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

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: Anchor Bay Entertainment - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 109 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Hal Holbrook, Ray McKinnon, Walton Goggins, Mia Wasikowska, Carrie Preston, Dixie Carter
Directed by: Scott Teems
Music by: Michael Penn
Written by: Scott Teems (screenplay), William Gay (short story "I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down")
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 7, 2010







"I worked too hard. And too long. I aint goin down without a fight."



Film Synopsis:


Fleeing the retirement home where his son abandoned him, Abner Meecham sets out to reclaim his beloved Tennessee farmstead –only to find it's been leased to an old enemy, the volatile Lonzo Choat. After Abner intervenes to protect Choat's daughter from her drunken father's abuse, events spiral toward a startling, violent climax.




My Take:


Man, I am scared to get old. I hope my son doesn't throw me into a nursing home...and if it does come to that he best tell me before renting my home of 50 some years to a family I despise. I can see myself acting similar to Abner Meecham, played brilliantly by Hal Holbrook. As stubborn as I am, I would leave that 'retirement' home and high tail it back, just like he did. After only 3 months away I wouldn't expect my place to be occupied, and even worse, with an option to buy.


For Abner this is more than his home. When he realizes what has happened his stubborn self decides to shack up in the crop-keepers quarters and refuses to leave his land or the new occupants, the Choat family, alone. He has to get his home back; not just because it is his home but for the memory of his deceased wife Ellen. Abner took Ellen for granted until it was too late. Getting his land back is a shot at redemption (in his mind). Ellen was the late Dixie Carter's last role and 'That Evening Sun' is dedicated to her memory. Her scenes with Hal, her real life husband of 26 years makes this a tough watch knowing the parallel of her death soon after filming completed. Their scenes, though silent and as flashbacks, have a palpable impact. The way he touches her can only be from someone who truly loves her; those scenes touched me.


The Chote family have a signed lease with an option to buy. Abner's big city lawyer son took to taking care of the property and had the place rented the second his dad was in the retirement home. Lonzo Chote is considered a "hillbilly" and "white-trash" by Abner and he has no qualms telling that to Lonzo's face over and over. Lonzo is played to perfection by Ray McKinnon who played Coach Burt Cotton in The Blind Side and was in HBO's Deadwood. At first I felt for Lonzo and his family, they rightfully belonged on the land as they had a lease and they were cooler than I would be putting up with Abner's presence. After years of slacking and creating trouble, Lonzo has been trying to change his ways and become a productive member of society and the man providing for his family. Abner wont let him live down his past and unfairly pushes Lonzo over the edge and back to his old ways. They are both right and both wrong and it's hard to side.


One evening Lonzo's daughter Pamela, played by Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Alice in Wonderland), comes home late and is caught with a boy her dad does not approve of. Lonzo ends up beating her and his wife Ludie (Carrie Preston- True Blood) with a garden hose. When Abner sees this, he stops the fight by pulling a gun on him. From this moment out it is war and all bets are off.


Abner wants them gone and will never give up.

Lonzo wants to prove he is a man and wont take this any longer.

'That Evening Sun' is a sad film. It shows the desperation of a bitter, lonely old man who has regrets and is grasping on to a memory. It shows the desperation of a poor troubled man who wants to change and even when actually making strides, people wont let his past be forgotten. Considering these heavy tones, it is surprising and a testament to the filmmaker that there is a subtle bit of wonder to these people and their story. I liked and hated both men and really just wished they could share the land and be happy. The cast is superb with not a weak link involved. It is no wonder why this won 'Best Ensemble Cast' as 2009's SXSW Film Festival. Writer/Director Scott Teems sure knew how to keep a storyline that could get tedious flowing easily and I hope to see more of his work in the future. The music by Michael Penn was a major part of the story, hitting the spots perfectly and enhancing the mood on screen. If you are in the mood for a introspective drama that will get you thinking about your twilight years, some fine acting and an almost hypnotizing film, give 'That Evening Sun' a try.



