Adoration (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 10-12-2009, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 Minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/Portuguese DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Scott Speedman, Arsinee Khanjian, Rachel Blanchard, Noam Jenkins, Devon Bostwick
Written & Directed by: Atom Egoyan
Music by: Mychael Danna
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 13, 2009

"What would you do? "

Film Synopsis:

What would you do if you found out your father may have been a terrorist? A high school boy writes a story for class that makes this claim. Is it true? Friends, family, teachers and internet chat-room partners start to wonder and worry. Now he must journey through a maze of family secrets to find the truth about his dead father. From Academy Award®-nominated director Atom Egoyan (1997, Best Director, The Sweet Hereafter) comes a story of a young man who must question everything he knows in order to learn who he is and who his father was. Adoration presents a world where there is no such thing as us versus them and the truth is never as simple as right and wrong.

My Take:

This film's story revolves around Simon (Bostick) a high school student who, after being inspired by his French teach to do so, writes a paper (and reads it aloud to the class) detailing how his father attempted to use his mother to smuggle explosives on to an international flight in order to blow up the aircraft. Simon's parents are now deceased and he is living with his uncle Tom (Speedman). Simon's paper alleges that his father was a terrorist and a manipulator who used his mother and how the ordeal came to impact his life. As Simon delves deeper into the story it takes on a life of its own as it coincides with the actual attempted bombing. This sets off a series of online discussions involving people who remember the event, some of whom were onboard that flight. His fellow students begin to debate what it must have been like and how this would or could have affected them were they in Simon's place. His teacher Sabine (Arsinee Khanjian) upon seeing the reaction to it encourages Simon to continue sharing the events in his life afterward. Questions are raised about religion, culture, trust and furthermore the stigma attached to those who may or may not come from backgrounds that differ from our own. The plot thickens as things become clearer and several integral plot points are revealed. When the dust settles Simon is left with the answers to some very important questions. Some of those answers will be shocking but the entire experience will leave him with a poignant understanding about devotion, trust, familial dysfunction and perhaps how a single event experienced by many can effect them all differently.

I>Adoration is an interesting film from a conceptual standpoint. Both by the subject of its narrative as well as in its telling. Writer/director Atom Egoyan spins this tale expertly by moving back and forth using flashbacks and fractured annotations based in a sort of open forum that slowly and deliberately peels away the layers in this film. It can be engaging as you sift through the breadcrumbs trying to grasp its unraveling elements. The outcome is rewarding when things come together to reveal the true nature behind Simon's story. There are facets presented from multiple angles and while each may not be seen to their ultimate conclusion the story's flow is never interrupted. Right up to the end I found myself wondering exactly what the conclusion would hold in store. I appreciated the twists both subtle and abrupt as they elevated interest. The cast seemed well placed and comfortable within their roles. Scott Speedman as Uncle Tom did a great job in maintaining a perfect balance between reserved emotion, insecurity and deleteriously pent up anger. This is my first experience with Arsinee Khanjian and I thought she was impressive. The film touches on a number of societal topics and provides basis for thought without seeming overly emphatic. For me this is a film that I would like to revisit as I feel that both its story and performances have more to offer than can be realized in just one viewing.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and thematic material.

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=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

Video: 80

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

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

Adoration comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 mbps.

By design this film doesn't boast vibrant colors are eye popping visuals but the encoding appears solid. Colors have a muted level of saturation and those used are rarely bright which give the perception of a limited palette. Overall they are naturally rendered and appear to fall within the visual range intended. Fleshtones have appreciable complexional distinction but the lighting used can sometimes leave them appearing flat and lacking in texture. Blacks are respectable with above average delineation. Shadow detail is quite good which enhances visual perception during the scenes shot at night or in limited lighting. Resolution is adequate so that varying degrees of detail can be seen in close ups but the video isn't razor sharp or dimensionally strong. It also isn't very bright which when coupled along with the drab colors gives it a dull finish. This seems to coincide with the creative decisions of the filmmakers and results in stable imagery that lacks the eye popping definition that some may expect from a newer film. This is the first Sony Blu-ray title that I have seen with a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. A film such as this probably isn't the best for showing off all of the positive attributes that lossless sound offers but it sounded quite good. The 5.1 channel audio encoding presented this rather front heavy soundtrack with clear, refined dialogue, two dimensional perspective, and splashes of atmospheric ambience and discretely placed sound effects that expanded the depth of the sound field.

Bonus Features:

  • 6 Deleted scenes

  • Interview with writer/producer/director Atom Egoyan - 23 minutes

  • Making of featurette - 12 minutes

  • The violin shop featurette - 9 minutes

  • Take three featurette - 20 minutes

  • Passengers featurette - 19 minutes

  • Blu-ray exclusive: The fabulous picture show - 13 minutes

  • BD-live enabled

Final Thoughts:

Adoration is a wonderfully scripted, enacted, and directed film from Atom Egoyan. Its story is intelligently crafted so as to engage the audience through multifaceted stages that slowly reveal its intentionally hidden layers. I thoroughly appreciated it and look forward to giving it another spin in the future. Technically speaking its debut on Blu-ray disc from Sony offers equally good audio/video quality and mix of bonus supplements that compliment the presentation nicely. For those who enjoy thought provoking films this one is right up your alley and is worth considering.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/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)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel 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, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

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post #2 of 2 Old 10-12-2009, 03:25 PM
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Wolf and Frankenstein are other recent Sony titles with DTS-HDM as well.
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