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post #1 of 3 Old 07-19-2019, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Breakthrough Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Breakthrough is based on a true story of a mother, Joyce Smith, who prayed her son back to life after he fell through a frozen lake and died and how this miracle impacted an entire community. Check out Ralph Potts’ Ultra HD Blu-ray review.

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



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



Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2019
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 116 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Mike Colter, Marcel Ruiz, Sam Trammell, Dennis Haysbert
Directed by: Roxann Dawson
Music by: Marcelo Zarvos
Written by: Grant Nieporte
Region Code: A

Release Date: July 16, 2019

"Based on the Impossible True Story"


“Breakthrough is based on a true story of a mother, Joyce Smith, who prayed her son back to life after he fell through a frozen lake and died and how this miracle impacted an entire community.” – 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

My Take:

Breakthrough is based on the inspirational true story of one mother’s unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. When Joyce Smith’s adopted son John falls through an icy Missouri lake, all hope seems lost. But as John lies lifeless, Joyce refuses to give up. Her steadfast belief inspires those around her to continue to pray for John’s recovery, even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction. Adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte from Joyce Smith’s own book, Breakthrough serves as a reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle.

Based on the book of the same name by Joyce Smith Breakthrough is most definitely a film that carries a message. Its foundation is faith based however I didn’t find it to have the syrupy after school propaganda feel that other films of its type have. The story is well written and stays on point as it depicts a spiritual family that is suddenly faced with a crisis that tests their faith. This is a very personal story and it comes across that way. It’s not overtly preachy per se and I feel it speaks more to providing inspirational thought for people of faith rather than necessarily trying to make believers out of those who aren’t.

The drama and melodrama that revolves around the Burpo family as well as the ensuing strife/fallout, involving their friends/parishioners/townspeople makes for an engaging and sometime moving film. I think how affected you are by this film will depend largely on your beliefs. I watched it with my wife and we enjoyed it not only for its spiritual foundation and charming performances but for the positive message it carries about family and community.

Breakthrough isn’t a perfect film as it sometimes get weighed down with minutia that could easily have been suggested rather than depicted. I didn’t find that to be an unrecoverable flaw and opted to simply take it at face value. For me the result was a pleasant and worthwhile film that families can enjoy.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic content including peril.

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: 88
(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

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

  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:

Breakthrough comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Breakthrough was derived from a 3.4K source, rendered from 2K DI and upconverted to 4K. This is a solid Ultra HD presentation that looks great on my large screen. What struck me from the onset is the lifelike reproduction of the textures captured by the camera's lens. Whether it be the finest minutia in physical features or rough textures on the surfaces of the stone buildings, streets, and the interiors of the classrooms, the Smith home, or the vistas of the shooting locations, the imagery is pleasing. The benefits of high dynamic range and wide color gamut are on display as earth tones, and primary colors have an added dimension that allows them to shine.

Whites are detailed and bright, especially during low level transitions viewed in a darkened environment. Contrast is spot on, lending an authenticity that underscores the subject matter, bringing it to a visually rewarding level. Shot digitally, this rendering reproduces its elements with aplomb. Looking at the 1080p version, which is solid as well, the difference is noticeable, but not what I would describe as night and day. I found this Ultra HD video presentation to be beautifully rendered, and the best way to experience this film.

This is primarily a dialog driven film however there are elements in the film that require use of the entire system so its ability to clearly render them is essential. Dialog is reproduced with transparent realism and lucid texture as it is appropriately balanced within the front soundstage. The surround mix utilizes the entire platform to recreate the many acoustic sounds associated with the environments portrayed onscreen. The rear channels contain a mixture of spatial ambience/musical extension as well as directional panning cues that effectively support the front soundstage. This is a complimentary audio presentation that mates well with the source material.

For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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

Breakthrough comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video.

This is a great looking new release title from Lionsgate. Images onscreen exhibit plenty of fine rendering and crisp definition that on occasion rises to higher levels especially during close ups which can be very revealing. Long range shots appear resolute with good dimensional depth and notable object detail. Bright exterior segments are punchy with crisp dynamic whites and appreciable texture. Colors are vibrant with eye catching primaries and natural rendering that looked great in high definition. Fleshtones are tonally divergent and appear lifelike in depiction. Blacks are deep and shadow detail is excellent. I didn’t detect any video related anomalies, finding this to be a faithful video presentation.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Breakthrough Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
  • Disc 2: Breakthrough Blu-ray Review
    • A Tapestry of Miracles: Making Breakthrough
    • “Carry My Soul” Phil Wickham Deleted Scene, and Optional Audio Commentary by DeVon Franklin and Roxann Dawson
    • Trapped in Icy Waters
    • Audio Commentary by DeVon Franklin and Roxann Dawson
    • Gallery
  • Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the book by Joyce Smith Breakthrough is a faith-based family film with a heartwarming center that revolves around the true story of one mother’s unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent overall video quality, crystal clear lossless sound and a fair supplemental package. If you find the subject matter to be of interest [i]Breakthrough/i] is worthwhile viewing so feel free to toss it in your rental queue and give it a spin on Blu-ray.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra 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
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray 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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Ralph C. Potts
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post #2 of 3 Old 07-21-2019, 03:03 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph I definitely will watch this at some point.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-18-2019, 05:52 PM
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The wife and I watched this one today. It wasn't bad with a uplifting message but, I have to say it felt like an after school special on lifetime...
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