Parental Guide:


Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some violence, sexual content and thematic elements.




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: 86


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 80


  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

'That Evening Sun' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Image Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 mbps.

Image Entertainments release of 'That Evening Sun' Is a decent HD presentation that had elements of a reference video but was inconsistent and faltered with too many soft shots. When it was at its best there was a definition and separation that helped close-ups pop off the screen. Details were visible everywhere and it was extremely filmic with a tasteful bit of grain. Unfortunately the softer shots outweighed those and fine details were smoothed over and things just looked good enough. Black levels were consistently strong and I never felt the shadow details were crushed in the darker scenes. I did notice that the mixed content scenes is where this looked the worst with a flat feel. Ironically the brighter scenes is where 'That Evening Sun' shined.


The DTS-HD Master Audio mix was atmospheric and quite fitting for the film. The 3 elements it needed to be successful were clear easily discernible dialogue, a natural and enveloping surround presentation and a dynamic and crisp musical track. The music was dynamic and very pleasing, most being acoustic guitar/banjo based. I never had an issue with the dialogue, it was all right up front in the nice wide front sound-stage. This was accented very well by a perfectly utilized effect channel presentation. Crickets, wind and sounds you would expect to surround you on farmland in Tennessee were room-filling and completely natural. I enjoyed this films sound design even though it was mellow and not as hyper-aggressive as we are used to.




Bonus Features:

  • Director's Anti-Commentary

  • (HD) "That Tennessee Sun..."- The Making of That Evening Sun

  • (HD) The art and craft of That Evening Sun

  • (HD) Cast and Crew Interviews

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer




Final Thoughts:


Image Entertainment's Blu-ray release of 'That Evening Sun' is worth a viewing, whether a purchase or a rental. It's a tough film to swallow, sad and honest, and you cant hide from the raw emotion that fuels every characters actions. Some brilliant performances and a very well made film make this an enjoyable Blu-ray release. I do wish the softer shots didn't happen as often as they did but we have seen much worse. They just degraded how amazing this video did look at times. If you are a fan of dramas and like to have your morals and emotions challenged, 'That Evening Sun' will be right up your alley.














Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




Reference Review System:



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Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)

SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer
 

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I'm picking this up based solely on the lead casting of Holbrook, whom I've been an avid fan of since his affecting, Oscar-nominated performance as 'Ron' in 'Into The Wild'
....too bad about the inconsistent PQ tho...
 

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This is one of those small independent productions that Ray McKinnon is so often associated with. He also has producer credits and can been seen fully involved in filming during the bonus features. The man is a genius at getting high quality drama on the screen for a low cost, and assembling a terrific crew and cast for the job. If you like this film, don't hesitate to go through the entire list of films with his name on them. Recent titles are "Randy And The Mob", "Crystal" and "The Accountant".


The cinematography is tremendous in this film, just beautiful. Also good to note that this was Dixie Carter's last film, (Holbrook's wife) she died in March 2010.
 

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Wow, I totally forgot to comment on this one! Great review Lee. Your review prompted me to check this one out, and I really enjoyed it.


The pacing is superb, and the character depth strong. Hal Holbrook, Ray McKinnon, and Carrie Preston were superb. Ray McKinnon especially shined in this one. I was constantly thinking that he was going to lose his temper and just go off, but in many of the scenes he held his composure, showed his softer and insecure side and moved on. Very well played. His internal struggles were evident. Trying to do the right thing, but coming from a hard background where he didn't necessarily know how.


Holbrook held the film together, with a gritty bitter performance that was unrelenting. Extrememly well played.


I also enjoyed watching Preston's character standing tall with Holbrooks character, defending the good character that she knew was in her husband. His many vices and tough upbringing just didn't let it show often enough.


I thought the PQ was very good, and the cinematography impressive. The look of this film pulls you into the story just as much as the characters IMO. The framing of the shots just had a "you are there" feel, IMO. There were a few soft spots, but overall this was a VERY nice looking film.


