The Descendants (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 1Likes
  • 1 Post By mo949
  • 1 Post By JA Fant
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,511
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 688
attachment.php?attachmentid=240938&d=1332164793
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

84






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 115 minutes
Genre: Drama

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/French/English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, Judy Greer, amara Miller, Nick Krause, Matthew Lillard
Directed by: Alexander Payne
Written by: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 13, 2012







"Life is complicated"



Film Synopsis:

From celebrated director Alexander Payne comes a wonderfully warm and witty and bittersweet drama about a detached father's attempt to reconnect with his two daughters and their often-hilarious quest for the truth.


My Take:

Based on the best-selling novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings and set in Hawaii, THE DESCENDANTS is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

Alexander Payne's films aren't difficult to spot. His characters are generally earthy, awkwardly funny, and the stories speak to the human condition from a place that seems genuinely identifiable at least on some level. As soon as I saw the trailer for The Descendants (on another title that I had in for review), I summoned my wife, showed her, and we decided that we had to see it upon release, and we did. The Descendants is a wonderful dramatic film that takes a snapshot of a family undergoing a recent crisis after a severe accident befalls their wife/mother, leaving her in a coma. What we come to find out is that there were some pretty serious cracks in their familial foundation long before the accident. None of their problems are especially uncommon but are exacerbated by the accident which leaves a loving yet disconnected father trying to cope with two daughters, one an angry teenager, and the other an impressionable preteen longing for attention. Lastly, you have a husband who has lost his way as a partner and allowed the daily routine that life can be to become his priority. Together he and his daughters take a journey of discovery, some of it very painful, some of it very enlightening. What they discover is that the most important aspect of their journey is that they took it together.

None of the situational drama in this film is overtly original. What makes it special is the nuance found in the development of the story as it pertains to the characters and their interaction. The things that are said and done have an authenticity based upon what could easily be understood given the circumstances. The drama is rarely melodramatic and is offset by awkward moments of levity that have a seamless quality that reminds us that life even amidst tragedy can still be funny. I loved the cast. George Clooney and Shailene Woodley were both deservedly nominated for Academy Awards. As a unit the entire cast is deserving of praise as together they make the film what it is with each getting their moment to shine and doing so brilliantly. The film received 5 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. For me, The Descendants is simply one of the best films of the year and entitled to all of the accolades bestowed upon it.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for language including some sexual references.






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: 80



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

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

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

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



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=109947&d=1210373699

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

The Descendants comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 Mbps.

This video presentation is consistent with most newer release films coming to Blu-ray and looks great. Colors are bright, with vivid primaries, and deep saturation which makes them visually pleasing. Contrast and brightness are nicely balanced which adds punch to colors and brightly lit scenes while keeping darker elements dynamic and gradational. Complexions are rich in tonal description with natural highlights that appear lifelike. Images are crisp with stable sharpness and appreciable definition that brings out plenty of subtle texture within the objects and people onscreen.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is more than capable of handling the elements present in this dialogue driven comedy and sound excellent overall. Vocal reproduction is smooth and strident free through the center channel. The front oriented surround mix is delivered via a wide soundstage, with opulent detail and appropriate prioritization. Atmospheric ambience is lightly mixed to the rear channels which provides subtle venue replicating surround envelopment and music enhancement.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) 3 Deleted scenes

  • (HD) Everybody loves George - 7 minute featurette

  • (HD) Working with Alexander - 13 minute featurette

  • (HD) The Real Descendants - 12 minute documentary

  • (HD) Hawaiian style - 16 minute featurette

  • (HD) Casting - 8 minute featurette

  • (HD) Working with water - 11 minute featurette

  • (HD) Music videos:

    1. Will I ever see you again
    2. Postcards from paradise
    3. Honolulu's whisper

  • (HD) Waiting for the light - 3 minute production feature

  • The world parade - Hawaii ( 10 minuet silent film)

  • (HD) A conversation with George Clooney and Alexander Payne - 12 minutes

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy


Final Thoughts:

Nominated for 5 Academy Awards, The Descendants is moving, funny, wonderfully enacted/directed and simply one of the best films of 2011. It makes its way onto Blu-ray in a solid offering from 20th Century Fox that features excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound quality and a complimentary assortment of bonus features. This one comes highly recommended. Enjoy!









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 10:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Will2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,938
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 143
Thanks for another great review, Ralph.

