Little Miss Sunshine (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=132004&d=1233452712
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2006
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 102 Minutes
Genre: Dramedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/Portuguese DTS 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Cantonese, Thai, Portuguese
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin, Alan Arkin
Directed by: Jonathan Dayton & Valarie Faris
Music by: Mychael Danna featuring music by Devotchka
Written by: Michael Arndt
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 3, 2009







"No one gets left behind"



Film Synopsis:

Take a hilarious ride with the Hoovers, one of the most endearingly fractured families in comedy history. Father Richard (Greg Kinnear) is desperately trying to sell his motivational success program...with no success. Meanwhile, "pro-honesty" mom Sheryl (Toni Collette) lends support to her eccentric family, including her depressed brother (Steve Carell), fresh out of the hospital after being jilted by his lover. Then there are the younger Hoovers - the seven-year-old, would-be beauty queen Olive (Abigail Breslin) and Dwayne (Paul Dano), a Nietzsche-reading teen who has taken a vow of silence. Topping off the family is the foul-mouthed grandfather (Alan Arkin), whose outrageous behavior recently got him evicted from his retirement home. When Olive is invited to compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" pageant in far-off California, the family piles into their rusted-out VW bus to rally behind her - with riotously funny results.




My Take:

I really enjoy films that feature well drawn characters built around an intelligently written story that has just the right touch of humor blended with drama that offers viewers a fly on the wall look at people in everyday situations. That is not to say that the situations experienced by the Hoover's in this film are something that people deal with everyday. I mean that these are fallible people who are faced with familial issues that to them represent significant challenges. How they deal with them and how we can all relate or identify (at least on some level) that makes it intriguing to watch. Writer Michael Arndt's script masterfully sucks you into the Hoover's problems. Character development is essential to understanding the tone of the film and he has done a wonderful job in quickly establishing the relationship between them and connection to the audience. Just when you think you have it figured out and know which direction things are going he throws on another layer. The ensemble cast simply owns these characters which is of course a large part of its success. Abigail Breslin is a scene stealer and gives a touching and genuine performance as Olive. That is taking nothing away from Collette, Kinnear, Dano, Carell, and of course Oscar winner Alan Arkin. Directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valarie Faris do an outstanding job with this heartwarming, perfectly paced dark comedy about a dysfunctional family that sticks together and leaves no one behind.








Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and some sex/drug content.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Little Miss Sunshine comes to Blu-ray from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 mbps.

This is an excellent video presentation that features resplendent colors that are vividly depicted with natural rendering and lustrous quality. Fleshtones are on the creamy side but are nicely delineated so that the slight tonal characteristics among the cast were discernible. Images had definable texture that highlighted the fine detail present in facial features, hair and clothing. The long range and wide angle shots of the mountains and landscapes along the highway had crisp focus and three dimensional depth. Blacks were stable with good dynamic range and contrast was punchy without washing out white detail. Grain was well preserved with a consistently apparent texture that was never intrusive. One or two backgrounds exhibited what appeared to be digital noise but I couldn't say that it was directly related to the encoding. It was minor and would more than likely be overlooked unless you were looking for it. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack seemed like overkill for a dialogue driven film like this but I applaud Fox for employing lossless audio on all of their Blu-ray disc releases. The soundtrack delivered crisp, full bodied dialogue in a mostly frontal presentation that offered a few splashes of light ambience through the surround channels. There was little low frequency detail mixed to the subwoofer but in this film there really isn't a steady call for it. The blend of music, voices and sound effects through the front channel speakers was rendered with excellent clarity, fair dimensional perspective and above average depth. It never sounded thin or dynamically starved and based upon the elements in the recording sounded just fine.



Bonus Features:


  • Director's commentary by Jonathan Dayton and Valarie Faris

  • Screenwriter's commentary by Michael Arndt with Director's Jonathan Dayton & Valarie Faris

  • (HD) Deleted scenes with optional Director/Writer commentary

  • Do you wanna talk? - Outtake

  • 4 alternate endings with optional Director commentary

  • On the road with the Hoover's - The making of Little Miss Sunshine - 18 minutes

  • We're gonna make it: A session with Mychael Danna and Devotchka - 3 minute documentary

  • Who are the Hoovers - 17 minute feature

  • No one gets left behind: The music of Little Miss Sunshine - 10 minute documentary

  • 13 Webisodes

  • Poster gallery

  • Till the end of time - Performed by Devotchka

  • Soundtrack spot




Final Thoughts:

Little Miss Sunshine is a film that covers familiar ground but does so in a way that brings a fresh air to it. Its features a family of people that have attributes that give them a genuine feel which helps to make their familial circumstances all the more enriching and at times incredibly funny. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring a nice compliment of bonus features that provide a look into the films production, cast/crew interviews, insights from the creators, and more. Its high definition video quality is superb and represents a decisive improvement over the previous DVD release which when coupled with the additional bonus material make this a highly recommend upgrade for fans. If you have never had the chance to see Little Miss Sunshine this Blu-ray Disc makes a great introduction.






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post #2 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 01:06 PM
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Much respect to Ralph for great reviews 99% of the time (and amazingly prodigious output pace) but this time I am sorry I just don't get it.

This was one of the most confusing popularly acclaimed titles I have seen (second only to Napoleon Dynamite). I simply don't get this movie and wanted to rip my eyes out from boredom.

