Manchester by the Sea Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 02-13-2017, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Manchester by the Sea Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this powerful, and critically acclaimed drama, about a man struggling to contend with the ghosts of his past, who must returns to his New England hometown to take care of his teenage nephew.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

86



Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2016
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 137 minutes
Genre: Drama

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

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Gretchen Mol
written & Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan
Music by: Lesley Barber
Region Code: A

Release Date: February 21, 2017


"Some Wounds Run Too Deep"


My Take:

After a solitary Boston janitor (Affleck) unexpectedly becomes the sole guardian of his 16-year-old nephew, he must come to terms with a past that separated him from his wife (Michelle Williams) and his hometown, as uncle and nephew unite for an unforgettable journey of love, community, sacrifice, and hope.

Written/Directed by Kenneth Lonergan Manchester by the Sea is a character driven drama that speaks to the human condition on an emotive level. Featuring a terrific screenplay, the film starts out with unshaped characters, and slowly shapes them, connecting them to the narrative in a meaningful way, which frames the story, allowing the audience to derive the most from it.

At well over two hours Manchester by the Sea is indeed, a slow boil, requiring patience, especially early on, as none of the characters are seemingly likeable, or clearly drawn. Lee, played masterfully by Casey Affleck, is stoic, standoffish, and troubled, yet you don’t understand his motivations. As the storyline unfolds, via a series a of wonderfully integrated flashbacks, Lee’s pain, and the reasons for it, become evident. Whereas you once found him difficult to care about, you slowly come to understand him, and by the end, even like him.

Aside from Lee, there is Patrick, his 16-year-old nephew, a good kid, dealing with his own problems, coming from a broken home, and now, having to contend with the painful loss of the only person in his life that he could really count on. Thrown together, Lee and Patrick struggle, trying to find middle ground, while coping with the complexities that fate has dealt them. Joe, Patrick’s father and Lee’s brother (played by my man Kyle Chandler), is the film’s wild card, in terms of character. Initially, you know zero about him, except that he has passed away, and Lee has been summoned to deal with what he has left behind. Over the course of the film, Joe becomes an integral part of the proceedings, seen through flashbacks, that make him, in my opinion, the story’s most endearing character. Lastly, there are several supporting subplots, involving Lee’s ex-wife, Patrick’s alcoholic mother, and Patrick’s circle of friends, all of which enrich the film’s dramatic subtext.

Manchester by the Sea is a multifaced drama that tells a compelling, and evocative, story of shame, tragedy, and grief. It is both uplifting and depressing, requiring an emotional investment that leaves an indelible mark, even after the credits have rolled. I watched it with my wife and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language throughout and some sexual content.


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:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


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:



Manchester by the Sea comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

Colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/setting based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range isn’t broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are appropriately bland with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen were exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on, and blacks are deep with revealing delineation that provides excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a pristine quality that is free of video related artifacts

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack readily handled the elements contained in the recording. The presentation retained a front-loaded perspective with well-defined, and clearly articulated dialog that extended well into the room. Sounds were reproduced with discerning clarity, and delineation that brought forth plenty of subtle nuance and low level detail. Surround activity was limited to rear channel spatial cues and occasional directional sounds. This presentation was a perfect match with the source material and sounded fine.


Bonus Features:
  • A Conversation with Director/Writer Kenneth Lonergan (Audio Commentary)
  • (HD) Emotional Lives: The Making of Manchester by the Sea – 16 minutes
  • (HD) 3 Deleted Scenes
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy


Final Thoughts:

Written/Directed by Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea is a multifaced, and rewarding drama, that tells a very human story, surrounding a man’s struggle to contend with shame, tragedy, and grief. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring solid technical merits, mated with a fair supplemental package that includes insights from the cast/crew. Manchester by the Sea isn’t a feel-good film, but it’s a genuinely honest portrayal of people struggling to cope. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend that you give a spin on Blu-ray.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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post #2 of 18 Old 02-13-2017, 03:25 PM
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Good review Ralph!

I'm glad I saw your review as I had no idea this is being released next week.

I saw this at the theater and I concur completely with your summation of the story.
Spoiler!
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-13-2017, 08:02 PM
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My favorite film of the year. The scene in the alley with Casey and Michelle is the reason they give out oscars.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-15-2017, 06:33 AM
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Thank You Ralph,

My wife and I watched it last night. The story is very good. The acting was so and so. Affleck is doing his usual face and the rest of the staff did well, but we were missing the different human responses to certain situations. You didn't really get what the movie wanted to tell you until his very last statement. Was that intended?
Not a movie we will ever watch again. Not a bad movie to watch once but - at least in our opinion - not a keeper.
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-15-2017, 01:31 PM
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This one really surprised me as virtually every review was positive (including yours Ralph ). It's not that I didn't find the movie interesting and there were some good moments. The acting was authentic but I just couldn't connect with any of the main characters in the film. It was like voyeuring into some peoples lives that I would just as soon not get to know. Maybe I'm being too critical or just wasn't in the mood (I wanted to watch Heartbreak Ridge but was out voted ), but Manchester by the Sea left me cold and indifferent to the anti-protagonists plight.

