Grace (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 09-18-2009, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
Moderator
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 14,040
Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1683 Post(s)
Liked: 6141
attachment.php?attachmentid=152915&d=1253299710
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373637

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

77






Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Entertainment - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 84 Minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English uncompressed 5.1 PCM, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Jordan Ladd, Samantha Ferris, Gabrielle Rose, Malcolm Stewart, Stephen Park
Written & Directed by: Paul Solet
Music by: Austin Wintory
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 15, 2009







"Love…undying"



Film Synopsis:

Eight months pregnant and fed up with traditional medicine, Madeline Matheson (Jordan Ladd) opts for the companionship of a trusted midwife. Though reluctant, her husband remains supportive of her choices until a sudden tragic accident leaves her unborn baby lifeless inside her. Madeline remains determined to carry her dead child to term and deliver naturally, but when she delivers the stillborn, the power of her love restores the child to life. Soon, however, the increasingly isolated mother realizes the miracle is not without consequence. Something isn't right with baby Grace. In order to keep her child alive, Madeline is faced with ultimate sacrifice.




My Take:

When I read the press release for Grace I thought it looked interesting but building a horror film around a baby can be tricky and I couldn’t help but be a little skeptical. As stated in the synopsis the story is about a young expectant couple who meet with tragedy that leaves their unborn baby dead in her mother’s womb. Refusing to abort the baby Madeline (Ladd) opts to see the pregnancy to term and deliver as planned. The delivery is handled by Madeline’s midwife and friend Patricia who strongly urges her not to carry out her plans for the birth. Madeline’s seemingly duress driven wish against all medical advice bears miraculous fruit when, after delivering the stillborn child, Madeline appears to will her baby back to life. She soon discovers that her baby, named Grace, thirsts for something more than her mother's milk. Blinded by her desire to care for her daughter Madeline is determined to feed her, no matter what. The question is what or who will she sacrifice to keep baby Grace alive?

This film left me disappointed. Conceptually it had potential but when it came time to ante up it offered little in terms of character and story depth. Baby Grace is the primary (or should be) focus but the script veers off in to many other directions. It deals too much in the interpersonal relationships between Madeline and her mother in law, her mother in law’s seemingly inexplicable desire to be a mother to Grace, Madeline and Patricia’s past and how it affects Patricia’s current relationship, and lastly the plot seems to focus more on the things that the characters want and can’t have rather than offering any real substance regarding the why’s and wherefore’s surrounding Grace’s existence. This muddied the water and resulted in a choppy flow that rarely built suspense or offered any frightening moments. There was a bit too much ambiguity for my liking. That isn’t to suggest that every detail has to have an explanation but adding that creepy sense of “what if?” helps to establish the foundation to illicit fear. As the movie progressed I kept waiting for things to come together and it never happened. This continued right through the ending which by the way was as unsatisfying as the rest of the movie. I appreciate writer/direction Paul Solet’s passion and dedication to this film but unfortunately it just didn’t work for me.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for bloody images, violence and brief sexual content/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)

Audio: 78



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692



Video: 76


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Grace comes to Blu-ray disc from Anchor Bay HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 15 mbps and lossless uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio that has a constant bitrate of 4.6 mbps.

This video presentation’s visual design didn’t lend itself to bright eye catching colors or polished image quality. The video had a cooler overall perspective which intentionally muted colors and flattened flesh tones. This seemed to place visual emphasis on the film’s dark thematic elements. Exterior shots tended to appear better resolved with fair long range acuity and object detail. The majority of interior sequences filmed within Madeline’s house had softer elements that lacked fine delineation. Occasionally close ups offered better definition and improved sharpness. Shadow detail revealed varied degrees of visible structure in dark backgrounds and blacks had good depth with noticeable gradational stages. Images had good contrast and bright whites that exhibited ample detail. I noticed some minor posterization and more than a few noisy backgrounds but its effects were negligible overall. To sum that presentation up I would say that it is fair but unremarkable.

The lossless uncompressed multi-channel PCM soundtrack had no problem delivering the elements contained in this more or less dialogue driven film. Surround and low frequency activity was limited to subtle ambient detail and the occasional discrete sound effects and deep bass associated with its mood creating music score. This was appropriate and sounded fine when applied. Other than a noticeably sibilant quality with female voices dialogue reproduction was never an issue and the combination of that and the other sounds mixed to the front three channels had good dynamic range, clarity and seamless directional transitions.



Bonus Features:


  • Audio commentary featuring Paul Solet & Jordan Ladd

  • Audio commentary featuring Paul Solet, Adam Green, Zoran Popovic

  • Grace at Sundance – 13 minute documentary

  • Grace: Conception – 6 minute featurette

  • Grace: Delivered – Behind the scenes featurette – 37 minutes

  • Grace: Family – 12 minute featurette

  • Her mother’s eyes: The look of Grace – production design featurette – 7 minutes

  • Lullaby: Scoring Grace – 9 minute documentary

  • Trailer



Final Thoughts:

Grace is the brainchild of writer/director Paul Solet and from listening to him it is obvious that he is passionate about it. Unfortunately I had a lukewarm reaction to its muddled/ambiguous plot and shallow characters. Its high definition presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay HE offers fair image quality and decent lossless sound. The bonus content is quite good and offers fans of the film insights into its origins and production. If your curious give it a rental but otherwise I would try and catch it on cable TV.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/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)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel 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, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews
Ralph Potts is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 09-18-2009, 07:44 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
JJHXBR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sandpoint, ID
Posts: 1,281
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked: 200
Thanks Ralph for the review.
Just got done watching this film and I personally found it to be completely uninspiring and borderline dreadful.
This film could possibly make it as a made for cable movie, but even as rental I am hard pressed to recommend it.
Films are completely subjective, so there might be somebody out there who might enjoy it.

HT Setup: Speakers - M&K S-5000 Monitors FL-C-FR-RL-RR on ST-1 titling stands - M&K M7 side surround speakers - M&K B1600 Height speakers - Atmos speakers 4X M&K M5's - 2x M&K MX-350 Mk II Subs -
Processor - Marantz 8805 (soon) - B&K 7270 THX 7 Channel Amp - Denon AVR 4810CI (2nd amp) - Oppo BDP-203 - QNAP TVS-863+ Turbo NAS 64TB - LG OLED 65" C8
JJHXBR is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 09-19-2009, 04:56 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
shawnwalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Chicago, IL & Wilmington, NC
Posts: 3,005
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the review. I hated this movie!

shawnwalters is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 6 Old 09-20-2009, 11:10 AM
Member
 
KeithOz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Sucked, big time.
KeithOz is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 09-21-2009, 07:17 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
JamE55's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,190
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Interesting horror concept movie.

Judging by the 3 people above me who's viewed it, sounds like another mediocre horror flick.
JamE55 is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 09-21-2009, 07:59 AM
Advanced Member
 
Rhoq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 709
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
It's an interesting concept that was better than the actual execution. Not bad, but not great, either.

PEACE--->Rhoq
Rhoq is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Official AVS Forum® Blu-ray Disc Reviews

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off