Blue Valentine (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 05-14-2011, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=210685&d=1304356571
The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373697

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: The Weinstein Company - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 112 minutes
Genre: Drama, Romance


Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.66:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams and John Doman
Directed by: Derek Cianfrance
Music by:Joe Rudge
Written by: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne & Joey Curtis
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 10, 2011







"A Love Story."



Film Synopsis:

Blue Valentine is an intimate, shattering portrait of a disintegrating marriage. On the far side of a once-passionate romance, Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling) are married with a young daughter. Hoping to save their marriage, they steal away to a theme hotel. We then encounter them years earlier, when they met and fell in love—full of life and hope. Moving fluidly between these two time periods, Blue Valentine unfolds like a cinematic duet whose refrain asks, where did their love go?




My Take:

Daring to be different takes some guts. Quite often it leads to failure, or ends up just being (for lack of a better term), different. There are the rare occasions where it pays off, and we get treated to a film like 'Blue Valentine'. There are no neat bows on this package; don't expect excitement, special effects, happiness and the usual Hollywood fodder. Expect a gritty, real life look at a failing relationship, with amazing acting, direction and cinematography.

'Blue Valentine' opens up in the present time, as a married couple with a grade school aged daughter, Cindy (Michelle Williams) and Dean (Ryan Gosling), are finding out the family dog is missing. Its a metaphor for the moment Cindy realizes the love is missing, as is the moment she finds the dog dead on the side of the road, which is the major moment she realizes this missing love will never be coming back. The film jumps back and forth in time, showing the present sad state of their marriage, then contradicting it with flashbacks about their meeting, courtship, romance and marriage. The film is claustrophobic and raw, really handing us true emotion, thanks to the accolade warranting performances by Williams and Gosling. Director Derek Cianfrance did an amazing job weaving through past and present, new, passionate love and its gradual deterioration, as well as the euphoric happiness of early love and how tough it is to keep it together, forever.

'Blue Valentine' is challenging, making the viewer question their relationships... what makes them work or fail, and how things can go bad when not tended to. It pulls this off while being subtle about things, hardly ever being in your face, never answering these question, and just letting us be in the room as it unfolds. For such a depressing look into some of these peoples worst moments, I found myself engaged by its pitch-perfect casting and acting. If you are ready to take a chance, you might just find 'Blue Valentine' as rewarding a watch as I did.








Parental Guide:

Rated R for strong graphic sexual content, language, and a beating.





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: 82



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373694

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373698

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373697

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697


Video: 84



  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373698

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373698

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=121037369
'Blue Valentine' comes to on Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30.2 mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 mbps.

Blue Valentine's aspect ratio of 1.66:1 helped give a sense of being trapped, as well as added to the intimacy this candid look into a failing relationship delivered. The films flashback scenes were filmed in 16mm, and were gritty and grainy, having a slight blown out contrast look. Details were limited, but it was an artistic choice. The Films direction and cinematography were quite the asset to the film, and had two separate feels. The present day portions of the film were strikingly defined, showing every pore, wrinkle and stubble on the many close-up shots. This portion had a cold blue tint to the film, adding to the tough reality of this couples situation. Blacks were strong and never wavering, showing strong detail, especially in the 'future room' scenes. I enjoyed the stylistic choices here, they were enough to give the film personality, but were never over bearing.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound was ahead of the heap as far as dramas go. Being a talk heavy film, every nuance was audible. There were some times where the effects channels added some nice atmospherics, but they were few and far between, however, any more use would have been overkill. The track felt effortless and detailed, using music to widen the center channel focused sound-stage. You certainly wont disappointed, but you wont be showing this track off as a demo.



Bonus Features:


  • Feature Commentary with Director Derek Cianfrance and Co-Editor Jim Helton

  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) The Making of Blue Valentine

  • (HD) Frankie and Unicorn: Home Movie

  • (HD) Trailer: Company Men



Final Thoughts:

If you are ready to take a chance, you might just find 'Blue Valentine' as rewarding a watch as I did. For such a depressing look into some of these people worst moments, I found myself engaged by pitch-perfect casting and acting, as well as some great choices from the filmmakers as far as the look and pacing are concerned. You wont have any issues with Anchor Bay's presentation, and though not the most abundant collection of extras, all are informative and worth checking out. This is highly recommended, enjoy!




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post #2 of 27 Old 05-14-2011, 04:02 PM
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This sounds like a movie that my wife would love and that I could more than tolerate. This movie wasn't on my radar at all, but I just ordered a copy. Thanks for the good review!

