The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: George Clooney, Paul Giamatti, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright
Directed by: George Clooney
Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Written By: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 17, 2011
"Is This Man Our Next President?"
An idealistic staffer for a newbie presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.
My Take:Beware the endless circle of corruption that is politics. No matter how idealistic, how pure and true the intentions, you eventually get tainted by the crowd you hang with. In The Ides of March, we follow Stephen Meyers, played with precision by Ryan Gosling (Drive), as he works the campaign of Democratic Presidential hopeful, Governor Mike Morris (Clooney). The young Meyers has quite the reputation as a great advisor, so much so that he is courted by the opposing candidate's campaign manager Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti). When word gets out he took the meeting with Duffy, he is confronted by Morris' campaign manager and his boss Paul Zara played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. This sets forth events that will test this young mans resolve and push him to realize that even the so-called "ethical" politicians he looks up to get their hands dirty.
The film was pushed as a thriller/drama, and I must report it was a gritty political melodrama, not a thriller at all. This didn't disappoint me as I was fully engaged in the well fleshed-out characters that were brilliantly brought to life by a superb cast. The mental battle of the campaign managers Paul Zara (Philip Seymour Hoffman) Tom Duffy (Paul Giamatti) and their banter was great. George Clooney was pitch-perfect as Governor Mike Morris who was torn between what he believes and what he has to do.
Clooney proves he is a very competent director, methodically pacing the film, creating an uncomfortable off kilter feeling as we await the next move in the game of political chess. Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (The Descendants, W.) created some beautiful images that are not only striking, but serve the story incredibly well. This is an all around great film on the political layers within the world of politics.
Rated R for 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:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
What a gorgeous looking transfer from Sony. Black levels are as good as it gets, with no crush or loss of shadow detail. The contrast of mixed content like a dark bar and a door to a bright outside is outstanding, and one look at the Charlie Rose scene confirms this is a reference quality and filmic presentation. Film grain mingles with crisp high definition images adding a level of depth, while vibrant colors and natural flesh tones add beauty to the image. I cant boast as much on the DTS-HD MA audio track but that is because this is primarily a talkie. Dialogue sure is crisp and articulate, always in front of the mix. Surrounds play with the requisite amount of ambiance and low frequencies are strong when their limit use rears it head. Alexandre Desplat's score sounds amazing here, adding tension to every scene. A fine track indeed, but a system show-off it is not.
- (HD) Audio Commentary with George Clooney and Grant Heslov
- (HD) Developing the Campaign: The Origin of The Ides of March
- (HD) What Does a Political Consultant Do?
- (HD) Believe: George Clooney
- (HD) On The Campaign: The Cast of The Ides Of March
- (HD) Trailers: Drive, Moneyball, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Anonymos, The Rum Diary
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
- BD Live enabled
The Ides of March is a film I am glad to have in my collection. Clooney has taken a big step forward as a director here, and he and the rest of the cast are all superb. Sony nails this transfer as it easily gets reference marks with this awesome High Definition release. The extra features are a bit lacking with only a short 7 featurettes. However, a commentary and a digital copy are included. This release comes highly recommended. Enjoy.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS45 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Denon AVR 4311 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
MK Sound S-150MKII LCR
MK Sound S-150T Tripole Surrounds
MK Sound MX-350MKII Subwoofer