Sweet Virginia Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-27-2018, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Sweet Virginia Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this dark, indie thriller, about a former rodeo champ that begins a friendship with a mysterious young man whose propensity for violence shakes the foundation of a small southern town.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

83



Details:

Studio and Year: Shout Factory - 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Genre: Thriller/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, Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jon Bernthal, Christopher About, Rosemarie DeWitt, Imogene Poots
Directed by: Jamie M. Dagg
Music by: Will Blair, Brooke Blair
Written by: The China Brothers
Region Code: A

Release Date: April 3, 2018


"Once Upon a Time in a Small Town…"


My Take:

A mysterious stranger sends shockwaves through a close-knit community in this nerve-jangling slice of raw suspense. In the wake of a triple murder that leaves the residents of a remote Alaskan outpost on edge, tightly wound drifter Elwood (Christopher Abbott, Girls) checks into a motel run by Sam (Jon Bernthal, The Walking Dead), a former rodeo champion whose imposing physical presence conceals a troubled soul. Bound together by their outsider status, the two men strike up an uneasy friendship—a dangerous association that will set off a new wave of violence and unleash Sam’s darkest demons.

Written by Benjamin and Paul China, directed by Jamie Dagg, and scored by Will and Brooke Blair, Sweet Virginia is a moody and dark thriller set in a small community where the slightest ripples can be felt. It’s a tale of broken people, forged by their circumstances, whose decisions are born out of a lack of the emotional attachment needed to shape not only one’s morality, but the love and humanity needed to see things through the eyes of others.

The thematic tone is of the psychological thriller type, with an underlying and innate sense of dread that speaks to the human condition. At 93 minutes in length the narrative which isn’t complex, is a slow burn, that paints its characters in fairly fine strokes, that do a solid job of correlating them within its construct.

The building of tension, especially around the actions of Elwood, is quite good. As the fuse burns down the plot never really thickens, but the encapsulation of its elements between the opening and closing events works well, resulting in an effective, once and done, genre entry, that both my wife, and I enjoyed.


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, some strong sexuality, language and 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: 84
(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 Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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



Sweet Virginia comes to Blu-ray Disc from Shout Factory featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

This is a fair video presentation that offers a mix of good to average high definition images, which appears to be innate, due to the use cinematographic effects used in support of the filmmaker’s vision. The color range perfectly sets the film’s somber tone and has a reserved aesthetic that rarely offers bright, eye catching hues. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yielded crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but slightly elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic and occasionally flat. I didn’t see this as a problem based upon the visual style of the film. This is a clean rendering that showed no obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.

The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio surround mix features dialog that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as sound effects are rendered with excellent clarity and depth. The star of the show is the moody music score which fills the listening area with its eclectic instrumentation and rich bass quality. There is little call for active surround activity and extended dynamics however there is frequent use of atmospheric sounds that utilize the entire soundstage in support of the exterior/interior venues depicted in the film. The end result is an excellent audio presentation that renders the soundtrack’s elements with aplomb.




Bonus Features:
  • Trailer


Final Thoughts:

Sweet Virginia is an effectively moody, dark, and primarily engaging, indie thriller, that spins a formulaic plot into a tangible film experience. It comes to Blu-ray from Shout Factory featuring fair high definition video and crystal clear lossless sound quality. Sweet Virginia is the perfect choice for a Blu-ray rental when you’re in the mood for something dramatic and dark.





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 Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems

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post #2 of 4 Old 03-27-2018, 05:04 PM
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Ive had this pre-ordered for quite a while. Im glad you liked it, the trailer seemed intense and with Jon Bernthal its a easy button for me. Look forward to watching it nest week. I was somewhat surprised when I saw you reviewed it.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-27-2018, 11:18 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph and for keeping these smaller films on our radar.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-28-2018, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla Killa View Post
Ive had this pre-ordered for quite a while. Im glad you liked it, the trailer seemed intense and with Jon Bernthal its a easy button for me. Look forward to watching it nest week. I was somewhat surprised when I saw you reviewed it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post
Thanks for the review Ralph and for keeping these smaller films on our radar.
Greetings,

You're welcome guys. I try to request films like this when I come across them. Hope you enjoy it.


Regards,
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