Dallas Buyers Club (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-29-2014, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109940&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
83





Studio and Year: Universal - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 117 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
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leta, Jennifer Garner, Dennis O’Hare
Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallee
Written by: Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 4, 2014







"I’ve got one life, I want it to mean something"


Film Synopsis:

Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career in this uplifting and powerful film inspired by true events. Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) sees his free-wheeling life overturned when he’s diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. Determined to survive, Woodroof decides to take matters in his own hands by tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. After finding an unlikely ally in Rayon (Jared Leto), he establishes a hugely successful “buyers’ club” and unites a band of outcasts in a struggle for dignity and acceptance that inspires in ways no one could have imagined.

My Take:

Dallas buyers club is based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who began smuggling unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms. This is powerful dramatic film that plays out in a character study fashion as it depicts Ron Woodroof’s transformation from a callous, self serving walk on the wild side living Texas cowboy into someone he would never have imagined in his wildest dreams. This came about as a direct result of his free wheeling lifestyle and heterosexual promiscuity which lead to the contraction of the HIV virus in the early to mid nineteen eighties when AIDS was still relatively “new”.

I watched it with my wife and we were both touched by the film. This is a personal and intimate story that speaks to the human condition even in the face of overwhelming adversity. Many of the facts depicted in the film were based upon information obtained from Ron’s diary or family members/friends. There are of course aspects of the plot that were added for drama/melodramatic effect but by and large the film’s central storyline is true. Dallas buyers club can be difficult to watch and reminds us how precious life is. What we see in Ron and learn from the relationships he develops with the people in the film is that we shouldn’t take things for granted. We see the path on the road to that discovery through his eyes, which is done incredibly well and probably what I liked most about the movie from a contextural perspective.

What sells the film is the riveting portrayal by Matthew McConaughey whose physical transmogrification compliments his sterling performance. Additionally Jared Leto’s supporting role as Rayon, Ron’s transgender associate, is equally deserving of praise as their shared chemistry reinforces the thematic and dramatic elements. Dallas buyers club has been critically acclaimed and received several awards and nominations, including Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award wins for McConaughey and Leto, and six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay.

Not to be missed Dallas buyers club is among the year’s best films and is deserving of the recognition it has thus received.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use.



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.**


Audio: 78

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


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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

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

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&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=109947&d=1210373699

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

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

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


Dalls buyers club comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

This high definition presentation was on par with other new release films of its type and generally looked great. Colors were natural looking with a pleasing and reserved quality that capably handled the somewhat limited palette used to represent the period settings and clothing featured in the film. Flesh tones varied a bit with some appearing warm and lifelike while others were sullen with pallid characteristics. Contrast was tamped down but stable and images were well detailed and crisp, with sharp lines and appreciable dimension. Blacks weren’t inky but had good dynamic range and detail in shadowy backgrounds and low level sequences had estimable visibility which enhanced depth. This high bitrate encoding was rendered with pristine quality that didn’t exhibit any overt signs of compression related anomalies or deleterious artifacts.

This lossless DTS-HD Master Audio encoding readily handled the elements contained in this dialogue driven film. The presentation retained a front loaded perspective with well defined and clearly articulated dialogue that extended well into the room. Sounds and music were reproduced with refining clarity and appropriate dynamism. Surround activity was limited to rear channel spatial cues and occasional directional sounds. It was a fine match with the source material and never felt inadequate.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Deleted scenes – 4 minutes

  • (HD) A look inside Dallas buyers club – 4 minutes

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who began smuggling unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms, Dalls buyers club is a poignant, powerful and engaging drama that is enriched by the captivating performance of star Matthew McConaughey. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a diminutive and disappointing supplemental offering that left me wanting. Dallas buyers club is a must see film that deserves a place at the top of your rental queue.



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 20 Old 01-29-2014, 07:17 AM
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This isn't a film I need to have the Blu-ray, but I have already preordered it on Vudu, as I am sad I missed it in the theater. Can't wait to watch it, as the trailers I've seen have been incredible. As I'm trying to keep my footprint down, if it's not a reference-quality, showcase film, I've been purchasing via Vudu or iTunes.

Thanks for the review, it's only made me more anxious to see this, and as always, your reviews help me decide if I buy the physical disc or rent/buy a digital copy.

