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post #1 of 4 Old 02-02-2016, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Truth Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this docudrama starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, that is based on a riveting true story of one of network news’ biggest scandals.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

84



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classics - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 125 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchette, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood, Topher Grace, Elizabeth Moss, Stacey Keach
Written & Directed by: James Vanderbilt
Music by:
Based on the Book: "Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and the Privilege of Power" by Mary Mapes
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 2, 2016


"Based on an Incredible True Story"


My Take:

As a renowned producer and close associate of Dan Rather (Redford), Mary Mapes (Blanchett) believes she’s broken the biggest story of the 2004 election: revelations of a sitting U.S. President’s military service. But when allegations come pouring in, sources change their stories, document authenticity is questioned, and the casualties begin to mount. This dramatic thriller goes behind the scenes to expose the intricacies of journalistic integrity and what it takes to reveal the truth.

It seems like the majority of films that have come to my door for review over the last month have been based on true stories. That's fine with me as I generally tend to enjoy them. Truth takes place in 2004 and tells the story of the news scandal that ended the career of CBS News/60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes and essentially forced the retirement of famed Anchorman Dan Rather. The film is based on Mapes' book, "Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and the Privilege of Power" and tells the story from the perspectives of Mapes, Dan Rather and her team.

I remember when the story broke during the 2004 presidential campaign and that there was some controversy surrounding it but really not much else. Later I recall Dan Rather stepping down and that it had ties to the scandal. As for the film, it depicts the mindset of the news/ media world that we live in today. Get a juicy story, tie it together and get it out there so that people begin talking about it. I could easily go on a rant about how out of control the media is in this country and how much power they wield, facts be damned, but this isn't the venue.

Truth raises thought provoking questions that spotlights journalism today as it speaks to matters of ethics, truth and power. It portrays Mapes more as the victim rather than a culpable participant in a well-intentioned debacle that at its heart had a questionable agenda. I found it to be a fairly compelling dramatization that presents an interesting inside view at the inner workings of the media and eyebrow raising details associated with the fact based story. Cate Blanchett gives a typically strong performance in the role of Mapes and Robert Redford is genuinely convincing as Dan Rather. On a whole I found the cast to be quite good, serving to compliment the film's subject matter and thematic tone.

Truth doesn't break new ground as a fact based expose on journalistic ethics but there is no denying the heft behind its thought provoking message, engaging interplay and complimentary performances. All in all I would say that it was two hours well spent.

Parental Guide:


The rating is for language and a brief nude photo.

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


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:



Truth comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 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.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) The Team – 8 minute featurette
  • (HD) Q&A with Cate Blanchette, Elizabeth Moss, and James Vanderbilt – 33 minutes
  • Filmmaker Audio Commentary
  • (HD) Theatrical Trailer
  • (HD) [b]*Exclusive* 6 Deleted Scenes
  • (HD) [b]*Exclusive* The Reason for Being – 11 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy


Final Thoughts:

Based on the book "Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and the Privilege of Power" by Mary Mapes, Truth raises thought provoking questions that spotlights journalism today as it speaks to matters of ethics, truth and power. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring solid technical merits and a worthwhile supplemental set that includes insights from the filmmakers, cast and real life people featured in the film. Truth like its subject, has a fairly clear agenda, but it's entertaining and well worth checking out on Blu-ray.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
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
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
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post #2 of 4 Old 02-02-2016, 03:00 PM
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Ralph, this might be the best worded review you've ever done and I fully agree with the sentiment. I thought the movie was well made, in spite of it's tendency to want to justify shoddy investigative journalism and a Leftist Agenda. And is it just me, or does Kate Blanchet look hot as hell in this movie? She was worth the price of admission, alone. I also thought the movie suffered for taking some Bush cheap shots at it's conclusion. Was that really necessary? I'm not saying I was a fan of the guy, because I wasn't. But that was 12 years ago. We have so many issues facing us as a Nation. It's time to look forward and deal with them. Looking back and saying, "I told you so," does nothing to solve these issues. Just my take.
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post #3 of 4 Old 02-03-2016, 03:22 AM
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Ralph: Your quote:
Quote:
I could easily go on a rant about how out of control the media is in this country and how much power they wield, facts be damned, but this isn’t the venue.
AMEN! AMEN! and AMEN!!!!!!!!!
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-06-2016, 10:05 AM
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Not listed in the credits, anyone else identify the voice of Gen. Hodges on the telephone as William Devane?
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