AVS Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

Blu-ray Reviewer
15,218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Drama/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Allison Janey, Alia Shawkat, Adam Brody, Leighton Meester
Directed by: Julian Farino
Music by: Klaus Badelt
Written by: Ian Helfer & Jay Reiss
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 7, 2013
"Sex, betrayal, scandal…make yourself at home"

Film Synopsis:

Fresh-squeezed laughs and sexy fun sweeten this critically-acclaimed comedy with an all-star cast, including Leighton Meester, Hugh Laurie, Oliver Platt and Catherine Keener. What does it take to be truly happy? Two suburban families are about to find out when the Ostroffs' rebellious daughter Nina (Meester) returns home and starts an adulterous affair with long-time family friend David Walling (Laurie.) The outrageous scandal reaches hilarious new heights during the holidays and makes these New Jersey neighbors tear apart more than just wrapping paper. Love is a wrecking ball headed straight for The Oranges...and it may just change all of their lives forever.

My Take:

David and Paige Walling (Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener) and Terry and Cathy Ostroff (Oliver Platt, Allison Janney) are best friends and neighbors living in Suburban Orange New Jersey. Their comfortable existence goes awry when prodigal daughter Nina Ostroff (Leighton Meester), newly broken up with her fiancé Ethan (Sam Rosen), surprises them by returning home for Thanksgiving after not having been home in two years. Type A mom Cathy has plans on fixing Nina up with David and Paige’s son Toby however Nina’s interest unexpectedly turns to David whose marriage to Paige has been strained for quite some time. When he reciprocates and begins an affair with Nina both families are thrown into chaos.

The Oranges tackles some difficult subject matter but rather than dive in it barely skims the surface leaving us with a half baked dramedy with underdeveloped characters and a middling story. I think a big part of the problem is that the central relationships aren’t convincing. This is especially true of but not limited to the romance between David and Nina. We are supposed to accept their budding love as well as the interpersonal relationships/familial dysfunction among the two families which is integral to the conundrum posed by the film’s primary plot. Unfortunately there is little connection derived from the poorly constructed script which has a sitcom like feel containing only sporadic moments of wit and engaging drama. It’s a shame actually because the cast is really quite good as is the potential in the film’s socially challenging subject matter.

At the end of the day The Oranges has enough merit to keep interest going but fails to live up to its cast or the lofty potential in its socially biting theme.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for language including sexual references, 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 extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 86

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

The Oranges comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio that has an average bitrate of 2.9 Mbps.

This is a pleasing high definition presentation that exhibits video quality that is consistent with a newer release film on Blu-ray Disc. Colors are pleasing with a vivid level of saturation that appears natural. There are several sequences that are adorned in a permeating sepia toned aesthetic that is apparently geared toward setting the thematic tone intended by the filmmakers. During those instances fleshtones tend to look a little bronzy but otherwise fall in line with the film’s remaining visual elements and look fine. 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 were rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discerning level of spatial envelopment accompanied be punchy low frequency enhancement.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Opening doors: Inside The Oranges – 6 minute featurette

  • (HD) Juicy secrets: Behind the scenes of The Oranges – 3 minute featurette

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy

Final Thoughts:

The Oranges is a middling dramedy hampered by a poorly constructed script that fails to take advantage of a solid cast and the socially challenging potential of its subject. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring satisfying high definition audio/video and a lackluster supplemental package. Genre fans might find it worthy of a rental, casual interest is best served by catching it on cable TV.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

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" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

1,806 Posts
While I enjoyed this a bit more than Ralph, I can'r disagree with his points. The Laurie/Meester relationship happens pretty quickly and there is little evidence to convey how/why this "love" became so "deep." It kinda just...is. But I thought Platt and Janney made a great team and they should probably do a sitcom together. (On cable, of course...don't want them hamstrung!) Although this takes place in West Orange, NJ, none of it was shot in the state at all. Now that I think about it, another Jersey-centric releases ("Not Fade Away") wasn't either. The state is just not movie-friendly! Anyway, the actors are all agreeable in their roles and, while it wasn't the most substantive thing to watch, it wasn't a bad way to pass 90 minutes. By the way, the two short featureless are also included on rental copies. A surprise since Fox usually eliminates all extras from those.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts