The Help (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
List Price: $39.99
Release Date: Dec 6, 2011
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Running Time: 146 minutes
3.7 Stars (out of 5)
The Help stars Emma Stone as the courageous Eugenia “Skeeter‟ Phelan, who goes against the beliefs of her family and friends to find her own voice. The critically praised, emotional performance of Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark, a woman who secretly dreams of one day having more than she has been given, offers a deep emotional storyline. The breakthrough performance of Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson, whose sass and tough exterior disguise the pain and fear she faces every day, brings both drama and humor to the film.
Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Ahna O'Reilly, Allison Janney, Anna Camp, Cicely Tyson, Mike Vogel, Sissy Spacek
Blu-ray Release Date:
December 6, 2011
English SDH, French, Spanish
Overall rating weighted as follows:
Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt
Audio 3.1 Stars (out of 5)
Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison
● Subwoofer – 3.0 Stars
● Dialog – 4.5 Stars
● Surround Effects – 2.0 Stars
● Dynamic Range – 3.0 Stars
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0
The Help needs a little help in the audio department. Low end sounds are where only notable during a thunder storm, and when music is heard. Surround speakers are barely ever used. They get a little action when applause is heard and during a rain storm. However, it does do a decent job panning sounds on the front speakers and helps open the room a little. Dialog is by far the best audio feature, however at times the actors whispered making difficult hear them. Overall The Help plays it safe makes and makes a flat and uneventful audio performance.
Video 4.6 Stars (out of 5)
Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison
● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars
● Shadow detail – 4.5 Stars
● Clarity – 4.0 Stars
● Skin tones – 4.5 Stars
● Compression – 5.0 Stars
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Natural colors and low film grain bring the south to life and fill the screen with beautiful plantation style houses and green cotton fields. Clarity is clean enough to show detail on clothing, display beads of sweat on the maids’ faces, and make food look good enough to give me an appetite. However, every once in a while the film was a little fuzzy, almost as if it was out of focus. Dark scenes were handled well, but a few details were lost in the shadows.
Bonus Features 3.0 Stars (out of 5)
● The Making of “The Help” - From Friendship To Film
● In Their Own Words: A Tribute To The Maids Of Mississippi
● Five deleted scenes with introductions by Director Tate Taylor.
● “The Living Proof” music video by Mary J. Blige
Movie – 4.5 Stars (out of 5)
I wasn’t excited to watch this movie because I thought it would be a “chick flick” with lots of preachy messages about racism. I’m glad I watch it because its one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. The film was able to rope me in with entertaining, thoughtful, and touching storytelling. It was able to point out other views of racism without being too dramatic or hitting you over the head with its message. It’s also very funny at times, and even touches on women starting to join the work force. The film had great performances from the whole cast, but Viola Davis gave a heartbreaking performance that demands and Oscar nomination. I still consider this to be a “chick flick”, but it’s one I enjoyed watching with my wife and look forward to sharing it with my daughters.
Posted by The HT Guys, December 30, 2011 7:49 AM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.