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Old 02-19-2013, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Lee Weber's Avatar
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373637

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: The Weinstein Company - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Documentary

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

Audio Format(s): DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Alex, Kelpy, Ja'Maya
Directed by: Lee Hirsch
Written by: Lee Hirsch, Cynthia Lowen
Music by: Michael Furjanic, Justin Rice, Christian Rudder
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 12, 2013

"It's Time To Take A Stand"

Film Synopsis:

This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. BULLY is the first feature documentary film to show how we've all been affected by bullying, whether we've been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. BULLY opens on the first day of school. For the more than 13 million kids who'll be bullied this year in the United States, it's a day filled with more anxiety and foreboding than excitement. As the sun rises and school busses across the country overflow with backpacks, brass instruments and the rambunctious sounds of raging hormones, this is a ride into the unknown. For a lot of kids, the only thing that's certain is that this year, like every other, bullying will be a big part of whatever meets them at their school's front doors.

My Take:

I was a Bully in Elementary school. But thanks to a bit of cosmic karma mystical whatever, in Junior High I was bullied. When I was being the bully it was my way of working through my insecurities and my own issues, not that that is any excuse, and picking on anyone is cruel. My tough guy posturing backfired on me in Junior High and there was a group of kids that messed with me for a full school year. Needless to say I worked through my insecurities and anxieties making me the normal dude I am today...not. In both of my cases, it sucked for the one being picked on, but in retrospect it was a normal part of growing up, finding your place and strangely enough, building character. Unfortunately for some it goes too far. Bullying prays on the weak, and sometimes they just can’t handle it…and those are the stories that are told here.

Bully is an important documentary to be shown to kids at school, as any awareness and reminders can help limit the problem by keeping the issue in the forefront. It really hits hard, low and fast, as it begins with the ultimate tear jerker, a boy who could not take it anymore and took his own life. I cried, my wife cried...it was heartbreaking no matter what the reason. Bully was a profile on a few kids who were being bullied and would have fared better if we met the bullies as that could have made it a bit better by offering insight on the reason these kids need to put down and hurt others. It offered no solutions, had no real answers and strangely enough showed one kid who got through his bullying buy guess what? Fighting back. That’s some good advice, but as the only solution offered it just seems like it could mentally hurt the kids who are not strong and can’t deal with the situation in that way. Whether or not it was intentional I left the film with the thought that if you live in a Red State and are different you are pretty much screwed. I felt terrible for the poor kids and their families in the film, and I whole heartedly support bringing this issue into the forefront and believe this medium to be a great tool to do so, but as a piece of film it left me empty and wanting a more insight as opposed to a few really sad stories. I also found it annoyingly ironic and frustrating that they could film these kids going through this...keep the cameras rolling and not intervene, especially in the case of Alex and when the kids were hitting, pushing and even strangling him on the school bus. Umm wtf?

Parental Guide:

Rated PG13 for language

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: 80

(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=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

Video: 86

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bully comes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.7 mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound that has an average bitrate of 2.6 mbps

Bully looks and sounds good in Anchor Bays Blu-ray presentation. It is not going to make any top 10 lists, but it is definitely well above average. Primary colors are natural and bold, mixing well with the films strong blacks, and creating a sense of depth with the images resolution of finer details. I did notice a few washed out shots and a few compression issues which did seem more a product of the cinematography more than any issues with the transfer. The audio track does all it needs considering this is a documentary that is more focused front and center with dialogue being paramount. There are moments of surround atmosphere, however, they just don't matter in the grand scheme of this presentation.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Special Version of Bully Edited For A Younger Audience

  • (HD) Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) The Bully Project at Work

  • (HD) Alex After Bully, Alex Raps, Alex's Character Sketch

  • (HD) Kelby's Original Sketch

  • (HD) Meryl Streep on Bullying

  • (HD) Communities in Motion

  • (HD) Sioux City After Bully

  • (HD) Good Morning America

  • (HD) Kevin Jennings, An Advocate's Perspective

  • (HD) We Are Daniel

  • (HD) Bully, The Book

  • DVD Copy

Final Thoughts:

I guess I am supposed to think Bully is great just because the subject is a worthy and important issue that should to be brought to light. Actually, thats why I gave it 3 instead of 2.5 stars. I yearned for more insight, maybe an suggestion for some ways to help (besides the making of this doc) and was off put by seeing this bullying when the camera person(s) could have and should have just put down the camera to stop the kids torturing these poor children. The film hits hard and begins with the lowest blow possible, and is sure to illicit tears. Even though I had my issues, it is worth making kids see this in school to raise awareness and it could just be a good tool to help stop a bully or two.


Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review Systems:

JVC DLA-RS4810 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5509 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triad InRoom Gold LCR's
Triad OnWall Silver Surrounds
2 Triad Silver OmniSubs

Panasonic TC-P65VT30 3D 1080p Plasma
Marantz NR1603 Receiver
Sony PS3 (HDMI Audio/Video)
MKSound MP-7 LCR's
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:03 PM
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I agreed with you on this 1 Lee.

I tried watching it last night but had to stop about 40 minutes in.

Just to much focus on kids getting picked on and it was just to depressing. Like you I had hoped to see more about something being done about bullying as opposed to showing mainly just kids being bullied. frown.gif
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