Grandma Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-08-2016, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Grandma Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this indie drama from writer/director Paul Weitz that navigates the intricacies of relationships between three generations of women.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

85



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classics - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 79 minutes
Genre: Drama/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:English, English SDH, Chinese, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
Starring: Lily Tomlin, Marcia Gay Harden, Julia Gardner, Sam Elliott, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox
Written & Directed by: Paul Weitz
Music by: Joel P. West
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 9, 2016


"It's never too late to say I'm sorry"


My Take:

Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin) has just gotten through breaking up with her girlfriend when her granddaughter, Sage, unexpectedly shows up needing $600 before sundown. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash, as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

Written and directed by Paul Weitz, Grandma was developed with Lily Tomlin in mind to play the title character. It's a sort of road trip story that bonds an acerbic grandmother with her teenage granddaughter as they embark on a journey of discovery that bears fruit for them both. This is a tidy indie film with a character driven storyline and quirky comedic essence that is underscored by rewarding elements of drama that seem perfectly interjected. Tomlin shines in the role which compliments the film's positive message which revolves around intergenerational bonds, forgiveness and independence.

At 79 minutes the film makes the most of its runtime without feeling shortchanged on any front. I found Grandma to be intelligently crafted, well enacted and ultimately more entertaining than expected.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language and some drug use.


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: 82
(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
  • DTS Neural:X 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:




Grandma comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

This high definition video presentation boasts a pleasing palette of colors with deeply saturated primaries that jump off of the screen. Fleshtones have a bit of a balmy quality that offers little variety but doesn’t result in unnatural looking complexions. Elevated contrast adds pop to colors and dynamic highlights to the sun splashed exterior sequences without interfering with the perception of detail. Resolution is solid as images are revealing with subtle delineation, and definitive long range depth. Blacks are strong and depth of field in shadows and low lighting is appreciable. Sharpness fluctuates at times but otherwise remains stable. I didn’t notice any compression errors or distracting video anomalies associated with the encoding.

The multi-channel lossless audio won’t test the limits of your surround sound system but it capably delivers the elements present in this 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 comes in support of the music. The front channels handled the bulk of the audio and presented a wide two dimensional soundstage with the surrounds supplying ambience detail that added depth. I thought the mix mated well with the source material and sounded just fine.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) A Family Portrait: The Making of Grandma – 25 minute featurette
  • (HD) Q&A with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott, and Paul Weitz – 21 minutes
  • Audio Commentary with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott, Julia Gardner, and Paul Weitz
  • (HD) Theatrical Trailer



Final Thoughts:

Grandma comes from the heart and mind of writer/director Paul Weitz and is a rewarding indie dramedy that features an excellent performance by star Lily Tomlin. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition audio/video and a worthwhile supplement set. When the mood strikes for something light with a bite, give Grandma a rent 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 5 Old 02-08-2016, 09:39 AM
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Thanks Ralph! Always had soft spot for Lily, count me in.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-08-2016, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post
Thanks Ralph! Always had soft spot for Lily, count me in.

Greetings,

Consider it done..


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-09-2016, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post
Thanks Ralph! Always had soft spot for Lily, count me in.
Same here. Nice to see the Detroit native in another leading role... I'm in, great cast.
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Knowing is not enough you must apply. Willing is not enough you must do. -Bruce Lee


Last edited by ImaStar; 02-09-2016 at 01:38 PM.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-10-2016, 02:19 PM
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I enjoyed this one as well Ralph. Nice review.

David Vaughn Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer Sound & Vision Magazine (Print & Online)
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