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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Biography > Comedy > Child Welfare > Racism > Football > The Blind Side (2009/Warner Bros. Blu-ray w/DVD + DVD)

The Blind Side (2009/Warner Bros. Blu-ray w/DVD + DVD)


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



When two similar films arrive and get critical acclaim, it is rare.  When they do business and win big awards, that makes the success all the more impressive.  It is interesting that Precious (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and The Blind Side did just that, though their different and painful stories of African American youths stuck in horrible situations were controversial and struck all kinds of chords in the national debate on what is wrong in the U.S., that The Blind Side is about what turns out to be an amazing success story did not stop the attacks of the box office.


Quinton Aaron plays Michael Oher, a young man who has never had anything or anything good happen to him, dealing with having nothing, no friends and worse in a situation that seems to have no hope of changing.  Then one night, Leigh Anne (Sandra Bullock in a terrific turn) notices him alone one night and insists on helping him, which begins a fragile friendship that turns into much more.  Then he starts to play football…


Writer/Director John Lee Hancock proves here how capable he is of making a strong feature film a few years after he took over The Alamo from Ron Howard and ran into all kinds of problems seeing his vision realized.  While that film is now gaining a cult following (especially of fans of that historic incident) and revisionist thinking to his advantage in the corners of serious film scholarship, The Blind Side shows him to be even more of a talent than even the biggest fans of that film would have given him.  I hope we see more from him.


So what gives?  The debate has been over films where African Americans in trouble get help from white people, as if this is some horrible thing.  If anything, any serious help from anyone is a good thing and many who complain are either racist, don’t like progress and/or don’t want to see anyone help anyone else and win or success on any level for political and bitter personal reasons.  Those are the kind of negative thinkers and even haters who ruined the country in the first place!


There is also the fear of creating a “myth” that only white people or any white people help African Americans.  Well, it happens both ways and is no myth, so there we go with political correctness killing us and our thinking again.  The Blind Side is a film that is real and for real about a real life story and that is why it is such a huge hit, something that will continue on Blu-ray and DVD.  Kathy Bates leads the rest of what is a fine cast in a film that lives up to its critical acclaim.  Don’t miss it!



The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is shot in 35mm film by Director of Photography Alar Kivilo (of the underrated The Lookout, already in a great Blu-ray & reviewed elsewhere on this site) who is growing into a great cameraman.  His choices of blocking and approach to capturing the story visually once again enhanced the narrative and brings you deeply into it.  Style choices are slight, but very effective and it is terrific throughout, a real grade-A job.  He will remain one of the unsung heroes of the film’s landmark commercial and critical success.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD sold separately and included with the Blu-ray cannot handle the detail, depth or Video Black as well as the Blu-ray (even with its slight softness in some finer detail situations), but is as good as that format will allow.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray is also a fine recording with some good surround moments, but is also a quiet film with reserved sound and is more dialogue-based than you might consider.  This is warm, smooth playback overall, all the way to another fine music score by Carter Burwell.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD sold separately and included with the Blu-ray is good for that old format, but cannot match the DTS in richness or consistency.


The only extras in both formats are Additional Scenes, but the Blu-ray adds a Digital Copy of the film for PC and PC portable devices and four making of featurettes: Michael Oher Exclusive interview, Sidelines: Conversations On The Blind Side, Acting Coaches: Behind The Blind Side and The Story Of Big Quinton.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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