I saw this last night and loved it. I enjoyed immensely Alexander Payne's About Schmidt and Sideways, but I did not know this film was one of his until I saw it. I knew two minutes into it that this was going to be a very special insightful film with genuine heart, not the Hollywood "heart" that masquerades as real. I got what I was expecting and much more. George Clooney never fails to impress me, and each time I think he shows a little more of why he's so highly regarded as a very smart and talented actor. He is smart and is the real deal when it comes to his charitable and humanitarian causes, as evident by his arrest at the Sudanese embassy in DC over the weekend. He and the young actress who plays the elder daughter were great together, and she's quite the talent herself. Alexander Payne is a great screenwriter and director who has a really special insight into the human condition. I look forward to more of his work.

I agree that this terrific film deserves all the accolades it gets. I also thought it ended on a perfect note.

Keep up the wonderful job you're doing reviewing discs and films. Thanks for the work you put into it and in sharing with us.
Will2007 is offline  
post #3 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 11:48 AM
Advanced Member
 
Cool Face's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 877
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Cool Face is offline  
post #4 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,511
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will2007 View Post

Thanks for another great review, Ralph.

I saw this last night and loved it. I enjoyed immensely Alexander Payne's About Schmidt and Sideways, but I did not know this film was one of his until I saw it. I knew two minutes into it that this was going to be a very special insightful film with genuine heart, not the Hollywood "heart" that masquerades as real. I got what I was expecting and much more. George Clooney never fails to impress me, and each time I think he shows a little more of why he's so highly regarded as a very smart and talented actor. He is smart and is the real deal when it comes to his charitable and humanitarian causes, as evident by his arrest at the Sudanese embassy in DC over the weekend. He and the young actress who plays the elder daughter were great together, and she's quite the talent herself. Alexander Payne is a great screenwriter and director who has a really special insight into the human condition. I look forward to more of his work.

I agree that this terrific film deserves all the accolades it gets. I also thought it ended on a perfect note.

Keep up the wonderful job you're doing reviewing discs and films. Thanks for the work you put into it and in sharing with us.

Greetings,

You're very welcome Will. Thanks for your support and for sharing your thoughts on the film.

Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is online now  
post #5 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 02:47 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JamE55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Saw the trailer and it looked somewhat ok but didn't get a chance to see it when it first came out.

A co-worker who saw it said it was a pretty depressing movie. I'll probably check it out in the future but thanks for the insightful review.
JamE55 is offline  
post #6 of 21 Old 03-19-2012, 02:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Stormshadow4life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 35
Quote:


Nominated for 5 Academy Awards, The Descendants is moving, funny, wonderfully enacted/directed and simply one of the best films of 2011.

Couldn't agree more
Stormshadow4life is offline  
post #7 of 21 Old 03-20-2012, 11:52 AM
AVS Special Member
 
taz291819's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Huntsville, Al
Posts: 5,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
This was a really good film, probably the best I've seen in the past year. And I agree, it ended on a perfect note. Highly recommend.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
taz291819 is offline  
post #8 of 21 Old 03-21-2012, 02:03 PM
Member
 
Soundnexx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I didn't find this movie as entertaining as I'd hoped, but overall it was decent. I doubt I'd ever watch this film again, but I am glad that I got a chance to see it once.
Soundnexx is offline  
post #9 of 21 Old 03-27-2012, 03:32 AM
Advanced Member
 
Cal68's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 571
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Liked: 56
I went to see this movie in the theaters with my family (who wanted to see it) without knowing much about it, and we all came away very impressed with the movie. George Clooney and the actress who played his elder daughter had a wonderful chemistry between them.

Cal68

Cal68
Cal68 is offline  
post #10 of 21 Old 03-27-2012, 08:26 AM
AVS Special Member
 
aydu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 3,756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Liked: 61
Good to see George Clooney cast out of character.

As an example, there is a scene where George's character runs to his neighbor's house to question them about his wife's alleged affair. He runs like a real guy, not like a movie star. Even ends up sweaty and the end of the run, which is spot on for Hawaii.

