Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Biography > Hiking > Legal > Justice > Inspiration > 127 Hours (2010/Fox Blu-ray) + Conviction (2010/Fox Blu-ray) + Heaven Ain’t Hard To Find (2010/E1 DVD)

127 Hours (2010/Fox Blu-ray) + Conviction (2010/Fox Blu-ray) + Heaven Ain’t Hard To Find (2010/E1 DVD)



Picture: C+/B/C-     Sound: B- (Heaven: C+)     Extras: C+/B-/D     Features: C+/B-/D



Films have tried to be inspiring since the silent era, but in the 1980s, a bad new formula in how to do this and the following releases show how this has affected three recent such productions for better and worse.



127 Hours (2010) is Danny Boyle’s first film since Slumdog Millionaire and though I thought it had some good moments thanks to James Franco giving a good performance, it was somewhat predictable (not knowing the outcome not applying in this fashion) there are conventions the screenplay (adapted from the biographical book) by Simon Beaufoy of his sad ordeal of being trapped in the rocks of the mountains and cavers he sportingly loved to hike through becomes the ordeal of his life.


There is not much more to this, though some will be interested, I would have been better off reading the book and know that this gets amazingly bloody for a project that does intend to be inspirational to some extent.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 AVC @ 24 MBPS digital High Definition image is a mix of more kinds of video than expected, editing and shot in too many predictable ways that include too many degraded shots to the point that it almost does not justify Blu-ray release.  This post-modern mix is reminiscent of Greenaway’s Pillow Book (reviewed elsewhere on this site) without any hints of making a political statement.  It is fair at first, but the approach becomes annoying after a while and counterproductive.  The DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless 5.1 mix purposely has bad audio for the location work, which includes plenty of dropouts and other flaws.


Extras include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, Deleted Scenes, feature length audio commentary by Boyle, Producer Chris Coulson & and Co-Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and featurette Search & Rescue on the actual event the film is based on.


The best of the three projects here, Tony Goldwyn’s Conviction (2010) is another harrowing tale of justice where someone is wrongly convicted and someone else spends a good chunk of their life trying to free the person against all odds and a system that may be very corrupt.  This time, Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell are brother and sister, whom are very close.  Later on in life when she has a divorce and two sons, he is accused of a murder he did not commit.  This seems to go away, but he is arrested two years later and she is determined to get him free.


That is when she becomes a lawyer.  This all happened and I was surprised how watchable this was despite seeing this story before.  Minnie Driver is her friend who helps her in law school, Melissa Leo is the female cop certain he did the killing and we get fine all around casting including Peter Gallagher and Juliette Lewis.  This is some good filmmaking and though it can be predictable at times, the story has some interesting angles and Goldwyn has developed into a fine filmmaker.  Once you start watching, it is very engaging.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 AVC @ 32 MBPS digital High Definition image is really good and the best on this list, with only slightly stylized visuals and a decent shoot by Director of Photography Adriano Goldman throughout.  The DTS-HD Master Audio (MA) lossless 5.1 mix is dialogue-based, but is warm, clean, clear and the best of the three releases as well.  The soundfield is good, but obviously not going to be demo material.  Still, the combination is very professional.


Extras include A Conversation with Tony Goldwyn and Betty Ann Waters, who Swank plays in the film.  Good work.


Finally we have Neema Barnette’s Heaven Ain’t Hard To Find (2010), a well-meaning but silly comedy/drama trying to jump on the Tyler Perry bandwagon as a troubled man finds a pretty woman and three church ladies who help will help him out from his running from the law when he is accused of a crime he might not have committed.  The church needs restored and if he can help, they can do the same for his life.


I thought this was silly, corny, extremely predictable and borderline condescending as the acting, writing and directing never worked.  The cast is not awful, but they are no impressive either.  Even for the audience it was made for, this is not the best in that vein either, so see it at your own risk.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is shockingly soft, loaded with motion blur and even color reproduction is an issue.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is the default highlight, yet has volume drops, audio issues and is not that well mixed, so the combination is very trying.  Extras include two superfluous Music Videos.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com