To each his own and Ralph seems to be in line with most people who liked this movie (although no one I know personally ever liked it) so maybe I am the one who is out in the dark without a clue.
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 01:16 PM
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I thought the movie was good, but I'm not sure it was 5 stars good. I'd give it an 8.5/10. I'd definitely rent before buying because of the polarizing opinions already shown in this thread.
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post #4 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post

Much respect to Ralph for great reviews 99% of the time (and amazingly prodigious output pace) but this time I am sorry I just don't get it.

This was one of the most confusing popularly acclaimed titles I have seen (second only to Napoleon Dynamite). I simply don't get this movie and wanted to rip my eyes out from boredom.

To each his own and Ralph seems to be in line with most people who liked this movie (although no one I know personally ever liked it) so maybe I am the one who is out in the dark without a clue.

Greetings,

goonstopher, I wouldn't agree that you are out in the dark without a clue. Films can sometimes be like abstract paintings in that they make different impressions on those that see them. When the opportunity presents itself try revisiting this film and see if you feel any differently..

Thanks for sharing your take.

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post #5 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 01:44 PM
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This movie was awesome. I think I saw it at my store and will definitely give it a rent and possibly buy it someday.
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 02:56 PM
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Great review, and I agree on the 5/5. The movie is amazing and has some really complex emotions to it, if you have never had to deal with some, how do I say, mentally different people very close to you, you could never fully understand.
Napoleon Dynamite on the other hand is as shallow as it appears, and you either love it for that or hate it for that. Movies are an art and it's all subjective.
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

goonstopher, I wouldn't agree that you are out in the dark without a clue. Films can sometimes be like abstract paintings in that they make different impressions on those that see them. When the opportunity presents itself try revisiting this film and see if you feel any differently..

Thanks for sharing your take.

Regards,

I hope you see that I meant no disrespect. I read your reviews all the time and have found them very helpful but this one time I had to disagree.

Thanks for all the help, I'll try it one more time because you seem to have a strong handle on film.
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonstopher View Post

I hope you see that I meant no disrespect. I read your reviews all the time and have found them very helpful but this one time I had to disagree.

Thanks for all the help, I'll try it one more time because you seem to have a strong handle on film.

Greetings,

I appreciate your sentiments and didn't find your comments in any way disrespectful. I hope to hear back from you on this either way..

Cheers,

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post #9 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 07:25 PM
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Edge enhancement is definately noticeable if you screen is big enough. Not huge but keeps the the transfer from looking entirely like film in my opinion.

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post #10 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 07:51 PM
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Stick me in those that thought this movie was overhyped. I purchased on a blind buy and regret it.
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-17-2009, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robe619 View Post

Stick me in those that thought this movie was overhyped. I purchased on a blind buy and regret it.

If you're looking for someone to sell it to, PM me!
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post #12 of 19 Old 02-18-2009, 03:18 PM
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I don't get the love for this movie either. The beauty pageant at the end was one of the creepiest things I've ever seen! Something about those little kids with all that makeup on trying to look like adults.

From a technical standpoint, I thought the PQ and SQ were very average. I was a little surprised to see the PQ rated so high.

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post #13 of 19 Old 02-18-2009, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robe619 View Post

Stick me in those that thought this movie was overhyped. I purchased on a blind buy and regret it.

I also didnt like it. Doesnt mean it wasnt a great movie , more likely its just not my type and like someone else said, its one of those polarizing movies... the kind you either love or hate.

I also felt that way about Sideways, also received well here and everywhere else but I wanted to slit my wrist half way through it.
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-20-2009, 06:49 PM
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Wake me up when the is something good playing. What a snore fest.
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-24-2009, 10:35 AM
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One of my favorite releases of 2006...another inevitable purchase...
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-24-2009, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpn75 View Post

I don't get the love for this movie either. The beauty pageant at the end was one of the creepiest things I've ever seen! Something about those little kids with all that makeup on trying to look like adults.

From a technical standpoint, I thought the PQ and SQ were very average. I was a little surprised to see the PQ rated so high.

I thought it a great movie, but my "creepy" problem is with Ms Breslin. She's so precocious that she sometimes appears to understand too much, and to seem, well, too "adult" for such a young girl.

I think the pageant was clearly an intentional exaggeration, for satiric effect.
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-25-2009, 08:34 AM
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I thought this movie was great. I thought the characters were so well written and played against one another. It was hands down one of my favorite movies of the past few years.

Just because I'm a girl, doesn't mean I can't be taking an MSCA course...:)
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-25-2009, 11:53 AM
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Funny, I thought this was one of the better movies of its genre in the last 5 years or so. I LOVED it. Having said that, I suppose I can see why some might not like it. This is one of those movies that if you aren't engaged by the characters in the first few minutes of the film, you're probably "lost" (from an interest perspective) the rest of the way through, and for me, whether or not I get engaged like that depends greatly on my level of interest in the film. There are a lot of movies like that out there; some I really liked (Napoleon Dynamite, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Punch Drunk Love, etc.), and some I didn't (most notably, Lost in Translation).

For that reason, I think this is one of those that you either love or hate; and I, personally, loved it.
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-09-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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I know this movie gets mixed reviews, but seriously...you need to watch/own this one.
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