The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish
Starring: Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Gabourey Sidibe, Sherri Shepard, Lenny Kravitz
Directed by: Lee Daniels
Music by: Mario Grigorov
Written by: Geoffrey Fletcher based upon the novel Push by Sapphire
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 9, 2010
"For precious girls everywhere"
Precious Jones, an inner-city high school girl, is illiterate, overweight, and pregnant again. Naïve and abused, she responds to a glimmer of hope when a door is opened by an alternative-school teacher. She is faced with the choice to follow opportunity and test her own boundaries.
Based on the novel Push by Sapphire and set in Harlem in 1987, Precious is the story of Claireece Precious Jones, a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She's pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother, a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn't know the meaning of alternative, but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain, Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.
Wow. This is a gripping and powerful film that exposes the underbelly of the life led by some inner city teen girls. In this case it focuses on parental abuse and hits the worst as Precious endures sexual, physical, and mental abuse. I think that for many of us we could never imagine or understand the cyclical lifestyle that befall people like this or the strength required to break it. The film depicts some of the problems inherent in urban ghetto environments, some urban city schools and the welfare system but it also conveys that there is hope and how one caring act can make a difference. I was blown away by the performances of Mo'Nique and new comer Gabourey Sidibe. Mo'nique's portrayal of Mary, Precious' mother was nothing short of amazing. I understand that she pulled from her own life experiences and I found the outcome to be riveting, passionate, and evocative. Gabourey Sidibe in the title role needed to sell this character in order to legitimize her plight. I thought that her performance nearly rivaled that of Mo'Nique as I believed every word, every emotion, and every gesture. These two actors enlivened these women by drawing us into the difficult, painful and seemingly inescapable world they inhabit with performances that resonate well after the credits have rolled. Once again all I can say is..Wow.
The rating is for scenes of child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive 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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Precious comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 mbps.
This is a high quality video presentation that boasts deep, stable blacks and bold dynamic contrast. Colors range from vividly saturated to intentionally reserved/muted. Fleshtones are lustrous with appreciable tonal delineation that highlights subtle variations in the complexions of the largely African American cast. Images are exquisitely detailed, three dimensional, and razor sharp regardless of the camera's perspective. Shadow detail is strong which provides an appreciable sense of depth during the low lit interior sequences. Grain is well preserved with variable texture that becomes prominent at times but never rises to objectionable levels. The DTS-HD MA soundtrack delivered dialogue that was crisp, tonally descriptive and well articulated. The front three channels delivered the bulk of the sound and did so with excellent clarity and imaging. The surround channels and sub saw occasional use and appropriately supported this dialogue driven presentation with ambient effects and the bass reproduction that matched those required by the film's elements.
- Audio commentary by director Lee Daniels
- (HD) From Push to Precious - 15 minute featurette with author Sapphire
- (HD) A Precious ensemble - 18 minute featurette on the cast/casting of the film
- (HD) Oprah & Tyler: A project of passion - 9 minute featurette
- (HD) A conversation with author Sapphire and director Lee Daniels - 8 minutes
- (HD) Audition: Gabourey Sidibe - 2 minute screen test footage
- (HD) Deleted scene: The incest survivor meeting
- (HD) Reflections on Precious - featuring Lee Daniels, Paul Patton and Gabourey Sidibe
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
Precious is a powerful, evocative and poignant dramatic film that tackles difficult subject matter. Based upon the novel Push by American author Sapphire, it examines the life of an inner city teen girl as she struggles against a system that offers little hope and copes with a mother raised in that system who fails her on every level imaginable. While her life is fraught with unhappiness she learns through the kindness of a few that a glimmer of hope is sometimes all that is needed to realize that we are all good at something. The Oscar nominated performances by Mo'Nique and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe are riveting and solidify the films Academy Award nomination for best picture. Precious comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring a strong audio/video presentation and a decent compliment of bonus supplements. Some may find Precious to be difficult due to the nature of its subject matter and visceral telling. Those who decide to give it a spin are in for a rewarding film experience bolstered by two incredible performances built around a poignant story of survival under deplorable circumstances. Recommended!
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