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-29-2014, 11:47 AM
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pretty low Audio/Video scores...wasn't going to buy the Blu-ray anyhow but was expecting a better A/V presentation...wasn't expecting it to look like Monsters University or Avatar but it's still disappointing...
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-29-2014, 09:38 PM
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Saw the trailer to this film and definitely caught my interest. Will definitely give it a rent before I buy.

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-30-2014, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

pretty low Audio/Video scores...wasn't going to buy the Blu-ray anyhow but was expecting a better A/V presentation...wasn't expecting it to look like Monsters University or Avatar but it's still disappointing...
The source material (the film) is not a a/v spectacular but the story and performances more than make it worth viewing at least once.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-30-2014, 03:24 AM
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I was able to get a preview copy and I really do not think it is fair to judge this film on the audio or video. The film is about a time in history and it seems that the filmmaker was more interested in telling a real story about and prejudice during the period. It also seems that if one looks back at past reviews by Ralph the great ones go to the action films.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-30-2014, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post

pretty low Audio/Video scores...wasn't going to buy the Blu-ray anyhow but was expecting a better A/V presentation...wasn't expecting it to look like Monsters University or Avatar but it's still disappointing...


Greetings,

This is a period piece that is intentionally designed to have a specific audio/visual aesthetic that is of the type that makes for an enthralling home theater experience. There is nothing wrong with the presentation and it appears to coincide with the filmmaker's intention. I am surprised that at this stage of the game that this is something that needs to be pointed out especially when it is clear that what makes this film special is its content.
Quote:
It also seems that if one looks back at past reviews by Ralph the great ones go to the action films.

This comment isn't true as there have been plenty of non action related titles that have gotten high marks from me. Zero Dark Thirty is one that comes to mind...


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post #8 of 20 Old 01-30-2014, 06:33 AM
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Zero Dark Thirty is one that comes to mind...

Ralph Potts is the m@+#$! f$%*$! that reviewed that. biggrin.gif

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post #9 of 20 Old 01-31-2014, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

This is a period piece that is intentionally designed to have a specific audio/visual aesthetic that is of the type that makes for an enthralling home theater experience. There is nothing wrong with the presentation and it appears to coincide with the filmmaker's intention. I am surprised that at this stage of the game that this is something that needs to be pointed out especially when it is clear that what makes this film special is its content.
This comment isn't true as there have been plenty of non action related titles that have gotten high marks from me. Zero Dark Thirty is one that comes to mind...


Regards,

There are a few non action films that have gotten good reviews but to give The Lone Ranger a 99 raises questions. This was one of the biggest bombs of the year and even though it may have had good PQ and sound that did not make up for story. I think more points should be given to to overall quality of the movie.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-31-2014, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rwestley View Post

There are a few non action films that have gotten good reviews but to give The Lone Ranger a 99 raises questions. This was one of the biggest bombs of the year and even though it may have had good PQ and sound that did not make up for story. I think more points should be given to to overall quality of the movie.

Greetings,

My rating system doesn't lump in the subjective viewpoint of the film and audio/video quality, nor should it. You can read my thoughts on this here:

Blu-ray Disc Reviews: Introduction

This is fairly straight forward and easy enough to delineate when reading them. Sorry you don't agree but that's how I do it and most seem to be able to understand why.

Regards,
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-31-2014, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

My rating system doesn't lump in the subjective viewpoint of the film and audio/video quality, nor should it.

Hey Ralph, I like what you're doing, and I like that you grade the picture/sound quality separate from the film and extras. Perhaps to alleviate some of the confusion, you could grade all areas on the same scale...As it stands, you grade the film & extras on a 5-star scale and the AV presentation on a 100-point scale. Perhaps this is where people are getting confused. They probably look at the number and assume it is the all-encompassing grade.

Or they could just look at it more closely and see exactly what you're doing, which is pretty good, IMO.
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post #12 of 20 Old 01-31-2014, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillcat View Post

Hey Ralph, I like what you're doing, and I like that you grade the picture/sound quality separate from the film and extras. Perhaps to alleviate some of the confusion, you could grade all areas on the same scale...As it stands, you grade the film & extras on a 5-star scale and the AV presentation on a 100-point scale. Perhaps this is where people are getting confused. They probably look at the number and assume it is the all-encompassing grade.

Or they could just look at it more closely and see exactly what you're doing, which is pretty good, IMO.

Greetings,

Thanks thrillcat. smile.gif

Actually what I believe rwestly is saying is that he would prefer that the film rating itself be weighted and factored in the overall audio/video scale. I don't believe that he is confusing the numeric audio/video rating as the film rating.