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post #3 of 27 Old 05-14-2011, 07:31 PM
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I thought this was porn
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-14-2011, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EAGLEFAN67 View Post

I thought this was porn

LOL... Yea, when I saw the review for this on the AV front page, I thought wow, these guys are reviewing p0rn0s now?

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post #5 of 27 Old 05-14-2011, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by EAGLEFAN67 View Post

I thought this was porn

It is.
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

It is.

This is in NO WAY porn (I saw the Netflix R-rated version). "Porn," as I understand the term, refers to materials (movies, books, photos, etc.) that have the sexual gratification of the viewer as their only goal, with graphic depictions or descriptions of sexual acts used solely to serve that goal. Movies that depict sexual acts and have other goals besides erotic stimulation are not porn. Non-porn movies with sexual acts in them are released every day. Some examples of recently released NON-PORN movies containing sex scenes (I'm taking these from academy award best picture nominees): Black Swan, A Serious Man, Brokeback Mountain, American Beauty. I have never heard anyone call these films "porn," like them or not.


There are a couple of sex scenes in Blue Valentine that are mostly heavy breathing and faces doing things to genital regions that are not shown. There are a couple of topless shots. All of this is essential to the plot. The movie is about the disintegration of a marriage. It's a serious story. Since these people didn't have a sexless relationship, the sexual elements are part of the story.

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post #7 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

This is in NO WAY porn (I saw the Netflix R-rated version). "Porn," as I understand the term, refers to materials (movies, books, photos, etc.) that have the sexual gratification of the viewer as their only goal, with graphic depictions or descriptions of sexual acts used solely to serve that goal. Movies that depict sexual acts and have other goals besides erotic stimulation are not porn. Non-porn movies with sexual acts in them are released every day. Some examples of recently released NON-PORN movies containing sex scenes (I'm taking these from academy award best picture nominees): Black Swan, A Serious Man, Brokeback Mountain, American Beauty. I have never heard anyone call these films "porn," like them or not.


There are a couple of sex scenes in Blue Valentine that are mostly heavy breathing and faces doing things to genital regions that are not shown. There are a couple of topless shots. All of this is essential to the plot. The movie is about the disintegration of a marriage. It's a serious story. Since these people didn't have a sexless relationship, the sexual elements are part of the story.

Sounds like porn.

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post #8 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 10:01 AM
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It should be noted that throughout history, actors have been telling stories effectively - without the need to bury their faces in the crotches of other actors.

Sex scenes are a marketing decision by the film makers, and are never an essential element of the story.
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post #9 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu View Post

It should be noted that throughout history, actors have been telling stories effectively - without the need to bury their faces in the crotches of other actors.

Sex scenes are a marketing decision by the film makers, and are never an essential element of the story.

As it should be noted that they have used sex to tell stories as well. Whats your point?

This debate is silly and useless. Its a film about 2 lovers and guess what?? These lovers have sex! Yay.
Its not rated X so its obviously NOT porn.

Now lets move along please.
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post #10 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Sounds like porn.

Then you obviously haven't been watching real porn then.

Anyways, I blind bought this Friday night when I placed my order for Firefly. I'm looking forward to watching this at some point this week.
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post #11 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 12:16 PM
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I saw Blue Valentine. It's an excellent film. It's not a chick flick. The sex scenes are not gratuitous. It's a very realistic look at love. Love doesn't last forever, it can't. That's what the movie is about.

R
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I'm tempted to watch this movie, but the trailer makes it look so corny and horrible it's tough to pull the trigger on it. Maybe when I'm completely desperate I'll throw it into my Q.

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post #13 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Sounds like porn.

If you want to call those scenes porn (I don't), then the ratio of movie to porn is about 30 to 1.

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post #14 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

I'm tempted to watch this movie, but the trailer makes it look so corny and horrible it's tough to pull the trigger on it. Maybe when I'm completely desperate I'll throw it into my Q.

It's not corny. The trailer plays up the sweet "romantic comedy" scenes from early in the relationship--the movie actually cuts back and forth between those scenes and later "scenes from a marriage." Go to imbd.com and read some of the critics' reviews of this movie--you'll see that the trailer is false advertising.

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post #15 of 27 Old 05-15-2011, 04:45 PM
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Porn...not even close.

Gosling should have at least been nominated for best actor for this one. He was amazing.

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very much looking forward to this one
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post

This debate is silly and useless. Its a film about 2 lovers and guess what?? These lovers have sex! Yay.

Wait wait wait wait wait..... People have ..... sex?

LoL I think the guys is joking.

