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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Comedy > An Invisible Sign (2010/MPI Blu-ray)/The 5th Quarter/Monte Carlo/Terri (2011/Fox Blu-rays)

An Invisible Sign (2010/MPI Blu-ray)/The 5th Quarter/Monte Carlo/Terri (2011/Fox Blu-rays)


Picture: B-     Sound: B/B-/B/B-     Extras: C-     Films: C-



And now for some feel-good films that did not make me feel good.



Marilyn Argelo’s An Invisible Sign has the always likable Jessica Alba as a young lady still scarred by the sudden health issues of her father at a young age who feels she connects with him in numbers and becomes a teacher, but these issues are about to catch up to her.  Alba is good here as is the idea, but I though the numbers angle was overdone, the classroom situation not bad (but needed some more time to develop), Chris Messina unrealistically written as her fellow teacher who becomes interested in her and a very unsatisfactory ending.  Nice try, I guess, but it did not work no matter how much I wanted to like it.  A trailer is the only extra.


Rick Bieber’s The 5th Quarter is a contrived tale of a nice family with two sons who face tragedy when the younger son is killed and the older football player son intends to win his games in honor of his loss.  We have seen this before, it never rings true, Aidan Quinn and Andie MacDowell are only so convincing as the parents and it is cliché-ridden no matter how much it claims to be “based” on a “true” story.  They threw too much of said story out.  A making of featurette is the only extra.


Thomas Bezucha’s Monte Carlo is an even sillier, more predictable waste of time that has two sisters from one family and one gal from another forced to go to Paris by their newly re-wed parents.  I have never seen a film make Paris look so bad visually, but the script is formulaic and corny beyond belief and it is fluff beyond fluff with Selena Gomez (can she act?  Hard to tell, because it is not happening here.), Leighton Meester, Katie Cassidy and (AGAIN?) Andie MacDowell co-star.  Extras include six featurettes, a quiz and unfunny Deleted Scenes.


Finally we have would-be mumblecore comedy Terri from Azazel Jacobs, about the isolated, depressed, heavy set, unpopular title character (Jason Wysocki in a fair performance) trying to make his life better and not getting anywhere.  Part of the problem is that the film does not know when to be serious, funny and is not too successful at either.  It is also a run-on plot and John C. Reilly steals every scene he is in, which further makes this one hard to buy.  Extras include A Look Inside Terri featurette and Deleted Scenes.



The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Sign and three AVC 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition transfers on the remaining releases are all problematic with detail issues, softness, some motion blur and color limits that all work against viewing them.  Carlo comes in with AVC @ 35.5 MBPS versus 19 MBPS on Terri and Quarter, yet it is no better.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on all four are dialogue-based, towards the front speakers and usually work best when music kicks in if that.  Carlo and Sign fare better throughout and tend to be more engaged in the possibility of the surrounds, though not all the time.  They are warmer too.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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