Thursday, July 4, 2013
The Descendants (2011)
"Hawaii, I Miss You."
After my accident in March 2012, one of the first movies I watched was The Descendants. Seeing all of the beautiful shots of O'ahu, Kauai, and the Big Island alone basically made me feel that I wanted to go back to the islands. One of my goals as a filmmaker is set my roots back down in Hawaii after living there for a little over half a decade. Hawaii is a very beautiful place to live, if you have the money.
George Clooney plays a half-Hawaiian man who's overall family is in the middle of a struggle as their trust of a large plot of land is being dissolved by the island officials. With their time running out, they have to decide on who gets to buy the land. At the same time this is going on, he discovers that his wife was in a horrible accident and is now brain dead.
The movie is pretty moving; I've enjoyed Alexander Payne's previous work and I thought this one was depressing and at the same time, a breath of fresh air. We don't have one of these family movies set in like New York or L.A; we have it in Hawaii. And I think the fact that this takes place in Hawaii makes me enjoy it more. Hawaii is my home and will always be home and to see the scenery of Honolulu made me miss it even more. Clooney and everyone else gives a great performance in the film. While the depressing theme of the film might turn others away from it, I give the film a 4/5.
Fox has given the film a nice 2.35:1 and a MPEG4 transfer. Considering that this was shot on 35mm film, it's been preserved pretty good. Colors pallet was solid. To see the colors of the ocean and shots of the islands, it's amazing. The grain is kept intact too and to see it up close is pretty nice. In an age where movies being shot on film is dying, Payne gave us a nice look at life through celluloid. I give the video presentation a 5/5.
Fox has presented The Descendants with an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track. Considering that this is a drama with no real action sequences, the audio presentation does it's job and doesn't feel under or overwhelming. Fox has also given the film an English audio descriptive track which is a common these days; along with French and Spanish audio dub tracks in plain Dolby Digital 5.1. With no real complaints with the audio, I give the audio presentation 5/5.
Trailers; We Bought a Zoo and Snow Flower. Three music videos made with random footage of Hawaii. An old public domain film on the World Parade in Hawaii. And a large chunk of segments dedicated to the making of the film. A sit down interview with George Clooney and Alexander Payne talking about movies and life. And deleted scenes. Finally, a DVD and Digital Copy which I have no use for. I felt that these bonus materials are pretty interesting and are worth the time checking out, especially if you're me and you miss Hawaii. Seeing stuff like the airports being filmed and if you've never been there, the airports are shacks, except the Honolulu Int. Airport. I give the extras a 5/5.
This is one of the best films and one of the Blu-ray releases that I have ever seen. I can recommend it to you if you want to see something different. I liked this movie so much that I have a poster of it framed in my house. Whenever I pop this movie in, it makes me miss Hawaii even more. 5/5.