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Check out our review of this true life drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.



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

Film:


Extras:


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

85



Details:

Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 105 minutes
Genre: Drama/Biopic

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Danny Huston, Jon Polito, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Terence Stamp
Directed by: Tim Burton
Music by: Danny Elfman
Written by: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 14, 2015


"She created it. He sold it. And everyone bought it."


My Take:

Big Eyes is based on the true story of Walter Keane (Christoph Waltz), who was one of the most successful painters of the 1950s and early 1960s. The artist earned staggering notoriety by revolutionizing the commercialization and accessibility of popular art with his enigmatic paintings of waifs with big eyes. The truth would eventually be discovered though: Keane's art was actually not created by him at all, but by his wife, Margaret (Amy Adams). The Keanes, it seemed, had been living a lie that had grown to gigantic proportions. BIG EYES centers on Margaret's awakening as an artist, the phenomenal success of her paintings, and her tumultuous relationship with her husband, who was catapulted to international fame while taking credit for her work.


I was aware of this story prior to seeing this film and found it incredibly interesting on several levels. To think that what started out as a seemingly small white lie could grow into something that would sweep the nation and inevitably pave the way for the pop art movement. The story is fundamentally intriguing as it speaks to the societal atmosphere of the time which essentially set the stage for Walter to step into the limelight. You can see Margaret’s inner anguish which is poured out into her paintings, which were unique, beautiful and darkly engaging.

The film does a great job in setting up its plot points which follow Margaret from her early beginnings through to meeting Walter and then dissecting their relationship which began as one thing and slowly devolves into something much different. The narrative is probably best described as a character study, first of and primarily of Walter, and then to a slightly lesser degree of Margaret as her awakening sparks the fire that would bring it all down. I found Big Eyes to be an intelligently crafted film that is part drama, part dark comedy and of course a biopic in every sense.

Stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are simply terrific and in my opinion share equal responsibility for the compelling outcome of the film. That is to take nothing away from Tim Burton whose stylistic flair underscores the proceedings.

In addition to Amy Adams, who won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Margaret Keane, Big Eyes was up for two additional Golden Globe nominations including Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical or Comedy and Best Original Song. The film has garnered numerous accolades including an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Screenplay and BAFTA nominations for Best Leading Actress and Best Production Design.

I thoroughly enjoyed Big Eyes not only for its intriguing and interesting true story but for the wonderful performances, excellent screenplay and apt direction that brought the story to the big screen.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic elements and brief strong language.


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: 80
(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
  • DSU 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:


Big Eyes comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

This is pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, deeply saturated colors, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are boldly colorful, film like and perfectly suited for the source material.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren’t noteworthy but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the low level bass associated with the music score/soundtrack.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Making of Big Eyes – 21 minute featurette
  • (HD) Q&A highlights – 33 minutes
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Based on the real lives of Margaret and Walter Keane Big Eyes is an intriguing and interesting true life drama that features wonderful performances, excellent writing and apt direction. It comes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay entertainment featuring excellent high definition video crystal clear lossless sound and a light but worthwhile supplemental package. I thoroughly enjoyed Big Eyes and recommend that you give it a spin on Blu-ray





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Ralph,

I'll catch this one via rental for a viewing with the wife.
Looks like a good one, with quite the background (please note I am not describing it as a chick-flick") :)
 

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I had my regular sized eyes on this when it was in the theater, but missed out on seeing it at the theater. Based off this review I think I will add this to my never-ending movie queue. Thanks Ralph!
 

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Y'know, the home video biz is really beginning to disgust me. First Disney, after exhorting people to buy 3D equipment, then decides to cease all 3D releases in North America. Then Universal cancels the 3D SEVENTH SON disc release. So what does that have to do with "Big Eyes"? The disc is only available via Redbox and Netflix as...standard DVD only! WTF?!?!?! (The same is true for other award-winners like BIRDMAN and WHIPLASH via Redbox...standard DVD only.) Since I'm not sure enough about "Eyes" for a blind buy, I guess I now have to wait for cable.

Another few years of home video's anti-consumer antics and I probably won't be watching movies at home at all anymore! (And no, I don't like digital downloads, thank you.)

Sorry for the rant, but I've enjoyed all of Burton's work in the past. I even liked (but not a lot!) PLANET OF THE APES...my issues with that one had more to do with Wahlberg than Burton. So it's a shame that I'll have to wait months longer to catch "Big Eyes" in HD at home.
 

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You can say that again.

PS Great review Ralph. My schedule hasn't allowed me to watch this, but I plan on watching tomorrow night. I've been looking forward to it though.
 
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Wow, I'm kinda surprised at all the positive comments on this movie.
Just goes to show, "different strokes for different folks"!
Personally this just looked to be one stupid movie about a non-subject.
Now I like all the actors in this, but just detest Tim Burton.
If I was a spy and you need to get information from me, just threaten to play Charlie and the chocolate factory, I'd talk to avoid that!!
I've just always found his "work" to be largely cheap copies of someone elses movies or ideas.

But to those looking forward to this, enjoy !!

And as always, whether I like it or not, thank you Ralph!!!
 

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It's getting bigger and bigger ... the pain

Y'know, the home video biz is really beginning to disgust me. First Disney, after exhorting people to buy 3D equipment, then decides to cease all 3D releases in North America. Then Universal cancels the 3D SEVENTH SON disc release. So what does that have to do with "Big Eyes"? The disc is only available via Redbox and Netflix as...standard DVD only! WTF?!?!?! (The same is true for other award-winners like BIRDMAN and WHIPLASH via Redbox...standard DVD only.) Since I'm not sure enough about "Eyes" for a blind buy, I guess I now have to wait for cable.
Another few years of home video's anti-consumer antics and I probably won't be watching movies at home at all anymore! (And no, I don't like digital downloads, thank you.)

Sorry for the rant, but I've enjoyed all of Burton's work in the past. I even liked (but not a lot!) PLANET OF THE APES...my issues with that one had more to do with Wahlberg than Burton.
So it's a shame that I'll have to wait months longer to catch "Big Eyes" in HD at home.
'Big Eyes' ... 'Big Hero 6' - 3D ... :frown:
 

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I watched it last night; I very enjoyed it, with two of my favorite actors, plus the director. :)

* You were dead on Ralph. :cool:
 

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My only complaint with the movie is how "small" in scope and scale it seems. It almost plays like an HBO biopic, and that's anything but a criticism, but it also doesn't feel like a full theatrical release like it was.

Still, I enjoyed this movie. Some of the dialog was a little stiff, but it was much more enjoyable than anticipated. You only get two glimpses of standard "Burton-isms" in the movie
Grocery Store and the Court Room sequence
, and that suited it extremely well. The acting is terrific.
 

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The wife and I watched this last night (VUDU rental). While I liked Amy Adams understated performance, I thought Christoph Waltz's over the top acting that worked so well in Inglorious Bastards was exhausting and distracted from rather than added to this film (I guess Johnny Depp was busy on another project :p). IMO, Tim Burton missed the mark on a story that had so much potential and although there were some good moments, in the end Big Eyes left me feeling unsatisfied.
 

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I watched this last night. Going in I didn't know that this movie only clocks in at ~90 minutes, so this film was absent of some of the fluff and filler that usually accompanies stories like this. One thing about this film that really stood out to me was the very bright and colorful video presentation. I would rate it a 7.5 out of 10.
 
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