Sound was clear and well mixed. No complaints here.


PQ 4 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5, Film 3.5 out of 5


Dan
 

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Lee, your statement in the review, "I liked and hated both men" hits the nail on the head and captures the complexity of the main characters. Great performances by Holbrook (who is always a pleasure to watch) and McKinnon as well. A strong cast throughout and a solid 4 out of 5 in our book. PQ and AQ were decent but this is not a movie to showcase blu-ray's capabilities; it's one to tug at the heart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike W /forum/post/19390060


Lee, your statement in the review, "I liked and hated both men" hits the nail on the head and captures the complexity of the main characters. Great performances by Holbrook (who is always a pleasure to watch) and McKinnon as well. A strong cast throughout and a solid 4 out of 5 in our book. PQ and AQ were decent but this is not a movie to showcase blu-ray's capabilities; it's one to tug at the heart.

It's a shame that this one is going under everyones radar.
 

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If one really likes this title, one should also check out "Winter Bone". It's a very similar shoestring-budget indie flick and an outstanding drama.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes /forum/post/19397013


If one really likes this title, one should also check out "Winter Bone". It's a very similar shoestring-budget indie flick and an outstanding drama.

Watched the first half of "Winter's Bone" last night, but unfortunately I can only find it in DVD at the local Blockbuster. The story is fantastic so far. Agreed.


Dan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan /forum/post/19397872


Watched the first half of "Winter's Bone" last night, but unfortunately I can only find it in DVD at the local Blockbuster. The story is fantastic so far. Agreed.


Dan

It's essentially a re-telling of the backwoods moonshiner story with a emphasis on the family toll that this stuff takes. Cinematography is outstanding, and many of the cast are non-actors. I just love seeing these independent makers kick butt, this is one of the best dramas out this year, if not the best.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber /forum/post/19396369


It's a shame that this one is going under everyones radar.

I'll say. I just checked IMDb and according to them, That Evening Sun has taken in a paltry $280K to date!! No doubt a labor of love for the director, cast, and production crew.


I appreciate the fact that you and Ralph don't concentrate your reviews only on blockbuster and other major studio releases, and instead cast a broader net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan /forum/post/19397872


Watched the first half of "Winter's Bone" last night, but unfortunately I can only find it in DVD at the local Blockbuster. The story is fantastic so far. Agreed.


Dan

Not to take the thread off track, but just fyi, Winter's Bone is available on blu-ray from Netflix. It came highly recommended by a friend so I'm glad to hear from you and rdgrimes that it lives up to that expectation. We'll be watching it this weekend.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike W /forum/post/19406885


I'll say. I just checked IMDb and according to them, That Evening Sun has taken in a paltry $280K to date!! No doubt a labor of love for the director, cast, and production crew.


I appreciate the fact that you and Ralph don't concentrate your reviews only on blockbuster and other major studio releases, and instead cast a broader net.




Not to take the thread off track, but just fyi, Winter's Bone is available on blu-ray from Netflix. It came highly recommended by a friend so I'm glad to hear from you and rdgrimes that it lives up to that expectation. We'll be watching it this weekend.

Much agreed about Ralph and Lee reviewing both small and large budget films. There are quite a few gems that I watched simply due to either Ralph or Lee's rating. Thanks guys!


:sorry, off topic:

Finished Winter's Bone on DVD. Awesome flick. Quiet, intense, and really makes you feel thankful for the life you have. I don't want to hype it up too much for fear of letting you down, and I hope Lee or Ralph get a chance to review it. Thanks for the tip on Netflix. I must say, I've been with Blockbuster online for quite some time now and love being able to trade in movies at the local blockbuster right away. This is one of the VERY few times they haven't had something I wanted on Blu. Didn't want to go through the trouble or finding it on Blu-ray (local Redbox has it on Blu as well). Watching it in Blu would have been nice, but I think the story has the same impact on DVD. Definately a well written, character driven film. My type of film. Enjoy


Dan
 

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Quote:
My Take:


Man, I am scared to get old. I hope my son doesn't throw me into a nursing home...and if it does come to that he best tell me before renting my home of 50 some years to a family I despise. I can see myself acting similar to Abner Meecham, played brilliantly by Hal Holbrook. As stubborn as I am, I would leave that 'retirement' home and high tail it back, just like he did. After only 3 months away I wouldn't expect my place to be occupied, and even worse, with an option to buy.