Good movie with a stand out performance by George Clooney. Might not have been Best Actor stuff, but it did show that the guy can act against his image, effectively.
aydu is online now  
post #11 of 21 Old 03-29-2012, 02:08 AM
Blues In Thirds
 
javry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Doha, Qatar
Posts: 2,524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 11
haven't seen it yet - but judging by the comments so far I probably should
javry is offline  
post #12 of 21 Old 04-01-2012, 10:00 AM
Advanced Member
 
ozar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 68
I've been hesitating on this one but Clooney has been getting some good roles lately, and he's been doing a good job of acting them out, so I'm going to go ahead and take the plunge!

Thanks for reviewing it, Ralph...

oz
ozar is offline  
post #13 of 21 Old 04-02-2012, 08:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
dragonbud0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Monmouth County, NJ
Posts: 1,930
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 23
I did not see this in the regular DVD forum yet so post my review here.

Our daughter is a Clooney fan and we all love the islands. It was not my typical movie either but nice to see him played a different role. The older daughter was great for her age. Not surprised with the Hollywood ending. It is a good family movie but I would not be watching it again.
dragonbud0 is offline  
post #14 of 21 Old 04-13-2012, 08:13 PM
Advanced Member
 
ozar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 68
Just finished watching The Descendants and found it to be very good in just about every way!

All drama and no action, but a very good movie nonetheless, that came with great acting, a very interesting story, beautiful cinematography and music. It was easy to see why it was nominated for a number of academy awards recently. I hesitated to purchase this one, but glad I did now.

oz
ozar is offline  
post #15 of 21 Old 04-14-2012, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,511
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozar View Post

Just finished watching The Descendants and found it to be very good in just about every way!

All drama and no action, but a very good movie nonetheless, that came with great acting, a very interesting story, beautiful cinematography and music. It was easy to see why it was nominated for a number of academy awards recently. I hesitated to purchase this one, but glad I did now.

Greetings,

Glad to hear that you enjoyed it ozar.

Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is online now  
post #16 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 02:32 AM
AVS Special Member
 
thehun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Wine country CA
Posts: 7,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Liked: 49
Funny thing is I do agree with your review for almost verbatim, but some reason I didn't think it was worthy of all that Oscar nods certainly not with the BP nod, but I would consider it for a "runner up" if you know what I mean.
I also agree with a poster who said Clooney was cast out of his usual character and he nailed it still, he did the same thing in "The American" IMO and he is really becoming one of the top actors of his generation.

sent via Morse code...........

The Hun
thehun is offline  
post #17 of 21 Old 04-19-2012, 12:25 PM
Senior Member
 
Barana2080's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

Funny thing is I do agree with your review for almost verbatim, but some reason I didn't think it was worthy of all that Oscar nods certainly not with the BP nod, but I would consider it for a "runner up" if you know what I mean.
I also agree with a poster who said Clooney was cast out of his usual character and he nailed it still, he did the same thing in "The American" IMO and he is really becoming one of the top actors of his generation.

The American is one of the best under appreciated movies that came out last few years.
Barana2080 is offline  
post #18 of 21 Old 04-28-2014, 10:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mo949's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 3,415
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 588
Finally, finally, saw this film. My wife and I have been dreading it to some degree thinking it was going to be another one of those overrated letdowns that gets critical acclaim and leaves you scratching your head at the end trying to figure out why confused.gif , so its languished away on the shelf for quite a while. Happy to say it was one of the best films I've see all year and completely agree 5/5 biggrin.gif.
Ralph Potts likes this.
mo949 is offline  
post #19 of 21 Old 05-10-2014, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,511
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo949 View Post

Finally, finally, saw this film. My wife and I have been dreading it to some degree thinking it was going to be another one of those overrated letdowns that gets critical acclaim and leaves you scratching your head at the end trying to figure out why confused.gif , so its languished away on the shelf for quite a while. Happy to say it was one of the best films I've see all year and completely agree 5/5 biggrin.gif.

Greetings,

Awesome mo949! I am glad you decided to give it a spin and enjoyed the trip.. smile.gif


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is online now  
post #20 of 21 Old 09-11-2014, 05:37 PM
Advanced Member
 
JA Fant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Prattville AL
Posts: 614
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Liked: 65
Another excellent review Ralph. This is a beautifully shot film.
Ralph Potts likes this.
JA Fant is offline  
post #21 of 21 Old 09-11-2014, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,511
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by JA Fant View Post
Another excellent review Ralph. This is a beautifully shot film.
Greetings,

Thanks JA Fant. I agree that this one is extremely well done.

Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is online now  
Reply Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews

Tags
The Descendants Blu Ray Dvd Widescreen

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off