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post #1 of 5 Old 01-30-2015, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Olive Kitteridge (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of this wonderfully crafted four-part HBO miniseries that tells the story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, as told through the lens of Olive Kitteridge, whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart.




The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89



Details:

Studio and Year: HBO - 2014
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 240 minutes
Genre: TV Drama

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

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, John Gallagher Jr, Bill Murray, Rosemarie DeWitt, Zoe Kazan
Directed by: Lisa Cholodenko
Music by: Carter Burwell
Written by: Jane Anderson based on the novel by Elizabeth Strout
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 10, 2015


"There’s no such thing as a simple life"


My Take:

Headlined by an all-star cast including Academy Award winner Frances McDormand, Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins and Golden Globe winner Bill Murray, the mini-series is based on Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. Olive Kitteridge tells the poignantly sweet, acerbically funny and devastatingly tragic story of a seemingly placid New England town wrought with illicit affairs, crime and tragedy, told through the lens of Olive(McDormand), whose wicked wit and harsh demeanor mask a warm but troubled heart and staunch moral center. The story, which spans 25 years, focuses on her relationships with her husband, Henry (Jenkins), the good-hearted and kindly town pharmacist; their son, Christopher (John Gallagher, Jr.), who resents his mother's approach to parenting; and other members of their community.

HBO continually provides quality programming and this mini-series is another example of that commitment. This four part story is a character study that revolves around Olive, a straight talker, living in a world that provides little happiness for her. She is complex with a hardened edge and soft underbelly that is rarely exposed. We see her through the eyes of those around her and are only given glimpses of her true perception of the world. Predominantly what we see of Olive is her disdain for weakness and apparent lack of an emotional connection to her husband Henry, an affable nebbish, who absorbs her spiteful and below the belt rhetoric on a daily basis.

The series opens at a critical point in Olive’s life and then flashes back 25 years earlier spending the following installments to bring us back to that point. Along the way is a carefully woven tale that depicts a life spent in the doldrums of unhappiness fraught with an inability to see beyond one’s perspective. At times inexcusably stern, at others remarkably patient but moreover sadly in denial, Olive’s irrational sensitivities leave her alone with no common ground even among her loved ones. It’s not until the last leaf from the tree of her life is about to fall does she open her eyes to the truth.

Magnificent. Olive Kitteridge is an engaging piece that speaks to the human condition through its superlative characters and level of emotion. Darkly wry, the situational formula is a blend of familial dysfunction and marvelous interplay that is stirring, poignant and genre bending. The cast, beginning with Frances Mcdormand’s SAG Award winning performance is terrific. I watched this with my wife and we found ourselves immersed in the film. From the beginning right to the spot on ending Olive Kitteridge has depth and an emotional center that pulls you into its world. Oddly enough after it was over I found myself with the desire to watch it again. The narrative is dense and full of wonderfully played moments that would bear fruit during a second or even a third viewing.

The supporting cast features Bill Murray as Jack Kennison, a widower befriended by Olive; Peter Mullan as Jim O'Casey, a fellow teacher at Olive's school; Rosemarie DeWitt as Rachel Coulson, a shut-in who is one of Henry's customers at the pharmacy; and Zoe Kazan as Denise Thibodeau, who works at the pharmacy.

I can’t say enough about [i]Olive Kitteridge] except that you simply have to see it.


Parental Guide:

The series contains thematic material, sexual content, and language.


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: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element):



Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Olive Kitteridge comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio Sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

This video presentation delivered satisfactory overall quality that included appreciable refinement and subtle degrees of delineation that resulted in a gratifying high definition viewing experience. Colors and fleshtones appear natural with ample saturation and vivid textures. Black levels are respectable and depth of field/delineation during low light sequences is rarely a problem. I didn’t detect any noteworthy anomalies or artifacts.

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio soundtrack is surprisingly good and offers excellent lossless sound quality. Dialogue is rendered with clear intonation and deep room penetration through the center channel speaker. The front soundstage is nicely diffused with excellent separation and clearly articulated detail. The soundtrack doesn’t contain extensive use of discrete surround activity but there are moments that make great use of the platform via head turning off camera cues and involving spatial dimension/ambience through the rear channels. Bass response isn’t room shaking however it appropriately supported the source elements. I was pleasantly surprised and felt that this audio mix elevated the experience of watching the program.



Bonus Features:
  • There are no bonus features


Final Thoughts:

Based on Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name Olive Kitteridge is a superbly crafted four-part drama that engages from beginning to end. It comes to Blu-ray from HBO Home Entertainment excellent high definition audio/video that compliments the film quite nicely.
I can’t recommend Olive Kitteridge enough and hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.




Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

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 AV7702 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" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews

Last edited by Ralph Potts; 01-30-2015 at 11:16 AM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-30-2015, 11:58 AM
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Good review Mr Ralph,loved this movie! I think Richard Jenkins should have been nominated! (I watched it 4 times)
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-30-2015, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dholmes54 View Post
Good review Mr Ralph,loved this movie! I think Richard Jenkins should have been nominated! (I watched it 4 times)
Greetings,

Thanks dhomes54, and I agree with you.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-30-2015, 01:59 PM
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McD0ormand should have won at the Golden Globes for this great piece of work.

Denon x4400h, Samsung LED 1080p TV, B&W 704 mains, two M&K subwoofers, Oppo 103, Roku 2, Darbeevision, etc.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-30-2015, 06:36 PM
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Thanks Ralph, will check it out.

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