but less wiley and world weary campaign manager, Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling). Their opposition is Senator Pullman who is supported by the crafty campaign manager, Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti). They are currently focused on the campaign for the Ohio primary, which will be critical to the outcome. Morris is leading the race, however, Duffy is willing to pull out every trick he knows to get his candidate over the line. Things start to unravel for Meyers, Zara and Morris as Duffy moves to try to exploit Meyers' lack of experience. Meyers also gets involved with one of the interns on the campaign, Molly Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood). Meanwhile, Meyers is being pursued by journalist Ida Horowicz (Marisa Tomei) and Zara is trying to negotiate for the support of another key democrat, Senator Thompson (Jeffrey Wright). There are quite a few good twists as the story progresses in this very well written dramatic thriller.

    This is tense, slow burn drama which focuses on dialogue, revealing its stage based background. The ensemble cast is uniformly excellent, all turning in quality performances. Thematically it focuses on the loss of innocence or the corruption of the young campaign manager, turning him from idealist with lots of nous to a dirty tricks player like the rest. The film is a little slow to begin but patient, thoughtful audiences will definitely enjoy this well crafted, well acted film. Clooney & Heslov have turned out another high quality film.

    Recommended.

   

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good but slightly off the best Blu-ray can offer.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout.The shadow detail was excellent.

    The colour was also excellent, bright and vivid throughout, although some scenes seemed overly bright with faces seeming to be too white at times.

    One thing which surprised me in this film/transfer is that some scenes have a significant graininess to them, which may be from the source rather than the transfer. A scene between Gosling and Wood at 15:00 is one example.

    There are subtitles available in English for the hearing impaired. They are clear and easy to read.

    There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 5.1 along with Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks in Audio Descriptive English, English and English Commentary. This film is very dialogue focused and the sound is quite front and centre focused as you would expect.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to hear and understand throughout.

    The music by Alexandre Desplat is understated and contemplative, which is perfectly in tune with the style of the film.

    The surround speakers were used to provide an enveloping soundfield especially in terms of the music.

    The subwoofer was used to support the music mostly.

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

Extras

    Good selection of extras.

Menu

    The menu included sounds and pictures from the film. It was preceded by trailers.

Commentary - George Clooney & Grant Heslov

    The main creative team behind the film provide a thoughtful, low key and relaxed commentary which provides some worthwhile information without setting the world on fire. Worth a listen.

On the Campaign : The Cast of The Ides of March (5:47)

    Pretty standard EPK style featurette about the cast and the script.

Believe : George Clooney (6:18)

    Like the 'I Like Mike' posters in the film for Clooney's candidate, this is the 'I Like George' featurette. Zzzzz

Developing the Campaign : Origins of The Ides of March (7:07)

    Brief featurette about the play and the process by which it was transferred to the screen. OK.

What does a Political Consultant Do? (7:28)

    Probably the most interesting extra which focuses on the role of political consultants in real life. Not bad..

R4 vs R1

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

    The Blu-ray version of this film is the same in Region A.

Summary

    A well written, acted and directed slow burn political thriller.

    The video quality is very good but has some issues.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are decent quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp 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 DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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