The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron, John D’Leo
Directed by: Luc Besson
Music by: Evgueni Galperine
Written by: Luc Besson & Michael Caleo
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 17, 2013
A Mafia boss and his family are relocated to a sleepy town in France under the Witness Protection Program after snitching on the mob. Despite Agent Stansfield’s (Tommy Lee Jones) best efforts to keep them in line, Fred Blake (Robert De Niro), his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer), and their children Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D’Leo), can’t help resorting to old habits by handling their problems the “family” way. Chaos ensues as their former Mafia cronies try to track them down, and scores are settled in the unlikeliest of settings.
After an ex-mob boss snitches on his former cohorts, he and his firecracker wife, their all-American daughter and wanna-be wiseguy son are all forced to relocate to a picturesque village in Normandy where they bring new meaning to the phrase “crime family”. Giovanni, now known as “Fred Blake”, has attempted to start over in different places, first the U.S., then Paris and the South of France. None of those places have worked out for him, mostly because he and his family can’t resist their old ways of dealing with problems. Now they find themselves in the tiniest French village you can imagine, where they think nothing ever happens. But they’re wrong.
Based on the novel “Malavita” by Tonino Benacquista and co-written by Luc Besson The Family is an offbeat comedy designed to pay homage to classic mob/mafia films the very likes of which have starred Robert DeNiro. This is a fish out of water story where much of the typical humor comes from the misunderstandings between the Blake family and their new neighbors as the jokes come at the expense of both the French and American characters, playing off their native idiosyncrasies. Along with that comes a series of violent encounters that interrupt the flow of levity in favor of applying all too familiar criminal/collateral damage we often see in the gangster/mob genre.
The shifts in thematic tone are overt which draws you out of the film at times. The characters are derived well which helps to synchronize the dysfunction associated with the abrupt tonal shifts. Despite a few entertaining moments I found that I didn’t really connect with either aspect as the hodge podge of elements within the script left it spread too thin. I did enjoy the spirit of The Family and thought that DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron, and John D’Leo played well together and apart. At the end of the day, it’s a long fly ball that unfortunately goes foul
The rating is for violence, language and brief sexuality.
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 Family comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is a pleasing high definition presentation that exhibits video quality that is consistent with a newer release film on Blu-ray Disc. This film is adorned by a permeating sepia toned aesthetic that combines with its use of autumn colors, mainly browns, beiges, and reds, to set the thematic tone intended by the filmmakers. It rarely makes for eye catching imagery but the results are pleasing. Fleshtones tend to look a little bronzy but otherwise fall in line with the film’s visual elements. Contrast is spot on and blacks are fairly delineated and deep. Images are crisp and resolute with defining sharpness that provides appreciable dimension. The video is whistle clean and shows no obvious signs of compression errors or video related anomalies.
The front loaded lossless surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices were rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for active surround use and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discernable level of spatial envelopment accompanied be punchy low frequency enhancement.
- (HD) Making The Family – 10 minute behind the scenes look
- (HD) The many meanings of FU*%! – 1 minute line-o-rama
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Based on the novel “Malavita” by Tonino Benacquista and co-written by Luc Besson The Family is an offbeat comedy designed to pay homage to classic mob/mafia films. Unfortunately it suffers from a disjointed script that fails to thoroughly capitalize on its premise. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring solid high definition audio/video and a barebones supplemental offering. The Family isn’t without merit especially for those that have an appreciation for its subject matter. In that regard it’s worth a rental when you’re in the mood for a little off kilter comedy.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
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