Glad the critical world and many here liked it though. Just not my cup of tea.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-16-2017, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boguspomp2 View Post
Thank You Ralph,

My wife and I watched it last night. The story is very good. The acting was so and so. Affleck is doing his usual face and the rest of the staff did well, but we were missing the different human responses to certain situations. You didn't really get what the movie wanted to tell you until his very last statement. Was that intended?
Not a movie we will ever watch again. Not a bad movie to watch once but - at least in our opinion - not a keeper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post
This one really surprised me as virtually every review was positive (including yours Ralph ). It's not that I didn't find the movie interesting and there were some good moments. The acting was authentic but I just couldn't connect with any of the main characters in the film. It was like voyeuring into some peoples lives that I would just as soon not get to know. Maybe I'm being too critical or just wasn't in the mood (I wanted to watch Heartbreak Ridge but was out voted ), but Manchester by the Sea left me cold and indifferent to the anti-protagonists plight.

Glad the critical world and many here liked it though. Just not my cup of tea.
Greetings,

Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts on this one guys. I can understand your viewpoints as this one has a somewhat dark tone that may not appeal to everyone.


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post #7 of 18 Old 02-18-2017, 11:58 AM
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Watched last night and it was outstanding and deserves all awards being bestowed on it. It is not a happy joy joy film but that's okay. Life isn't a bowl of cherries for everyone and we are all not blessed with perfect lives and perfect forgiving families. Sometimes we can't forgive ourselves for our actions.

The ending, well the last ten or fifteen minutes was perfect. If they had of solved all problems and made life good and okay again for all it would have been completely not believable. The ending had to be what it was.

I disagree on the acting comments. Afleck was superb. His soft spoken demeanor was perfect unless he was drinking. The young kid, forgetting his name stole the show.

Perhaps not a repeat film for many but an excellent film none the less.

I will have to watch the other contenders.

Rick
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-18-2017, 06:25 PM
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Cool

Spoiler!


Give Affleck (or Viggo M) the Oscar!
D
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-18-2017, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DLDukes View Post
Spoiler!


Give Affleck (or Viggo M) the Oscar!
D
Spoiler!


They should all win their respective awards.
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-24-2017, 09:31 PM
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I haven't seen all the 2016 films yet but this is by far my favorite film of 2016. Poignant and gut wrenching with excellent performances all around. I really hope this will win the best picture this year.
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-25-2017, 12:06 AM
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I had high hopes for this going in, but found it very dull with characters I cared nothing about. The wife and I both were bored by it and stopped watching half way in.

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post #12 of 18 Old 02-25-2017, 01:59 PM
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Enjoyed it. Heart wrenching story. Affleck was good but I don't see him or the film winning best actor/film.
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post #13 of 18 Old 02-25-2017, 10:57 PM
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Enjoyed it. Heart wrenching story. Affleck was good but I don't see him or the film winning best actor/film.
Until the police station scene, I thought Affleck was merely being Affleck. But that scene, however brief, sold me. I haven't seen La La Land yet but my guess it's either Affleck or Gosling for the best actor.
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post #14 of 18 Old 02-25-2017, 11:23 PM
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Until the police station scene, I thought Affleck was merely being Affleck. But that scene, however brief, sold me. I haven't seen La La Land yet but my guess it's either Affleck or Gosling for the best actor.
Well now that I watched Hacksaw Ridge and Arrival tonight I've been swayed over to Hacksaw as best picture but all acting awards to Manchester. I was blown away by Hacksaw but I still have not seen a movie that matches Manchester for great acting.

There are a still a few I have not seen yet but closing in.

Rick
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-13-2017, 09:00 AM
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My wife and I tried watching this movie a couple of weeks ago, and only made it about 30 minutes in, thinking it was very dull. I then read Ralph's review on it and decided to give it another try last night. I think I should have gone with my first impression, and saved myself 2+ hours of boredom. I just kept waiting for it to get better. As Ralph said, it is a "slow boil" and we have to be patient.
Slow boil is putting it mildly... It never got past room temperature (Just one "average Joe's" opinion)
Oh well, I still love your reviews, Ralph.
Dale.
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-13-2017, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale124 View Post
My wife and I tried watching this movie a couple of weeks ago, and only made it about 30 minutes in, thinking it was very dull. I then read Ralph's review on it and decided to give it another try last night. I think I should have gone with my first impression, and saved myself 2+ hours of boredom. I just kept waiting for it to get better. As Ralph said, it is a "slow boil" and we have to be patient.
Slow boil is putting it mildly... It never got past room temperature (Just one "average Joe's" opinion)
Oh well, I still love your reviews, Ralph.
Dale.
+1. I saw an abundance of acting skills without much of an actual story to justify it. I just couldn't find a character to like.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-13-2017, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale124 View Post
My wife and I tried watching this movie a couple of weeks ago, and only made it about 30 minutes in, thinking it was very dull. I then read Ralph's review on it and decided to give it another try last night. I think I should have gone with my first impression, and saved myself 2+ hours of boredom. I just kept waiting for it to get better. As Ralph said, it is a "slow boil" and we have to be patient.
Slow boil is putting it mildly... It never got past room temperature (Just one "average Joe's" opinion)
Oh well, I still love your reviews, Ralph.
Dale.
Greetings,

No worries Dale. It's tough to see eye to eye on all of them. Glad you gave it a shot though..


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post #18 of 18 Old 06-04-2017, 09:56 PM
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I saw this tonight on blu-ray. It is also available streaming through Amazon Prime. I was surprised that the rental disc from Netflix had it's DTS HD MASTER audio 5.1 soundtrack and the special features considering it is a Lionsgate release. I found the movie to be slow but once I got used to the pacing of the movie it was quite enjoyable to watch to see how the story unfolds. The scenery looked really nice and eye popping. The sound was ok, very little bass but that is to be expected for a drama.

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