The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, Aly Michalka, Frances Fisher, Billy Zane, Daneel Harris
Directed by: Christian E. Christiansen
Music by: John Frizzell
Written by: Sonny Mallhi
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 17, 2011
"Murder can really ruin a friendship"
She's cute. She's loyal. She's psychotic. And, unfortunately for college freshman Sara (Minka Kelly) she's THE ROOMMATE. When Sara arrives at school, she finds new romance with Stephen (Cam Gigandet)and forms a fast friendship with her roommate Rebecca (Leighton Meester). What begins as camaraderie soon turns creepy, and Sara comes face-to-face with the terrifying realization that her new best friend is obsessive, unbalanced...and maybe even a killer!
There is little need for an in-depth breakdown of the plot in The Roommate. If you have seen one thriller about a crazed/obsessive friend you get the gist. With a film like this that goes with such a formulaic premise we then turn to the implementation of the script, the depth of the characters and the performances by the cast to determine its worth. Right across the board I found this to be a diminutive effort, devoid of suspense, engaging thrills or tangible characters. The necessary establishment of the connection/relationship between Sara and Rebecca is lacking which makes Rebecca's obsession with her less effecting. Rebecca is molded after every other genre sociopath with a fixation. One problem I saw was that the narrow swath with which she is painted adds little mystique to the goings on. This was further exacerbated by the poor development of the characters close to Sara who ultimately become Rebecca's targets/victims. The attempt to provide some background on her made little sense and didn't integrate well with the storyline. Sometimes less is better and a little ambiguity goes a long way toward letting our imaginations draw us in a film like this. The bland direction and choppy editing only served to highlight the unimaginative script. The Roommate does manage to strike a cheap, teen scream chord. This is primarily due to Leighton Meester who does a decent job in the role of the maniacally obsessive Rebecca. It's a good thing too because the remainder of the cast couldn't sell free ice cream to heat stoke victims. Minka Kelly is nice to look at but boring. I quickly grew tired of Cam Gigandet's Adrian Zmed like posturing. Last and certainly least was Billy Zane's ridiculous cameo as a leering college professor who teaches a class on fashion. The Roommate pales in comparison to the better films in its genre but if your standards are on the low side you might fight it remotely entertaining.
The rating is for violence and menace, sexual content, some language and teen partying.
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:
The Roommate comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 Mbps.
By design this film doesn't boast vibrant colors are eye popping visuals but the presentation appears solid. Colors have a muted level of saturation and those used are rarely bright. 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 good enough that varying degrees of detail can be seen in close ups but the video isn't razor sharp or dimensionally strong. I didn't notice any video related anomalies of artifacts. The end result is pleasing high definition presentation that appears faithful to the film's original elements.
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 with ambient effects and the bass reproduction that matched those required by the recorded elements. Quite frankly I found this to be a lackluster surround experience for a film of this type.
- Commentary by director Christian E. Christiansen
- 7 deleted/alternate scenes
- (HD) Obsession: The making of The Roommate - 8 minute making of featurette
- (HD) The Roommate: Next generation of stars - 5 minute featurette
- (HD) Dressing dangerously - 4 minute feaurette
- BD-Live enabled
- (HD) Previews - Insidious, You got served: Beat the world, Just go with it, Conutyr strong, Beastly
The Roommate is an unimaginative and lazy thriller that is devoid of suspense, engaging thrills or tangible characters. It makes its way onto Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring pleasing high definition video and fair but lifeless lossless sound. The middling assortment of bonus features add little but do include Blu-ray Disc exclusive content for those who like the film. The Roommate pales in comparison to the better films in its genre but if your standards are on the low side you might fight it remotely entertaining. Otherwise I wouldn't bother.
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