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Blu-ray Reviewer
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Check out our review of this dark comedy where a seductive and scheming new hire causes dangerous problems for an affable businessman who is married to a bi-polar, obsessive-compulsive woman.

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



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



Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Jordana Brewster, Katherine Heigl, Jim Belushi, Kevin McKidd, A.J. Buckley
Directed by: Anthony Burns
Music by: Josh Kelley
Written by: Carlo Allen, Ted Elrick and Tom Lavagnino
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 7, 2015

"Psycho wife. Unhappy life…"

My Take:

Don Champagne (Patrick Wilson) seems to have it all: a successful business, a perfect house, perfect kids and a perfect wife. Unfortunately, when his wife, Mona (Katherine Heigl), learns of Don's affair with a pretty new salesgirl (Jordana Brewster), this suburban slice of heaven spirals out of control. Don soon realizes that Mona will stop at nothing, including murder, to maintain their storybook life where “perception is everything.”

Home Sweet Hell is a woeful dark comedy that attempts to poke clever fun at suburban materialism but unfortunately comes off as insipid, granular and rather short sided in its depiction of women. I am not an especially big fan of Katherine Heigl but saw her portrayal of Mona as the film’s only true highlight. To be fair it does have a few moments where she and Patrick Wilson combine to elevate the chintzy script but otherwise it all comes off as ham fisted and flat. Actually it’s a shame as I liked the premise and darker nature of the comedic plotline. The real problem lies in the poor design of the characters. I think there was ample potential in the casting choices. Heigl and Wilson were okay together, but Jordana Brewster, Jim Belushi and Kevin McKidd didn’t have much to work with.

As I alluded to, Home Sweet Hell isn’t all bad and might hold appeal for forgiving genre fans or diehard Katherine Heigl followers. As for me, it served to pass the time but didn’t leave an impression.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, language, sexual content and some 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: 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: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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

Home Sweet Hell comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.6 Mbps.

This is a pleasing high definition presentation that exhibits video quality that is consistent with a newer release film on Blu-ray Disc. This film is adorned by a permeating sepia toned aesthetic that combines with its use of autumn colors, mainly browns, beiges, and reds, to set the thematic tone intended by the filmmakers. It occasionally makes for eye catching imagery and the results are pleasing. Fleshtones tend to look a little rosy but otherwise fall in line with the film’s visual elements. Contrast is spot on and blacks are fairly delineated and deep. Images are crisp and resolute with defining sharpness that provides appreciable dimension. The video is whistle clean and shows no obvious signs of compression errors or video related anomalies.

The front heavy lossless surround mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices are rendered with appreciable clarity and depth. There is little call for surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discernable level of spatial envelopment accompanied be punchy low frequency enhancement.

Bonus Features:
  • (HD) “Suburban Butchery: Making Home Sweet Hell” – 10 minute featurette
  • (HD) * Exclusive – 7 deleted scenes
  • (HD) * Exclusive Outtakes – 6 minutes
  • (HD) * Exclusive Champagne furniture store commercial

Final Thoughts:

Home Sweet Hell is a woeful dark comedy that had potential but failed to derive the most from its concept and cast. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a middling supplemental package that includes format exclusives. Home Sweet Hell is best reserved for late night cable TV viewing but might qualify as a rental on Blu-ray if you feel the need for a Katherine Heigl fix.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable 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)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
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