Well, this is my take- I watched it and it kind of hit home as I became that sone in the past 2 years. There were some differences, however. My real life experience had been that I had to go live with my father during his recovery for a month. During that month it became obvious he could no longer live alone due to a rapidly developed Alzeheimer's. There was no cure from that. In addition he had a worsening Parkinson's paralysis that prevented him from living in that big house alone. Dementia caused him to mismanage his money and he lost a ton of it before I got that fixed. During the month we came to the decision the house had to be sold. We sold it to a life long son of a friend of his for a fair price. Then I brought him to live here with our family for a year but the mental issues became worse as anyone who has cared for an elder will understand. Finally, we had to get him into a nursing care home because I just could not stay awake 24 hours a day ready when he needed me to assist his every need.

So, Lee don't assume that when we get older that our children won't be justified in putting us into a care facility and having to take over our finances. I developed a new understanding through this movie and through my own experience- If you never get killed, live through heart disease and cancer, Alzheimer's and dementia will eventually land you in a care facility. But for Abner Meechum- he didn't appear to be suffering from true advanced dementia, however, it is true that in many states, a person can be declared incompetent and be denied his rights by a judge. Fortunately for me, my father was still of a presence of mind at the time to recognize he was failing and cooperated very well. However, when the disease advanced his attitude has changed. Today, he has days where he thinks he is in his old house and is being held hostage by strangers. Other days, he is fine. I'm told it will get worse. With my motherinlaw, was allowed to stay too long and almost burned her house down before they put her in a care facility.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis /forum/post/19412237


Well, this is my take- I watched it and it kind of hit home as I became that sone in the past 2 years. There were some differences, however. My real life experience had been that I had to go live with my father during his recovery for a month. During that month it became obvious he could no longer live alone due to a rapidly developed Alzeheimer's. There was no cure from that. In addition he had a worsening Parkinson's paralysis that prevented him from living in that big house alone. Dementia caused him to mismanage his money and he lost a ton of it before I got that fixed. During the month we came to the decision the house had to be sold. We sold it to a life long son of a friend of his for a fair price. Then I brought him to live here with our family for a year but the mental issues became worse as anyone who has cared for an elder will understand. Finally, we had to get him into a nursing care home because I just could not stay awake 24 hours a day ready when he needed me to assist his every need.

So, Lee don't assume that when we get older that our children won't be justified in putting us into a care facility and having to take over our finances. I developed a new understanding through this movie and through my own experience- If you never get killed, live through heart disease and cancer, Alzheimer's and dementia will eventually land you in a care facility. But for Abner Meechum- he didn't appear to be suffering from true advanced dementia, however, it is true that in many states, a person can be declared incompetent and be denied his rights by a judge. Fortunately for me, my father was still of a presence of mind at the time to recognize he was failing and cooperated very well. However, when the disease advanced his attitude has changed. Today, he has days where he thinks he is in his old house and is being held hostage by strangers. Other days, he is fine. I'm told it will get worse. With my motherinlaw, was allowed to stay too long and almost burned her house down before they put her in a care facility.


Right there with you my friend. I had my father in a home for over a year before his passing. I had many hard decisions, but I never made one behind his back. Abner's son sure did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Landis /forum/post/19412237


So, Lee don't assume that when we get older that our children won't be justified in putting us into a care facility and having to take over our finances.

Also don't assume people are assuming!!!
 
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