I recently watched the Black Swan and found it a very powerful film that told a great story! It also had one of the most "Powerful" sex scene I can recall in a movie (Not porn-ish but sensual and raw and real) and it added to the film in a great way.

I am looking forward to seeing this movie and probably would not even have looked at it without a review. Thank you Lee and I hope the movie companies send out more disks for review because it is an excellent marketing device (And you get to watch tons of movies for free minus your time and effort.)
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-16-2011, 07:41 AM
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Thought it was a great movie. Slow paced and like what Lee said somehwhat depressing. A day in the life a two lovers. I thought the space room was a great escape. LOL!

Cheers
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post #19 of 27 Old 05-16-2011, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post
I'm tempted to watch this movie, but the trailer makes it look so corny and horrible it's tough to pull the trigger on it. Maybe when I'm completely desperate I'll throw it into my Q.
I think most adults, particularly those who have gone through marital issues, will be very affected by this film. I was quite moved by it, and I thought the acting and story were both excellent.

Definitely agree with the four stars, Lee....nice review bud
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post #20 of 27 Old 05-16-2011, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razvanel View Post

I saw Blue Valentine. It's an excellent film. It's not a chick flick. The sex scenes are not gratuitous. It's a very realistic look at love. Love doesn't last forever, it can't. That's what the movie is about.

R

Love doesn't last forever? I beg to differ. Maybe you haven't found the right person.
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post #21 of 27 Old 05-16-2011, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

Love doesn't last forever? I beg to differ. Maybe you haven't found the right person.

I've seen a lot of arguments on AVSfourm; But I believe this is the first time I've seen THAT particular point debated.

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post #22 of 27 Old 05-17-2011, 08:43 AM
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I hate depressing movies. Does the dance come to a resolution one way or the other. I don't want another Riding in Cars with Boys. God I'm still in therapy over that depressing movie. I am however, interested in it, if it doesn't end miserably. Divorce is fine as long as they find themselves and there's something to empathize with, think "It's Complicated". Typically these gritty looks into marriage are too realistic for comfort. "I Think I Love My Wife" is a good example. So what am I getting here? Is it something I should suggest we watch or is this the type of movie that only movie buffs watch beacuse the acting is so good?
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post #23 of 27 Old 05-25-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razvanel View Post

I saw Blue Valentine. It's an excellent film. It's not a chick flick. The sex scenes are not gratuitous. It's a very realistic look at love. Love doesn't last forever, it can't. That's what the movie is about.

R

Just say this movie last night , very depressing for me and my wife to watch . It's not a chick flick at all . Because at the end I hated the woman...Selfish bitch..
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post #24 of 27 Old 05-25-2011, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Kressilac View Post

I hate depressing movies. Does the dance come to a resolution one way or the other. I don't want another Riding in Cars with Boys. God I'm still in therapy over that depressing movie. I am however, interested in it, if it doesn't end miserably. Divorce is fine as long as they find themselves and there's something to empathize with, think "It's Complicated". Typically these gritty looks into marriage are too realistic for comfort. "I Think I Love My Wife" is a good example. So what am I getting here? Is it something I should suggest we watch or is this the type of movie that only movie buffs watch beacuse the acting is so good?

then don't watch the movie at all .. its very depressing ...also, don't watch this movie as a first date....lol.
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post #25 of 27 Old 05-25-2011, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will216 View Post

Just say this movie last night , very depressing for me and my wife to watch . It's not a chick flick at all . Because at the end I hated the woman...Selfish bitch..

Yeah, the female character wasn't my favorite person at the end of the film either. Hit a little too close to home for me at a few points in the film, for sure. But it was very well acted and I'm glad I saw it. I agree it's not a chick flick at all.
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-26-2011, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

Love doesn't last forever? I beg to differ. Maybe you haven't found the right person.

But you havent made it 'forever' yet.... just 'so far so good' ;-)
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post #27 of 27 Old 01-24-2012, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will216 View Post

Just say this movie last night , very depressing for me and my wife to watch . It's not a chick flick at all . Because at the end I hated the woman...Selfish bitch..

I finally got around to seeing this movie. And it was pretty good overall.

I totally agree with the selfish bitch comment. You could just see that when near the end, they go to pick up their daughter, and the daughter is happier to see her dad than she is her, and that just makes her mad. As much as Ryan's character loved her in the beginning, it just never would have worked out and he never should have married her.

It reminded me alot of Revolutionary Road. The chick is the 1 that's got all the issues, the husbands constantly trying to work through it all, but in the end there's nothing he can do cuz it's just a lost cause.

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