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Check out our review of this powerful dramatic film that chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.



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

Film:


Extras:


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

86



Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 128 minutes
Genre: Drama/Biopic

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

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: David Owelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Lorraine Toussaint, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Andre Holland, Colmon Domingo
Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Music by: Jason Moran
Written by: Paul Webb
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 5, 2015


"One dream can change the world"


My Take:

Selma chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.

The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most turbulent and trying times in our nation’s history. We as a nation owe a debt of gratitude to those who stood before grave opposition in an effort to secure many of the privileges we now enjoy. The marches in Selma were integral to the movement and through the courageous sacrifices of those involved brought the struggles for equality to the attention of the nation and ultimately the world. Selma takes a snapshot of Martin Luther King’s life beginning with his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize win and follows it through to the final march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama which ultimately resulted in President Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act.

Screenwriter Paul Webb and Director Ava DuVernay paint a vivid portrait of the grimness of those times and the steadfast devotion of a select group willing to die in order to secure rights that should be shared by all Americans. I appreciated the attention to detail in the design of the characters with respect to their real life counterparts, especially with respect to those involved in the movement. Selma isn’t an easy film to watch as it’s difficult to imagine living through such difficult times especially when you consider that it wasn’t all that long ago.

It is clearly evident that the film is a labor of commitment and respect for all involved. The cast is simply marvelous, with David Oyelowo leading the way in his gripping portrayal of Dr. King. There is little else that I can add other than to say that Selma is an important, and in light of 2015 being the 50th anniversary of the march, significant film that is deserving of the accolades it has received. I highly recommend it.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, 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: 84
(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:


Selma comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home 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 3.6 Mbps.

This is a good looking presentation from Paramount that features intentionally stylized visuals that coincide with the film’s thematic and somber tone. The color palette is limited and those used are held to neutral tones and reserved hues that are rarely eye catching. Processing is applied to give the video a light amber toned cast that is maintained throughout. The result isn’t deleterious to contrast or color fidelity. Fleshtones are minimally effected but not to the point of appearing unnatural. Black levels are slightly elevated and depth and detail in low light and dark backgrounds is discerning. Resolution is excellent as images have good definition and noticeable delineation that is apparent during close-up camera shots. I found this presentation to be free of video related anomalies and a very good match with the film’s subject matter.

This is a dialogue driven film that features a surround mix that maintains a predominantly frontal orientation with occasional use of the rear channels and subwoofer for added enhancement. The soundfield is primarily one dimensional with crystal clear vocal reproduction, discriminating channel separation, and excellent high level detail.

Bonus Features:
  • Feature film in high definition
  • (HD) The Road to Selma – 13 minute featurette
  • (HD) Recreating Selma – 26 minute featurette
  • (HD) “Glory” Music Video featuring John Legend and Common
  • Historical Newsreels – 5 minutes
  • Photo Gallery
  • (HD) 6 Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • (HD) National Voting Rights Museum and Institute – 7 minutes
  • (HD) Selma Student Tickets: Donor Appreciation – 3 minutes
  • Selma discussion guide – Interactive feature
  • Commentary by director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo
  • Commentary by director Ava DuVernay, director of photography Bradford Young and editor Spencer Averick
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy





Final Thoughts:

Selma chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. I commend the filmmakers and cast for their fervent commitment to bringing these significant events to the big screen in such compelling and reverent fashion. Selma comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring faithful high definition video and crystal clear lossless sound mated with a fair supplemental offering that includes a look behind the scenes as well as insights from the cast/crew. Selma is a must see film that comes highly recommended.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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Not really. It's already been completely forgotten. It was only temporarily prominent because Oprah's billions were promoting it.
I doubt you've seen this movie.

If you have, name a better civil rights or anti-racism movie that you think is more engaging, more influential. Recent or otherwise.

I'm all ears. This should be interesting.

Your comment about Oprah's billions says it all.
 

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Not really. It's already been completely forgotten. It was only temporarily prominent because Oprah's billions were promoting it.
Wow. Talk about ignorant. Your comment also smacks of some underlying hostility - got some issues to work out eh? Show some respect.

Thanks Ralph for the great review - I didn't get a chance to see this one in theaters but I'm ordering the Blu Ray for my own theater! My mom's boyfriend - an ethicist and professor of divinity at a university in California - marched in Selma and traveled back this year for the anniversary. Looking forward to seeing this movie.
 

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The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most turbulent and trying times in our nation’s history. We as a nation owe a debt of gratitude to those who stood before grave opposition in an effort to secure many of the privileges we now enjoy. The marches in Selma were integral to the movement and through the courageous sacrifices of those involved brought the struggles for equality to the attention of the nation and ultimately the world. Selma takes a snapshot of Martin Luther King’s life beginning with his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize win and follows it through to the final march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama which ultimately resulted in President Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act.
Well said Ralph, I will watch this with my 3 children and wife.
I'm still saddened at the blatant racism and other stuff I see here and there, at times it dwindles my hope in our human species growth.

