Modern Family The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-02-2013, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox – 2012/2013
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 519 minutes
Genre: TV Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Julie Bowen, Ed O’Neill, Sophia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ariel Winter, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Reid Ewing, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons
Directed by: Jason Winer, Michael Spiller, Chris Koch
Music by: Gabriel Mann
Written by: Steven Levitan & Christopher Lloyd
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 24, 2013

"One big (straight, gay, multi-cultural, traditional) happy family"

Film Synopsis:

The laughs - and the awards - just keep on coming for the #1-rated Modern Family, winner of three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series! With Jay and Gloria's baby on the way and Haley going off to college, the entire Pritchett/Dunphy clan faces some major surprises as they bicker and bond over house-flipping headaches, unwanted play dates, and everything from hot-tempered hormones to in utero karaoke. Featuring a stellar array of guest stars including Matthew Broderick, Shelley Long and Elizabeth Banks, Season Four takes a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud hilarious look at what it means to be a Modern Family.

My Take:

We have watched Modern Family right from the first episode (the pilot) and have been hooked ever since. Similar to other comedy based TV series it is told from a “mockumentary” viewpoint via interviews and a fly on the wall perspective that closely examines the familial dynamic that surrounds Jay Pritchett, his daughter Claire, son Mitchell and their respective families as a whole. Jay is a sixty something divorcee who recently remarried a much younger (and attractive) woman named Gloria who has a preteen aged son named Manny. Jay’s daughter Claire is married to Phil, a real estate agent, and they have three children, Haley, Alex, and Luke. Jay’s son Mitchell lives with his life partner Cameron (Cam), is a successful attorney, and along with Cam adopted a Vietnamese baby girl named Lily. Modern Family isn’t a conceptually original program in execution but there is no denying that it’s wonderfully rounded characters and situational involvement as it pertains to the interactions of the three families is fresh, funny and gratifying.

Ed O’Neil is pitch perfect as Jay, the gruff family patriarch and everyman (you know drinks beer, loves football, sees the world as his oyster) who struggles against the tide of a beautiful new wife from a completely different culture and the inherent complexities of living with a know it all preteen with issues of insecurity. Meanwhile he has two grown children with issues of their own whose behavior has the power to remind him that perhaps he could have been and should be more of a supportive parent. While that sounds great in theory Jay is proof that when it comes to practicing it he has a tough row to hoe, just ask Manny.

It’s easy to empathize with Mitchell, especially in light of his “interesting” childhood as a gay son to Jay. He suffers from a bit of an inferiority complex with respect to his relationship with his father and feels that sister Claire is an overly critical perfectionist who looks down her nose at him. He and partner Cameron are a great match. Cam is flamboyant, creative, and athletic (sort of) but lacks planning/organizational skills. Mitchell isn’t handy or much for sports, likes to play things close to the vest, and is a gifted organizer. Occasionally their attributes and negatives cross over or fail altogether but there is no doubt about their love for one another or their young daughter.

Claire would like everyone on the outside looking in to see her as a devoted mother, loving wife to a doting husband and the proverbial glue that keeps her family together. In reality Claire strives to overachieve and typically struggles to maintain balance in her household. She has a bit of a turbulent relationship with oldest teenage daughter Haley, doesn’t understand middle daughter Alex, and often contends with Luke’s acting out/behavioral issues. Husband Phil is generally little help and in most instances functions at a parental level that makes him little more than a fourth child but in a lovable open mouth insert foot sort of way.

Take all of these elements and blend them together in a rotating familial hierarchy that exposes the underbelly of a quirky but loving group of people that can’t help but get on one another’s nerves from time to time. Everyone takes a turn in the barrel and the results can be uproariously funny and heartwarming. The genuine chemistry among the cast shines through brilliantly. The one on one character “interviews” which support the episode plotline but can often be related solely to a specific scene are wonderfully integrated and lend a perspective that almost always add to the fun.

