The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2013
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 117 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leta, Jennifer Garner, Dennis O’Hare
Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallee
Written by: Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 4, 2014
Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career in this uplifting and powerful film inspired by true events. Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) sees his free-wheeling life overturned when he’s diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. Determined to survive, Woodroof decides to take matters in his own hands by tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. After finding an unlikely ally in Rayon (Jared Leto), he establishes a hugely successful “buyers’ club” and unites a band of outcasts in a struggle for dignity and acceptance that inspires in ways no one could have imagined.
Dallas buyers club is based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who began smuggling unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms. This is powerful dramatic film that plays out in a character study fashion as it depicts Ron Woodroof’s transformation from a callous, self serving walk on the wild side living Texas cowboy into someone he would never have imagined in his wildest dreams. This came about as a direct result of his free wheeling lifestyle and heterosexual promiscuity which lead to the contraction of the HIV virus in the early to mid nineteen eighties when AIDS was still relatively “new”.
I watched it with my wife and we were both touched by the film. This is a personal and intimate story that speaks to the human condition even in the face of overwhelming adversity. Many of the facts depicted in the film were based upon information obtained from Ron’s diary or family members/friends. There are of course aspects of the plot that were added for drama/melodramatic effect but by and large the film’s central storyline is true. Dallas buyers club can be difficult to watch and reminds us how precious life is. What we see in Ron and learn from the relationships he develops with the people in the film is that we shouldn’t take things for granted. We see the path on the road to that discovery through his eyes, which is done incredibly well and probably what I liked most about the movie from a contextural perspective.
What sells the film is the riveting portrayal by Matthew McConaughey whose physical transmogrification compliments his sterling performance. Additionally Jared Leto’s supporting role as Rayon, Ron’s transgender associate, is equally deserving of praise as their shared chemistry reinforces the thematic and dramatic elements. Dallas buyers club has been critically acclaimed and received several awards and nominations, including Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award wins for McConaughey and Leto, and six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay.
Not to be missed Dallas buyers club is among the year’s best films and is deserving of the recognition it has thus received.
The rating is for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use.
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:
Dalls buyers club comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.
This high definition presentation was on par with other new release films of its type and generally looked great. Colors were natural looking with a pleasing and reserved quality that capably handled the somewhat limited palette used to represent the period settings and clothing featured in the film. Flesh tones varied a bit with some appearing warm and lifelike while others were sullen with pallid characteristics. Contrast was tamped down but stable and images were well detailed and crisp, with sharp lines and appreciable dimension. Blacks weren’t inky but had good dynamic range and detail in shadowy backgrounds and low level sequences had estimable visibility which enhanced depth. This high bitrate encoding was rendered with pristine quality that didn’t exhibit any overt signs of compression related anomalies or deleterious artifacts.
This lossless DTS-HD Master Audio encoding readily handled the elements contained in this dialogue driven film. The presentation retained a front loaded perspective with well defined and clearly articulated dialogue that extended well into the room. Sounds and music were reproduced with refining clarity and appropriate dynamism. Surround activity was limited to rear channel spatial cues and occasional directional sounds. It was a fine match with the source material and never felt inadequate.
- (HD) Deleted scenes – 4 minutes
- (HD) A look inside Dallas buyers club – 4 minutes
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, an AIDS patient who began smuggling unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas when he found them effective at improving his symptoms, Dalls buyers club is a poignant, powerful and engaging drama that is enriched by the captivating performance of star Matthew McConaughey. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a diminutive and disappointing supplemental offering that left me wanting. Dallas buyers club is a must see film that deserves a place at the top of your rental queue.
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JVC DLA-RS4910 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