I was raised Catholic, married an Episcopal, and now attend a Episcopal church in a predominately white community, we have a openly gay black priest.
To show how times have changed, when our church was undergoing a $1.4M renovation, for 9 months we were housed in a nearby Catholic church!

We held separate masses at the same time, in the same church complex, we used their "small" wedding chapel that could hold 90 or so per service.

Someday I do hope that all labels can be dropped, and we just live and accept people for who they/we are - people, its the diversity around us that makes us stronger, not the labels we associate our-self with.

We have used movies for good family discussion, I'll post my kids thoughts after watching.
Peace.
 

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Not really. It's already been completely forgotten. It was only temporarily prominent because Oprah's billions were promoting it.
That is a startling statement. Completely forgotten? Seriously? And while I am not an Oprah fan (actually far from it), the film was very important. Why? Because while racism has been greatly reduced, it is certainly not non-existant. And I must add, racism is not exclusively practiced in the south - or just by whites. It still exists in virtually every aspect of our country: schools, our government, in business.

I am not suggesting it resembles anything like the 60's but it still must be dealt with.

Rant concluded!
 

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I'm male, Caucasian, 50's, with Red hair. Anybody different gets singled out. When 12, I still remember the chants of "Rosie red hair , Rosie red purse, when he was born he scared the nurse". Others too vulgar to post here.
One girl started the chant, and all joined in. 40 years later etched in my mind.
The fist fights alone I got into because of being different, red hair, it came to I hated being different and having red hair.
Some people are mean, cruel, and wrongly their offspring see their actions and may repeat it.

This movie and others like it can be used as a teaching tool.


Via Mikes brain/thumb interface, LLAP
 

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Well said Ralph, I will watch this with my 3 children and wife.
I'm still saddened at the blatant racism and other stuff I see here and there, at times it dwindles my hope in our human species growth.
I was raised Catholic, married an Episcopal, and now attend a Episcopal church in a predominately white community, we have a openly gay black priest.
To show how times have changed, when our church was undergoing a $1.4M renovation, for 9 months we were housed in a nearby Catholic church!
We held separate masses at the same time, in the same church complex, we used their "small" wedding chapel that could hold 90 or so per service.
Someday I do hope that all labels can be dropped, and we just live and accept people for who they/we are - people, its the diversity around us that makes us stronger, not the labels we associate our-self with.
We have used movies for good family discussion, I'll post my kids thoughts after watching.
Peace.
Well said Mike.
 

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One of the most boring, horribly constructed, poorly written, poorly acted movies I've ever seen. Honestly, I think the only reason any part of this was under Oscar consideration was that if the academy didn't give it consideration, they feared being labelled racist. The biggest lesson I took away was Hollywood needs to stop putting Common in movies. He is horrible.
 

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One of the most boring, horribly constructed, poorly written, poorly acted movies I've ever seen. Honestly, I think the only reason any part of this was under Oscar consideration was that if the academy didn't give it consideration, they feared being labelled racist. The biggest lesson I took away was Hollywood needs to stop putting Common in movies. He is horrible.
Greetings,

Thanks for offering your thoughts morbidcorpse. I would have to say that obviously you are in the minority with respect to your overt dislike of this film. If you said that there were certain aspects you didn't like, perhaps, but finding it lacking in every way seems a bit much. As for Common, luckily he has a small part with relatively few lines. ;)

Regards,
 

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Well said Ralph, I will watch this with my 3 children and wife.
I'm still saddened at the blatant racism and other stuff I see here and there, at times it dwindles my hope in our human species growth.

I was raised Catholic, married an Episcopal, and now attend a Episcopal church in a predominately white community, we have a openly gay black priest.
To show how times have changed, when our church was undergoing a $1.4M renovation, for 9 months we were housed in a nearby Catholic church!

We held separate masses at the same time, in the same church complex, we used their "small" wedding chapel that could hold 90 or so per service.

Someday I do hope that all labels can be dropped, and we just live and accept people for who they/we are - people, its the diversity around us that makes us stronger, not the labels we associate our-self with.

We have used movies for good family discussion, I'll post my kids thoughts after watching.
Peace.
Amen, brother!

I'm really looking forward to this one. I live in Atlanta, and one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had was when a few friends of mine and I went to visit the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr King gave many a sermon. We sat in the pews as audio recordings of Dr Kings sermon came over the loud speakers. If you closed your eyes, it gave a very surreal approximation of what it must have been like to have attended on a Sunday back in the 60s.

I am a huge fan of diversity, and it saddens me how many people fail to acknowledge the diversity of this country as the strength that it is, and instead choose to retreat from it or even openly push back against it. Life is way too short to discriminate or act judgmentally toward others for something they had absolutely no control over. It's completely non-sensical when you really think about it, but sadly it's become a powder keg dynamic in America and around the world.