I like the idea that the show revolves almost entirely around the three families and how well the storylines that do involve “outsiders” are interwoven while maintaining that cohesiveness. What I think makes Modern Family so endearing is how in tune the writing is. Much of the show is based on satire/societal situations, light but evocative drama, and stereotypical narratives that never feel contrived. Just as funny and occasionally outlandish as ever this season is chock full of laugh out loud situations, and heartwarming moments that send a positive message about love, mutual respect and family. Here are a few of my favorite episodes:

  • Schooled

  • Mystery Date

  • Party crasher

  • Diamond in the rough

  • Best men

  • The future Dunphys

  • The wow factor

  • Career day
  • Heartbroken

  • Goodnight Gracie

I loved the season finale (Goodnight Gracie) and found it heartwarming and of course laugh out loud funny nearly at the same time. To say that I like Modern Family would be an understatement. It features a terrific cast and has an endearing charm that keeps fans tuning in each week for more. Modern Family Season Four’s 24 episodes along with the bonus features are spread over three BD-50 Blu-ray discs. Not to be missed Modern Family makes for great family entertainment and continues to be one of the best shows on television.

Parental Guide:

Modern Family contains mild 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.**

Audio: 80

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

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

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

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

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Video: 88

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

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Modern Family Season Four comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 Mbps.

This video presentation is reminiscent of the show’s broadcast high definition quality and looks terrific on Blu-ray. Primary colors are cleanly rendered, lustrous and eye catching. The extensive palette of secondary hues used in the interior settings that comprise the three family homes are vivid and warm. Fleshtones have a copper toned complexional quality that while noticeable never ventures outside of appearing natural. Resolution is excellent as images have crisp definition, revealing subtle delineation, and definitive long range acuity. Blacks are strong and depth of field in low level shots is appreciable. Sharpness fluctuates here and there but fidelity is never in question. This is a faithful and pristinely rendered high definition presentation that won’t disappoint.

The multi-channel lossless audio won’t test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in the show’s soundtrack. Dialogue is tonally rich with excellent room penetration and defining clarity. Dynamics are punchy and bass response is appropriate and provides extension of the main channels that predominantly supports the music. The front channels handle the bulk of the audio and presented a wide two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambient detail that adds depth. I think the mix mates perfectly with the source material and sounds great.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:

  • (HD) Deleted/Extended/Alternate scenes

  • Disc 2:

  • (HD) Deleted/Extended/Alternate

  • (HD) Commentary on “Party crasher” and “Fulgenico” with Danny Zuker & Bill Wrubel

  • (HD) An addition to the family – 6 minute featurette

  • Disc 3:

  • (HD) Deleted/Extended/Alternate scenes

  • (HD) A day with Eric - 12 minutes

  • Commentary on “Career day” with Steven Levitan, Brad Walsh, and Paul Corrigan

  • Commentary on “Goodnight Gracie” with Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman

  • (HD) Director’s cut – “Goodnight Gracie”

  • (HD) A modern guide to parenting – 4 minutes

  • (HD) Modern Family writers – 13 minute featurette

  • (HD) Gag reel – 10 minutes

  • Season Play Mode

Final Thoughts:

Modern Family is simply one of the best shows in prime time television. Its endearing charm, intelligently crafted/genuine humor, and rewarding characters are made all the better by a wonderful cache of actors that keep audiences tuning in each week. It’s incredibly funny fourth season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox in a fan friendly offering that features rewarding audio/video quality and an entertaining set of bonus supplements. We are big fans and look forward to the debut of Season five. If you haven’t yet seen Modern Family I suggest you check your local listings and tune in. Highly Recommended.


Ralph Potts
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-103 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
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-03-2013, 10:31 AM
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This is one of our favorite shows. Sadly I didn't get a review copy from Fox but I plan on purchasing it once it goes on sale at Amazon.

David Vaughn Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer Sound & Vision Magazine (Print & Online)
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-03-2013, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

This is one of our favorite shows. Sadly I didn't get a review copy from Fox but I plan on purchasing it once it goes on sale at Amazon.


It's one of ours as well Dave and absolutely worth picking up at the right price.


Ralph C. Potts
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Modern Family The Complete Fourth Season Blu Ray

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