The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Argonaut Pictures - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French
Starring: James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, Ally Sheedy, Kristen Stewart, Joe Chrest
Directed by: Jake Scott
Music by: Marc Streitenfeld
Written by: Ken Hixon
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 1, 2011
"I'm nobody's little girl."
Doug Riley is a man at the crossroads. Ever since the tragic death of his teenage daughter, he's led a life of quiet desperation... and now, something has to give. On a business trip to New Orleans, he encounters Mallory-- a raw, angry runaway living a dangerous life as a stripper. Moved by emotions he barely understands, Riley abandons his old life to save hers.
My Take:'Welcome to the Rileys' is the little engine that could...but didn't. From its phenomenal cast, James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and Kristen Stewart (the Twilight films), and having a really intriguing premise, I was excited to give this a viewing; unfortunately the film was a let down in two major ways. First, it seemed the screenwriter was trying too hard to be gritty, getting caught up in some silly language; how many times do we have to hear Mallory (Kristen Stewart) refer to her woman part as 'cooter'? The language became laughable, the type that a drinking game could be made of: "Take a shot every time a swear is thrown that makes you giggle." Then the major fault of the film was its lack of emotional weight. This was destined to be a super-duper tear-jerker, but it never could puppet the emotions like the best of the genre.
When Doug Riley (James Gandolfini) takes a business trip to New Orleans, he decides to stay, leaving his wife alone and depressed back home. He has met a young girl, who looks only 16, at a strip club. Doug has been depressed, and he and his wife have every reason to be. They lost their teenage daughter in a car accident and have not yet made peace with the event. When Doug meets Mallory (Kristen Stewart), a foul mouthed stripper, he sees another lost soul and dedicates himself to helping her by forcing himself into become a 'surrogate' Father.
I was really looking forward to James and Kristen interacting on such an awkward level. Her the stripper/hooker and him the lost, depressed father whose daughter was killed in a car accident. The thought of the two of them connecting, him leaving his life to try to be her guardian angel and move in with her had so much possibility. Their chemistry was great, as was the additive of the always superb Mellisa Leo (Frozen River) as Doug's agoraphobic and depressed wife, who just wont leave the house. She adds what are the films best moments when she
Rated R for strong sexual content, brief drug use and pervasive language involving a teenager.
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:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Sony delivers another beautiful new release. 'Welcome to the Rileys' looked like real life. It had wonderful rendering of fine details and colors were completely natural to my eye. It made settling right in, and looking through a window into this story very easy. This was an effortless viewing, and seeing how natural the color palette looked, flesh-tones seemed spot-on as well. Blacks and shadow detail were strong just adding to the stellar video presentation. The DTS-HD MA track was well average, but more a plain Jane affair. Everything sounded nice and clear and the sound-stage seemed accurate, but there was nothing exciting about what was heard. The film didn't call for much at all, so the little ambiance in the effects channels was vaguely noticeable, and there was hardly any LFE. This track did all it was asked and sounded nice doing so...what else can we expect?
- (HD) Creating The Rileys
- (HD) Trailers: The Tourist, Nowhere Boy, I Get Low, Justified
- BD Live enabled
'Welcome to the Rileys' is not a bad film by any means, and the performances make it worth a watch, just don't expect too much here. Some of the language was laughable to me, and though destined to be a super-duper tear-jerker, it never could puppet the emotions like the best of the genre. This is another stellar Blu-ray from Sony, but don't expect much in the way of special features. All we get is "Creating The Rileys", which at about 10 minutes was an enjoyable watch that didn't overstay its welcome. I give this a rental recommendation for the cast alone.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Marantz AV7005 Pre/Pro
Emotiva UPA7 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer