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

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

78






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

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: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell
Directed by: Scott Cooper
Music by: Stephen Bruton & T Bone Burnett
Written by: Scott Cooper based on the novel by Thomas Cobb
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 20, 2010







"The harder the life the sweeter the song"



Film Synopsis:


Award winner Jeff Bridges delivers the performance of a lifetime in Crazy Heart, the powerful story of a country music star's rocky road to redemption. Bridges stars as Bad Blake, a boozy, broken-down singer who reaches for salvation with the help of Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the music. But will Bad's hard-livin' ways and crazy heart cost him his last chance at a comeback?



My Take:


Crazy heart is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Cobb and tells the story of Bad Blake (Bridges) a broken down country singer that is past his heyday and struggling with alcoholism, and life on the road while playing in cheap venues. “Bad” is a talented musician that has let bitterness, hard times, and booze suck the life out of his career, including the inspiration to write any new songs. His fans (what few there seem left) still enjoy listening to him play his classics however his agent has been unable to convince him that the only way for him to earn some much needed money is to write. Bad is resentful over his estranged relationship with protégé Tommy Sweet (Farrell) who has soared to stardom after getting his start from him. Things change for Bad when he meets Jean, a single mother and reporter that wants to write a story on him for a local newspaper in Santa Fe. There is an instant spark between the two and Bad quickly takes to both she and her four year old son Buddy. Bad suggests that he reconnect with Tommy as an opening act but the only offer he receives is to write new material for Tommy, to which he refuses. Bad pursues Jean but it is obvious that there is something in her past that makes her hesitant to become romantically involved. His alcoholism doesn’t help but despite this she opens up to him. Unfortunately her fears are realized when Bad lets his drinking overcome his judgment which results in near tragedy. He finds himself at a crossroad with rock bottom on one side and his career, life and Jean on the other. He will have to decide, is it worth one more try?

We have seen this story depicted on film many times. What makes this special is the electrifying performance by Jeff Bridges. I have been a fan of his for years and am finally glad to see him acknowledged for the quality actor that he is. The music plays an integral role in the story and it is simply marvelous. In support Maggie Gyllenhaal plays perfectly off of Bridges and gives a spirited and engaging performance. Robert Duvall doesn’t have a pivotal role but typically plays a credible character in his portrayal of Bad’s buddy, Wayne. I must admit that I felt that Colin Farrell was miscast in the small but prominent part of Country singer protégé Tommy Sweet. That is merely an observation that in no way negatively reflects upon this rewarding dramatic film which I thoroughly enjoyed.



Parental Guide:


The rating is for language, thematic material and brief sexuality.




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: 78


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 78


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Crazy heart comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 mbps.

This video presentation offers little in the way of highly polished, razor sharp images that resemble the best that high definition has to offer on Blu-ray but it seems to represent the film’s elements well. Primary colors are tonally satisfying with deep blues and an inviting palette that mates well with the film’s subject matter. Complexions are texturally revealing with natural coloring that varies among the cast. Resolution is good but softer definition leaves the mid level and wide angle views appearing less resolvable in terms of fine detail. Close ups tend to be more revealing of subtle refinement. Blacks are not especially deep but I thought that they stood out nicely when onscreen with mixed content. Shadow detail is a mixed bag which leaves some darker scenes, such as those that take place in Bad’s Houston home lacking in appreciable delineation and depth. Contrast is boldly applied which empowers colors and brighter elements without negatively impacting fidelity. Grain is evident and primarily appears in even layers that are naturally rendered throughout. The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack is primarily front focused with minimal but effective use of the surround platform to extend the soundstage. The presentation is satisfying and competently conveys the elements present in the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue is primarily intelligible but could have mixed a bit higher as there were times where I had to increase the volume to make out softer spoken passages. The front three channels deliver the bulk of the sound and did so with good clarity and imaging, especially during the musical performances. The surrounds and sub saw occasional use and supported the soundtrack’s elements with light spatial dimension and bass response that accompanied the film’s music.



