The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 86 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Selma Blair, Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee, Amy Smart, Kevin Pollack, Beau Bridges, Jason Antoon, Robert Guillame
Directed by: George Gallo
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: George Gallo & Kevin Pollack
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 6, 2012
"Fear thy neighbor"
Abigail Clayton (Selma Blair) lives alone. Very alone. In fact, the heiress has not left her Manhattan apartment for almost two decades. When the death of her elderly neighbor prompts NYPD Homicide Detective Frank Giardello (Giovanni Ribisi) to launch an investigation, the agoraphobic Abigail is distressed to find him outside her door, questioning her. Having tried to acquire the now vacant apartment to ensure her privacy, Abigail is further upset when new tenants Lillian (Amy Smart) and Charlie (Jason Lee) move in. Abigail anxiously monitors her new neighbors from the safety of her front door's peephole, but her well-ordered world begins to unravel when she finally encounters Lillian and Charlie face-to-face and her sheltered existence becomes threatened in unexpected and terrifying ways.
When a murder mystery next door results in agoraphobic heiress Abigail Clayton (Selma Blair) having an encounter with her questionable new neighbors, the safe and solitary world she created for herself violently unravels. Years earlier, in order to escape the hounding public and press, Abigail, the then 18 year old daughter of a wealthy industrialist, secluded herself in her Manhattan loft on the day she received her enormous inheritance. Sequestered at the top of the Columbus Circle luxury apartment high-rise, Abigail remained seemingly secure until the day her elderly neighbor is found dead. Abigail's world is now disrupted by her domestically challenged new neighbors and a police investigation that brings the inquisitive and intrusive NYPD Homicide Detective Frank Giardello (Giovanni Ribisi) to her door. Peering anxiously through her peephole each day, Abigail soon learns that the new tenants, Lillian Hart (Amy Smart) and Charles Stratford (Jason Lee), may threaten more than just her privacy.
I had never heard of Columbus Circle prior to receiving it for review. I knew something was amiss when I read the plot synopsis and saw its 85 minute runtime. Thrillers don't have to have original stories but generally rely on suspense and good character development to draw the audience in. In this case we have a paper thin and painfully predictable plot, an entire set of characters that you couldn't care less about and while it moves along quickly there is little payoff in the intrigue department. The end result is a poorly conceived Lifetime Movie style thriller that comes up empty. Based upon the talent in the cast I had hoped for better but this one doesn't even qualify as a last ditch rental.
The rating is for violence, some language and thematic material.
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:
Columbus Circle comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate 3.3 Mbps.
In looking at this video presentation as a whole I found it to be satisfactory but not among the better Blu-ray titles I have seen in high definition. Contrast is held in check and blacks are deep but slightly crushed. Shadow detail isn't definitive however depth of field during low level segments is appreciable. Color balance is good as both primary and secondary are cleanly rendered with a pleasing level of saturation and depth. Skin tones have warm, delineated highlights and lifelike variety. Resolution and clarity is estimable although definition can be a bit inconsistent which leaves some shots appearing flat with the finest gradations obscured. This appears innate and affects both wide angle and close ups. Luckily it isn't prevalent as more often than not images appear well resolved with discernible definition and appreciable rendering of fine detail. A light veneer of grain provides texture however its inconsistent rendering can be a bit distracting. Otherwise the presentation looked solid.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack handles the soundtrack's elements well. Voices have discerning inflectional characteristics with above average room penetration. The music score is spread throughout the sound field, primarily through the front three channels with ambient rear channel extension that enhances envelopment. The soundstage is front oriented with the surrounds supplying mild ambience along with a few discretely placed sound effects (such as off camera creaks and circling sounds) that broaden depth. It not an especially involving surround mix but it gets the job done.
There is no supplemental content included.
Columbus Circle is a direct to video affair that has a decent cast but fails to deliver credible suspense or likeable characters. I found it to be a poorly conceived and uninteresting Lifetime Movie Network style thriller that is better left on the shelf. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment in a barebones offering that features satisfying audio/video quality but lacks any supplemental material. This one is a pass.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package