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Blu-ray Reviewer
15,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 111 minutes
Genre: Drama/Bio

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewen McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, Joe anderson
Directed by: Mira Nair
Music by: Gabriel Yared
Written by: Ron Bass & Anna Hamilton Phelan based on the two books “East to the Dawn” and “The sound of wings”
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 2, 2010

"A love without limits. A life without fear"

Film Synopsis:

Experience the romance, struggle and triumph of legendary aviatrix Amelia Earhart as she chases love and lives her dreams in Amelia, landing on Blu-ray Disc with Digital Copy and DVD February 2 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Hailed as “The Queen of the Air,” Amelia boldly flew into the annals of history with her solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Bound by ambition and love, her enduring marriage to George Putnam could not be broken by her determination to fly, or a secret passionate affair. Equal parts gripping drama, stirring romance and epic adventure, Amelia will take your breath away and send your spirit soaring!

My Take:

Amelia portrays the true story of aviatrix Amelia Earhart, the iconic and larger than life woman who helped pioneer American Aviation. She captured the attention of the world with her first transatlantic flight in 1928, would repeat the feat solo in 1932, and later attempt to circumnavigate the globe in a Lockheed Electra 10 airplane. Her bid was unsuccessful as she and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared in the central Pacific Ocean, near Howland Island in July 1937. Amelia Earhart was truly a remarkable individual. Among her numerous accomplishments is her becoming the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross,[3] awarded for becoming the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, writing best-selling books about her flying experiences, being instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots and, and being an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. Her passion for flying and sense of adventure inspired others to push the envelope and follow their dreams. The film depicts her life beginning with the events that led up to her first transatlantic flight and follows through until her tragic disappearance. This includes many of her accomplishments (and failures), and her relationship/marriage to George “GP” Putman.

My knowledge of Amelia Earhart is admittedly limited but I have always found her story to be intriguing. What an incredibly charismatic, gifted and charming person she must have been. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance has been the subject of conjecture/theory since it happened 70 plus years ago. Regardless her memory lives on through her numerous accomplishments/deeds. I liked Amelia but not so much because it was a well orchestrated film but because I found the subject so interesting. As a movie I felt that it moved a little slow at times and strove hard for accuracy which made it feel too biographical. Having said that I appreciated its attention to detail, the thematic aspects regarding her relationship with George and the emphasis placed on the depiction of her love of flying. As with true stories we know how it ends but I couldn’t help but hope that somehow she and Fred would make it. Hilary Swank is a superb actress and I thought she gave an incredibly genuine performance. In my opinion Richard Gere has successfully and effectively transitioned as an actor. He played this role with conviction and the pairing with Swank breathed life not only into the characters but the story as well. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and I applaud director Mira Nair’s decision to forego the extended use of CGI. Amelia may not be as compelling a film as I expected but its subject matter and the strong performances by the cast made for an involving experience that was well worth it.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some sensuality, language, thematic elements and smoking.

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.**

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

Audio: 84

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 92

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Amelia comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 mbps.

This is a reference quality high definition video presentation that features resplendent colors and deep, image penetrating resolution. Images boast transparent imagery, with defining sharpness that highlights fine object detail. The sweeping pans and aerial vista views of the various landscapes offer three dimensional depth, lucid visual acuity and an almost tangible reach out and touch perspective. Contrast is boldly applied which slightly overdrives whites while adding punch to colors and dynamic quality to sun drenched sequences. Blacks and shadow detail are strong which provides dark scenes with excellent depth of field and noticeable gradational highlights. Colors are rich and vibrant, with deep, beautifully rendered primaries that stand out but appear natural and tonally delineated. The video has a filmic and grainy texture that rarely calls attention to itself during scenes with plenty of light. In dark scenes it occasionally took on more prominence but wasn’t what I would describe as obtrusive. I also noticed in several instances (predominantly interior shots) that resolution dropped off slightly. From what I could tell that was innate to the photography and fidelity remained intact.

The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack was notably engaging and featured sparkling clarity and superb high level detail. Dialogue was impressive in its tonal distinction and transparent blend with the front three channels. Imaging and sound effects reproduction were first rate as the sound field in the front of the room bristled with sonic detail. The surrounds were primarily utilized for spatial atmospheric presence however discernible discrete audio cues were effectively mixed in where appropriate. Low frequency effects came in the form of bass content associated with Gabriel Yared’s music score and support of sound effects that required low bass resonance or tactile impact. Dynamic range was excellent which provided good solidity and weight to the audio in general. I felt that the mix highlighted the strengths of the source material and sounded great.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Deleted scenes

  • (HD) Making Amelia – 23 minute featurette

  • (HD) The Power of Amelia Earhart – 10 minute featurette

  • (HD) The Plane Behind the Legend – 4 minute feature

  • (HD) Re-constructing the Planes of Amelia – 6 minute production featurette

  • Movietone News reels – 7 segments

    1. Mrs. Putman flies the Atlantic again – This time alone
    2. Amelia Earhart flies over the U.S in 17 hours
    3. Miss Earhart flies from Hawaii to U.S to win solo crown
    4. Aviation (introducing the Electra)
    5. Aviation (Amelia testing her place)
    6. Names in the news: Amelia Earhart
    7. Race to rescue Amelia Earhart
  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc

Final Thoughts:

Amelia isn’t an exciting film about aerial adventures or a drama heavy romance. It plays more like a dramatic biopic about one of America’s most influential women in aviatrix Amelia Earhart. I didn’t find it thoroughly compelling from a thematic standpoint but enjoyed it nevertheless thanks to its interesting subject matter and the performances by leads Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. Its stunning reference quality high definition video presentation from Fox on Blu-ray makes for great demonstration material and the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack doesn’t disappoint. The middling set of bonus supplements is a let down although I always appreciate the inclusion of a Digital Copy. Unless you’re a fan this may not qualify as a must own however it is worth checking out so toss it in your rental queue and look to the skies.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/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)

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

3,945 Posts
I watched this one the other night. Why can't all Blu Rays look and sound like this one?