Bonus Features:

  • 10 Deleted/extended scenes

  • (HD) Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall – On what brought them to Crazy Heart – 3 minute open discussion

  • (HD) Theatrical Trailer

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc





Final Thoughts:


Crazy Heart is a genuine and rewarding dramatic film that may not break new ground but nevertheless stands as an achievement in filmmaking thanks to the Oscar winning performance of Jeff Bridges, its wonderful incorporated music, and a well executed screenplay from writer/director Scott Cooper. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring satisfying audio/video quality along with a rather disappointing set of bonus features. Be that as it may, Crazy Heart is a must see film that is deserving of the accolades bestowed upon it.















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
 

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Wow.


78 each for a&v. You think they'd start getting it together for quality films. I mean, what's even the point in offering it in BD if it's no better (or nominally) than it's DVD counterpart?
 

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boos or booze? or both?


great review - i
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndn /forum/post/18516602


Wow.


78 each for a&v. You think they'd start getting it together for quality films. I mean, what's even the point in offering it in BD if it's no better (or nominally) than it's DVD counterpart?

Greetings,


From a technical standpoint, unless otherwise noted, there is nothing wrong with the presentation. Comparing it to the better high definition releases it doesn't achieve the same level of quality but this probably has more to do with original photography. I can assure you that it will look more than nominally better than standard definition.



Regards,
 

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I absolutely HATE country music but really enjoyed this film. For $19.99 it is definately worth a purchase IMHO. Thanks for lowering my expectations in regards to the picture quality Ralph.



Tom
 

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I agree with this review. I read 2 other video quality reviews on this release prior to Ralph's review. The video quality on the other reviews received very high scores and I was sitting here shaking my head wondering if there was something wrong with my display because I thought this film did not stack up to that of the better looking presentations as Ralph said. I think 78 is a dead on score for this one. I thought some images looked flat and there was some black crush here and there. In the beginning of the film during his first concert I was (think it was the bowling alley). Just before he started singing you, there were a lot of people standing and waiting and I thought these people were not clearly visible in the video presentation. This was a very dark and low lit scene.
 

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I must admit that I felt that Colin Farrell was miscast in the small but prominent part of Country singer protégé Tommy Sweet.


Yeah, I don't know what it was about Farrell's character, but he didn't strike me as being the country star type. Or maybe it's that Bridges was so good he overshadowed Farrell. I expected Duvall's part to be teensy-weensy, based on some reviews. He got more screen time than I thought, and I enjoyed him in this.


I didn't care for the 3-minute "Why We Were Attracted to Crazy Heart" featurette. Too bad there wasn't a running commentary, even though the Blu-Ray had the standard boilerplate screen caveat regarding the commentary for the film.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) One reviewer felt the movie should have ended with the blackout at the end, and that the "16 Months Later" scene ruined it:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/41191/crazy-heart/


I disagree. The "later" scene was a mixture of happiness and sadness and not the feel-good happy ending Hollywood might have opted for - i.e., with Bad/Otis and Jean marrying each other.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eweiss /forum/post/18521274


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) One reviewer felt the movie should have ended with the blackout at the end, and that the "16 Months Later" scene ruined it:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/41191/crazy-heart/


I disagree. The "later" scene was a mixture of happiness and sadness and not the feel-good happy ending Hollywood might have opted for - i.e., with Bad/Otis and Jean marrying each other.

I'm with you on that one for sure.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) But when i saw the film in the theater, i THOUGHT the movie was over when it blacked out....and I was kind of angry. I'm glad there was more
 

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I haven't seen the movie yet..but I was looking forward to the bluray release. I'm disappointed the that audio didn't score higher. I mean this is a movie that revolves around music...I know the review stated there was nothing bad about the audio but I was hoping for more of a 'Wow' factor....