Lastly, it really disappoints me how so many are seemingly incapable of discussing the topic of race and diversity in a respectful, productive manner. I figured by 2015, especially considering how many vehicles there are for social media applications, our nation would be taking part in much more meaningful dialogue. It's really a shame.

Anyway, I'm not a "fan" of many people, but MLK is absolutely on the short list. I'm really looking forward to seeing Selma.

Great review, Ralph :)
 

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Amen, brother!

I'm really looking forward to this one. I live in Atlanta, and one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had was when a few friends of mine and I went to visit the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr King gave many a sermon. We sat in the pews as audio recordings of Dr Kings sermon came over the loud speakers. If you closed your eyes, it gave a very surreal approximation of what it must have been like to have attended on a Sunday back in the 60s.

I am a huge fan of diversity, and it saddens me how many people fail to acknowledge the diversity of this country as the strength that it is, and instead choose to retreat from it or even openly push back against it. Life is way too short to discriminate or act judgmentally toward others for something they had absolutely no control over. It's completely non-sensical when you really think about it, but sadly it's become a powder keg dynamic in America and around the world.

Lastly, it really disappoints me how so many are seemingly incapable of discussing the topic of race and diversity in a respectful, productive manner. I figured by 2015, especially considering how many vehicles there are for social media applications, our nation would be taking part in much more meaningful dialogue. It's really a shame.

Anyway, I'm not a "fan" of many people, but MLK is absolutely on the short list. I'm really looking forward to seeing Selma.

Great review, Ralph :)
Greetings,

What he said....

Thanks AJ. :)


Regards,
 

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Well said Ralph, I will watch this with my 3 children and wife.
I'm still saddened at the blatant racism and other stuff I see here and there, at times it dwindles my hope in our human species growth.

I was raised Catholic, married an Episcopal, and now attend a Episcopal church in a predominately white community, we have a openly gay black priest.
To show how times have changed, when our church was undergoing a $1.4M renovation, for 9 months we were housed in a nearby Catholic church!

We held separate masses at the same time, in the same church complex, we used their "small" wedding chapel that could hold 90 or so per service.

Someday I do hope that all labels can be dropped, and we just live and accept people for who they/we are - people, its the diversity around us that makes us stronger, not the labels we associate our-self with.

We have used movies for good family discussion, I'll post my kids thoughts after watching.
Peace.
Greetings,

Thank you for your post Mike. Please post back after you've watched Selma with your family.


Regards,
 

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I just watched this entire Blu-ray last night, and I'd be lying if I said it did not bring tears to my eyes a few times. I was 10 years old when many of the events took place, and I have a vivid memory of those times in eastern NC, and I am still affected and scarred by events in my life from this era. The movie was excellent and presented an accurate accounting of the times. It should be required viewing for all school children after a certain age. I was so moved by the movie that I watched the extras, and thought none of the deleted scenes should have been deleted. I never knew the side of LBJ shown in the movie, but he is still a hero to me as I went to college almost free due to his "War on Poverty" policy. Lyndon Johnson is still the greatest President of my lifetime due to his accomplishments with issues facing him at the time. The Vietnam War was the only thing that mars his accomplishment, but he was only acting on the ego of the USA at the time. I will have to watch the movie that won the Academy Award for 2015 as I thought Selma is the best picture of the year. Both King and Coretta looked like the original people with Coretta King looking especially beautiful in the movie. The only thing that marred this movie in my opinion is the filter they put on it that made the picture soft and somewhat out of focus. In fact, I hated the way the picture looked. Heck, the original black and white footage looked sharper. I wish directors would quit using filters for effect. There's nothing like the real thing.
 

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we have a openly gay black priest.
Seriously? Now I have heard everything. Times are changing for sure. (not the black part but the gay part). I am not religious at all but was raised Catholic and if memory serves me isn't homosexuality frowned upon/considered a mortal sin in the bible?

Great movie by the way. Held my interest throughout.
 

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Seriously? Now I have heard everything. Times are changing for sure. (not the black part but the gay part). I am not religious at all but was raised Catholic and if memory serves me isn't homosexuality frowned upon/considered a mortal sin in the bible?

Great movie by the way. Held my interest throughout.
Homosexuality in and of itself is not a sin...Catholic priests take several vows, including one of chastity, so it's not a problem at all to be a homosexual priest.

As for Selma, the movie made a huge impact on me within the first five minutes, and those of you who have seen it understand why. That scene crushed me, and the rest of the film was an emotional roller coaster. I have a ton of respect for how this project was handled, and I felt everything from the script, to the acting and directing, to the music and production value, was all exceptional. Birdman was perhaps more of a shiny object for the voters in terms of its technical achievment, but Selma was a better film overall, IMO.
 
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