The quality of the video kept your eyes happy from the opening scenes to the closing credits. The AQ was very good, and appropriate for the theme of the movie.

The downside to the movie is that the activity leading up to Ameria's disappearance isn't too involving. You know that Amelia is a woman ahead of her time, being a aviator in the 1930's. She shows this even more with her desire for an open marriage, and using that openness.

So she fooled around a bit and sold her image to promote her flying career. Nothing too interesting here as even the reference to her romantic relationships has nothing more than a light PG rating.

Gere looks good and performs as expected. Swank does a good job with the script she's given. Ewan McGregor seems wasted as the lover who ultimately loses out to the husband that has the cash to support a flying hobby.

As nobody actually knows what happend to Amelia, the ending is put together using various theories of what might of happend. The film does give the audience the lattitude to pick the thing that ultimately brought her down.

Rent this one for the pq and aq. There is much to see and hear.

Premium Member
174 Posts
"Amelia" was an underated film. The picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray make it a delightful suprise for people like me who missed the film's brief stay in theaters. It's a story about a fascinating individual brought to vivid life by Hillary Swank. The fact that the real life, sometimes remote "Amelia" lived life her own way may have gotten in the way of warming up audiances and kept Swank's performance from getting the credit it deserved.

Richard Gere has matured into a fine actor with instincts that match his charisma. Maybe he will find the kind of role that Jeff Bridges, who is the same age, got last year in "Crazy Heart." I didn't think that Ewen McGregor was as convincing as the aviator father of future writer Gore Vidal, played by a non compelling young boy. The decision to film mainly in South Africa made for some beautiful areial shots of her journey around the African region. But South Africa wasn't that convincing as a copy of our own nation and robbed the film of the "All American" feeling of the story of one of our first modern women who was savy enough to achieve popular success on her own terms.

Ralph's review is right on about the films strengths. The gorgeous visuals and fine acting of "Amelia" will make a great night's viewing for folks looking for a story of a true female pioneer who flew far above the glass ceiling women have faced throughout our country's history.

1,190 Posts
I've seen the trailers and previews on this a few times and wasn't quite sure if this was a good film. But after reading Ralphs' review as well as the other's i think i'll give this one a try. Also collecting this one based on it's excellent score.


11,562 Posts
I was excited when I saw the previews to this film and then very disappointed when the reviews started coming in. Have not watched it yet, but after reading Ralph's review (I find myself almost always agreeing with Ralph's take on a movie) and Roger Ebert's review (another reviewer I often agree with), I am going to give this one a try.

5,011 Posts
Rented and watched the BR last night. A very good movie, but to me not great. Recomend a rental first.

Scenery and PQ was very good. Audio was somewhat above average; surround was OK, but this is the first time I struggled with center channel dialogue clarity. Summary: 1/3 chick flick, 1/3 for the aviation buff, 1/3 for the history.

3,945 Posts

Originally Posted by capnvid /forum/post/18073496

"Amelia" was an underated film.

Amelia as a person may have been underated. Her demise left questions about her skill level as an aviator. The best pilots land their planes.

As a feminist, she was greatly underated. Far ahead of her time in her profession, her attire, and her relationships with men.

The film itself underperformed. Great cast, excellent cinematography and sound engineering, all surrounding a story that didn't compel.

1,347 Posts
Spot on Ralph.

Not sure what it was about this movie, but it seemed to take twice as long to get through than another movie this length.

I thought the cinematography was top-notch, and the visuals in many cases had me saying “Wow” out loud.

The story had me in an in between point of being engaged, and not engaged. I think this is largely due to Amelia’s personality itself. She was so independent, that it was hard to engage with her in the story. I thought both Swank and Gere did fine performances in their roles, but the basis of the story didn’t leave them a lot to work with personality wise. Of course, Amelia had a very strong personality, but this movie is set back in the early 1900’s of coarse, and there is only so much personality that a women could show back then.

Very well done final 20 minutes as well.

PQ: 4.5 out of 5, SQ 4. out of 5, Film 3 out of 5

583 Posts
A bit late to the party, I just got this one from Blockbuster in the mail after a long wait. I have to agree your review was pretty spot on. We really enjoyed the movie. Rental disc however contained 0 extras which was very disappointing. The only complaint I had was as previously mentioned a few scenes with low dialogue were hard to hear. We were listening to it a bit below reference level on Denon AVR2112 using Audyssey setup. If it ever makes it to the cheap bin I might grab it just to see the extras.

Blu-ray Reviewer
15,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Originally Posted by Davird_Jr  /t/1223922/amelia-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_22815544

A bit late to the party, I just got this one from Blockbuster in the mail after a long wait. I have to agree your review was pretty spot on. We really enjoyed the movie. Rental disc however contained 0 extras which was very disappointing. The only complaint I had was as previously mentioned a few scenes with low dialogue were hard to hear. We were listening to it a bit below reference level on Denon AVR2112 using Audyssey setup. If it ever makes it to the cheap bin I might grab it just to see the extras.


Thanks for chiming in with your impressions/thoughts on Amelia. It remains a part of my colleciton..

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