Testament of Youth Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-19-2015, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Testament of Youth Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this powerful biopic based on the memoir of Vera Brittain that recalls a British woman's coming of age during World War I – Depicting a story of young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

88



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classics - 2015
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 129 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/German DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Czech, Hungarian, Polish VO, Spanish, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian Bahasa, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Thai, Turkish
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harrington, Taron Egerton, Emily Watson, Haley Atwell, Colin Morgan, Dominic West, Miranda Richardson
Directed by: James Kent
Music by: Max Richter
Written by: Juliette Towhidi based on the book by Vera Brittain
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 20, 2015


"Divided by war. United by love"


My Take:

Testament of Youth is a powerful story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, it’s a film about young love, the futility of war and how to make sense of the darkest times.

Testament of Youth is told through the eyes of Vera (Vikander), a youthful feminist, free-minded and irrepressible, whose intense romance with Roland Leighton (Harington) is interrupted by the war. The film follows her wartime experiences, which moved her to write one of the most defining memoirs of her time. With the numerous films that depict the ugliness of war and its effects on those both in the fight and left at home you'd almost think that we would be slightly jaded by their similarities. Yet as I sat and watched Testament of Youth I become thoroughly engrossed in its moving and vivid portrait of the times, the loss of innocence and the tragedy of war as seen from the perspective of a vivacious and spirited young woman.

Based on the memoir of Vera Brittain, the screenplay by Juliette Towhidi carefully and respectfully draws the characters and their relationships, painting them in fine strokes in order to establish not only their connection but a connection to the historical period in the story. The shifts in the narrative's context do well toward building an emotional center moving from points of youthful vulnerability and desire to one's darkest fears and deafening despair. The story/film is an artful remembrance and tribute that speaks on a transcendent and moving level.

Alicia Vikander is quickly becoming one of my favorite young actresses and seems capable of handling virtually any role. Her performance solidifies this film, successfully conveying the varied emotions surrounding her character. She shared wonderful chemistry with Taron Egerton, (in the role of Vera's brother Edward) deriving a tangible and heartwarming essence that enhanced the events depicted in the film. Director James Kent and cinematographer Rob Hardy create a beautiful and stirring snapshot that plays hand in hand with the film's thematic tone while carefully incorporating essential visual cues that propel the storyline.

Testament for Youth is a moving, emotionally stirring and beautifully told period biopic that speaks to the human condition through the eyes of a remarkably strong young woman. I thoroughly enjoyed it.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material including bloody and disturbing war related images.


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: 86
(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: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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



Testament of Youth comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

This 2.39:1 framed Blu-ray Disc presentation features a solid looking video encoding that boasts stable contrast, bright, detailed whites, and gradationally enhanced grays. This coupled along with punchy blacks and delineated shadow detail gives images both light and dark excellent depth. Wide angle shots have appreciable dimension with clear rendering of objects within foregrounds and backgrounds. Close ups reveal lots of subtle refinement as the intricate textures within facial features, clothing, and objects is easily discernible. This isn’t an overly colorful film. Many sequences have a filtered and de-saturated appearance that seems to coincide with the director’s intention. Deep shades of blue and green stand out nicely against the muted chromatic range and look great. Skin tones rarely yield any truly defining complexional characteristics but all appear natural within the scope of the source material. The films elements aren't lent to razor sharpness as there is a pervading "hazy soft" aesthetic that appears to coincide with the visual style intended by the filmmakers. Overall quality is excellent as the video has a dimensionally strong perspective that is visually pleasing.

The DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix is perfectly suited to the source material. Dialogue is rendered clearly with good intonation and average room penetration. The bulk of the presentation is handled by the front three channels. Imaging and directional spacing is excellent as soundstage pans are seamlessly integrated. John Williams’ music score is reproduced by the entire sound platform with the front channels containing the orchestrated instrumentation and the rear channels providing ambient extension. The orchestrated elements are clear, sibilant free and dynamically satisfying. Bass response is held to the upper registers and surround sound activity is limited to subtle venue replication via atmospheric ambient extension and occasional discrete sound placement that effectively supports the events transpiring onscreen.

Bonus Features:
  • (HD) 4 Deleted scenes
  • (HD) Testament of Youth: Behind the scenes – 6 minutes
  • Audio commentary with director James Kent and Kit Harrington
  • (HD) Theatrical trailer





Final Thoughts:

Based on the memoir of Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth is a moving, emotionally stirring and beautifully told period biopic that speaks to the human condition through the eyes of a remarkably strong young woman. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video mated with a minimal supplement package that is highlighted by the audio commentary by director James Kent and actor Kit Harrington. Testament of Youth is highly recommended viewing for genre fans and deserves a place at the top of your Blu-ray rental queue.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
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Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 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
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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
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-20-2015, 07:23 AM
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Alicia Vikander? A very positive review from Ralph? SOLD.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-20-2015, 12:45 PM
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Thanks for the review!


I purchased this blu-ray the other day from Amazon UK for $15.00 (including shipping.)
Unfortunately it takes 14 days for delivery but I can wait - I have plenty of other things to watch - Jurrasic World tonight and I am binge watching the TV series Homeland!
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-21-2015, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post
Alicia Vikander? A very positive review from Ralph? SOLD.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjenkins95 View Post
Thanks for the review!


I purchased this blu-ray the other day from Amazon UK for $15.00 (including shipping.)
Unfortunately it takes 14 days for delivery but I can wait - I have plenty of other things to watch - Jurrasic World tonight and I am binge watching the TV series Homeland!
Greetings,

I hope that you both enjoy this one as much as I did.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-21-2015, 07:54 PM
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Ralph thanks for the review.

Sadly, Netflix only seems to have the disc in DVD and no Blue Ray. I am finding this type of thing happening more and more in Netflix with older movies but never expected it with newer movies. I think I'll wait a few weeks when the price drops at a local Brick n' Mortar.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-23-2015, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phrehdd View Post
Ralph thanks for the review.

Sadly, Netflix only seems to have the disc in DVD and no Blue Ray. I am finding this type of thing happening more and more in Netflix with older movies but never expected it with newer movies. I think I'll wait a few weeks when the price drops at a local Brick n' Mortar.
There's always 3DBlurayRental.com
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