The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd, Sally Hawkins, Amy Landecker
Directed by: Phil Morrison
Music by: Graham Reynolds
Written by: Melissa James Gibson
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 19, 2013
Lie, cheat, steal…it’s all part of the holiday spirit for ex-con Dennis (Paul Giamatti) and fast talker Rene (Paul Rudd) when they try to make a quick buck selling Christmas trees in New York. For Dennis it’s a chance to go straight, and for his best friend and former partner-in-crime, Rene, it’s a chance to make some easy cash so he can marry Dennis’s ex-wife. But for two not-very-bright guys now stuck together on the cold streets of Brooklyn, this holiday season may bring some of the most unexpected miracles of all.
All is bright follows two down on their luck, small time Canadian crooks Dennis and Rene. Dennis has just been released following a four year prison term, only to find out that that his wife, Therese, has moved on by telling their preteen daughter he died and is seriously dating his old friend and partner in crime, Rene. Struggling to deal with the loss of his family and lack of work, Dennis reluctantly turns to Rene who is about to make his annual business trip into New York City to sell Christmas trees. With adversarial tension mounting between them Dennis and Rene strive to find middle ground in the hopes of selling the trees and returning with the cash that each feels will help cement their futures. The question is whose future will include Therese?
As a fan of both Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd I thought that All is bright looked promising. The film never really rises to its potential however it musters enough darkly comedic rhetoric, ancillary drama and character driven moments to overcome its dismal pacing and estranged theme. The development of the characters is poor making them hard to care about especially early on. It isn’t until the introduction of Olga (Sally Hawkins), a NY City maid in search of a Christmas tree for her employer, that a viable connection is established. Unfortunately the beginnings that feel good in that regard never really bear fruit. Luckily the performances by the two Pauls coupled with the less than jolly holiday theme keep interest going until the end which reveals a soft underbelly that coincides with the film’s bleak thematic tone.
All is bright is a small endeavor that will probably leave most viewers wanting. I would like to think that I got it and appreciated it for what it was worth.
The rating is for language and brief nudity.
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:
All is bright comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.
By design this film doesn’t boast vibrant colors are eye popping visuals but the encoding appears solid. Colors have a muted level of saturation and those used are rarely bright which give the perception of a limited palette. 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 fair to good which enhances visual perception during the scenes shot in limited lighting. Resolution is adequate so that varying degrees of detail can be seen in close ups but the video isn’t razor sharp or dimensionally strong. It isn’t a bright film which when coupled along with the reserved chromatic scheme gives it a dull finish. This seems to coincide with the creative decisions of the filmmakers and results in stable imagery that lacks the eye popping definition that some may expect from a newer film.
The Dolby TrueHD (sampled at 96 khz) sound quality is solid and offers a one dimensional, front oriented perspective that sounded smooth, tonally neutral and exquisitely detailed. Dialogue is centrally focused and lucid with distinguishable intonation and requisite clarity. Surround activity is limited to subtle ambience that occasionally offered some spatial dimension that extended the depth of the sound field.
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
All is bright is a bleak dark comedy that suffers from a meandering pace and nonsymmetrical script. What it brings to the table is a rewardingly offbeat context that is underscored by solid performances by leads Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd and a complimentary supporting turn by Sally Hawkins. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment in a barebones offering that features stylized yet satisfying high definition video and crystal clear lossless Dolby TrueHD sound quality. When you’re in the mood for something a little different give All is bright a rent.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
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
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package