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post #13 of 20 Old 01-31-2014, 05:50 AM
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Greetings,

Thanks thrillcat. smile.gif

Actually what I believe rwestly is saying is that he would prefer that the film rating itself be weighted and factored in the overall audio/video scale. I don't believe that he is confusing the numeric audio/video rating as the film rating.


Regards,

That's interesting. There are movies I buy because they are eye/ear candy. There are movies I buy because they are are great films. There are no movies I buy because it was an average film but it's above average black levels pushed it into 'gotta have' ratings.

A: Films I love
B: Films that I can crank up and enjoy my system

A+B= Buy bluray
A-B= Buy digital 'cloud' version
B-A= Buy bluray

Anything else I rent.
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post #14 of 20 Old 01-31-2014, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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That's interesting. There are movies I buy because they are eye/ear candy. There are movies I buy because they are are great films. There are no movies I buy because it was an average film but it's above average black levels pushed it into 'gotta have' ratings.

A: Films I love
B: Films that I can crank up and enjoy my system

A+B= Buy bluray
A-B= Buy digital 'cloud' version
B-A= Buy bluray

Anything else I rent.

Greetings,

Exactly...


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post #15 of 20 Old 02-04-2014, 07:27 AM
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Thanks for the recommend Ralph! Will be looking for it on Vudu! cool.gif
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An astonishing performance by McConaughey. A physical transformation and performance reminding me of De Niro in Raging Bull. Same with Jared Leto who has gone both up (Chapter 27) and way down here. Amazing acting and a thoughtful tale. Should win several Oscars. Thanks for the thorough Blu-Ray review.
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Wow, with a film rating like that from the King, I need to check this one out....Sounds like this will be my 4am movie after my shift tonight biggrin.gif


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post #18 of 20 Old 02-06-2014, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Wow, with a film rating like that from the King, I need to check this one out....Sounds like this will be my 4am movie after my shift tonight biggrin.gif

Greetings,

Be sure to post back with your thoughts AJ... smile.gif


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post #19 of 20 Old 02-07-2014, 02:15 PM
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Greetings,

Be sure to post back with your thoughts AJ... smile.gif


Regards,


I ended up having to watch it over two nights, but I have to say that I agree with your take on this film 100%, Ralph. I honestly don't recall seeing a lot of Jared Leto's work, but I was truly impressed with him here. His portrayal of Rayon (I think that was the name, right?) was extremely effective. He was able to create different feelings and emotions within me, ranging from frustration, to sympathy and compassion, to humor, to pity, and then loop me back around again for more. I don't know if he's up for best supporting actor, but if he's not then it's truly a shame. It's rare that an actor can engage me to that degree and in so many ways, and I can say with certainty that I'll be paying more attention to his projects from this point forward. In fact, I'll probably look up his filmography on IMDB and add some titles to my queue where he's had a prominent role.

Additionally, I thought it was very interesting to see things from the perspective of a heterosexual male dealing with the early stigma of HIV back in the mid-80s. It shines a light on the circumstances from a different angle, and the way this impacted his longstanding relationships was fascinating (albeit not surprising).

Overall a very solid, well-written, well-acted film worthy of the rating that the King has bestowed biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 20 Old 02-07-2014, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summa View Post

I ended up having to watch it over two nights, but I have to say that I agree with your take on this film 100%, Ralph. I honestly don't recall seeing a lot of Jared Leto's work, but I was truly impressed with him here. His portrayal of Rayon (I think that was the name, right?) was extremely effective. He was able to create different feelings and emotions within me, ranging from frustration, to sympathy and compassion, to humor, to pity, and then loop me back around again for more. I don't know if he's up for best supporting actor, but if he's not then it's truly a shame. It's rare that an actor can engage me to that degree and in so many ways, and I can say with certainty that I'll be paying more attention to his projects from this point forward. In fact, I'll probably look up his filmography on IMDB and add some titles to my queue where he's had a prominent role.

Additionally, I thought it was very interesting to see things from the perspective of a heterosexual male dealing with the early stigma of HIV back in the mid-80s. It shines a light on the circumstances from a different angle, and the way this impacted his longstanding relationships was fascinating (albeit not surprising).

Overall a very solid, well-written, well-acted film worthy of the rating that the King has bestowed biggrin.gif

Greetings,

Glad to hear it AJ..! cool.gif


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