I'm still gonna rent it though....maybe I'll hear things differently...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyman /forum/post/18522157


I haven't seen the movie yet..but I was looking forward to the bluray release. I'm disappointed the that audio didn't score higher. I mean this is a movie that revolves around music...I know the review stated there was nothing bad about the audio but I was hoping for more of a 'Wow' factor....


I'm still gonna rent it though....maybe I'll hear things differently...

Well, the movie sort of revolves around music, but not as much as I thought it would. It revolves around Bad Blake. In fact, the movie probably revolves more around McClure's Whiskey than around music.
 

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Great review as always, Ralph! I saw this in the theater (it was my wife's pick), and as someone else mentioned, I don't care for country music much either, but I really enjoyed this movie!! It was a no-brainer purchase on blu for me and I enjoyed it as much, if not more the second time around.

While the picture quality may not have been "reference" quality, I feel it lends itself to they type of movie Crazy Heart is and the story it is telling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny15 /forum/post/18532758


Great review as always, Ralph! I saw this in the theater (it was my wife's pick), and as someone else mentioned, I don't care for country music much either, but I really enjoyed this movie!! It was a no-brainer purchase on blu for me and I enjoyed it as much, if not more the second time around.

While the picture quality may not have been "reference" quality, I feel it lends itself to they type of movie Crazy Heart is and the story it is telling.

Greetings,


I absolutely agree Johnny and thanks for sharing your impressions.




Regards,
 

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Great review Ralph, thanks. I especially agree with your PQ and SQ scores.


Watched this one last night and both the wife and I made it through the whole thing without breaking it into two parts (always an indication of a great movie)


Bridges is this film, he alone carried the whole film IMO. It was great to see Duvall again though.


The black level was raised on this one. Noticed it right away. Anyone else see this? The video is not crisp, but lent itself to the story well, and the colors, especially the skin tones were spot on.


Audio was just fine. Nothing to write home about. Only a couple of lines were spoken that made me go back and listen again. This was mainly due to Bridges mumbling.


This is a great film and Bridges really became Bad Blake. No trying to dress him up for this film, and nice to see an actor let himself go for a role. Very fun to watch, and I don't listen to country music, but do appreciate a good country song. This one had me listening well into the credits.


PQ 3.5 out of 5, SQ 3.5 out of 5, Film 4.5 out of 5


BTW, watching Young Victoria tonight and looking forward to a visual treat (hopefully)


Regards,

Dan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndn /forum/post/18516602


Wow.


78 each for a&v. You think they'd start getting it together for quality films. I mean, what's even the point in offering it in BD if it's no better (or nominally) than it's DVD counterpart?

For a movie like this it doesn't need great audio or video. The movie could've had terrible audio and video quality and it wouldn't have mattered (FWIW, the audio and video are fine, IMO). It was produced on a $7 million dollar budget and its a shame that almost no one saw it in theaters. This is the kind of movie that deserves to gross $1 billion dollars not Harry Potter or Pirates.


They way they intertwined country music into the movie really sets it apart from other films. Added an aspect that gave the movie more depth and explained parts of "Bad's" life without actually showing them on screen. A great way of doing a movie, IMO, although it had to be done right to have as much of an emotional impact as it provides in this film.


Bridges acting is really a masterpiece and well deserving of the best actor award. I thought this was the best movie of 2009 and should've won best picture as well.
 

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Nice review, Ralph! Right on the money, as usual. Saw this one last night and REALLY enjoyed it. I was surpirsed how much I liked the music, too. I'm not much of a country fan, but that music had some blues feel to it. Very strong performances all around, and I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell's character. Maggie G was very strong, although her character was a bit over the top at times which I can find annoying. Loved the little kid, though....what a cutie.


Really good film!
 

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Watched this movie tonight and i agree with the ratings..

Sound quality during the performances were great however sometimes the dialogue was not clear...
 
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