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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Company Men [Blu-ray]

 

(John Wells, 2010)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Spring Creek Productions

Video: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (B,C untested)

Runtime: 1:44:36.395

Disc Size: 23,603,006,710 bytes

Feature Size: 21,149,970,432 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.79 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 7th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3425 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3425 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit / DN -4dB)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by director John Wells

• Alternate Ending (12:52 in 480i)

• 7 Deleted Scenes (7:16 in 480i)

Making The Company Men (14:23 in 480i)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is living the proverbial American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) and Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) jobless, the three men are forced to re-define their lives as men, husbands and fathers.

Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) that does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps -- the realization that there is more to life than chasing the bigger, better deal. With humor, pathos, and keen observation, writer-director John Wells (the creator of "ER") introduces us to the new realities of American life.

 

 

The Film:

Before Hollywood discovered it could reap huge profits by adapting comic books, mainstream movies used to attempt subjects that might have something to do with real grown-ups’ lives. That impulse rarely surfaces these days, but it’s the motor that drives The Company Men, John Wells’ downsizing drama set in the Boston area circa 2008, just as the economy was beginning its long, slow-motion crash.

There are very few movies about the world of business (glamorous cautionary tales about the world of high finance, like Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, don’t count), but the reality is that most employed people have to reckon somehow with the machinery of the corporate world, even if that just means studiously working to stay out of its jaws. The Company Men isn’t just about business. It’s about something even more nebulous: the nature of work. And for all the ways in which its view of working — and of not working — has been moviefied, it’s surprisingly down to earth and affecting.

Excerpt from Stephanie Zacharek  at MoviweLine.com located HERE

"The Company Men" follows the stories of characters who have oriented their lives around a corporation once named General Transportation Systems. Years ago, this company involved two men who began building ships; small ones at first, and then big ones. Now it's called GTX, which is how we spell Acme these days. Caught in the economic downturn, GTX is downsizing, and some of its employees are discovering their primary occupation was making and spending a lot of money, and that without those jobs, there isn't much they really know how to do.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Company of Men appears a notch above 'average' for a single-layered new format video transfer. The bitrate is modest but the image is consistent and has a few impressive scenes.  Detail is at the higher end - notable in many of the close-ups. Colors seem true and contrast is strong. While I don't have any complaints - the depth isn't overwhelming. This Blu-ray is beyond SD and is probably a decent representation of the theatrical appearance. There are hardly any dark scenes and noise is non-existent. Hopefully the captures below will give you a good idea of the image quality.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3425 kbps is more than capable of handling what is necessary, audio-wise, for The Company Men. There is not a lot of robust effects necessary and a few subtle separations make it to the rear speakers. Aaron Zigman's score is less noticeable but supports the film well - in required moments. Overall while the lossless transfer is capable of more - the film doesn't throw much at it in terms of depth. There are optional subtitles.

 

Extras :

We get a good commentary from director/writer John Wells. He is a smart chap and has some interesting things to say beyond production details. Give it a whirl and you should be pleasantly surprised by it. There is a 13-minute alternate ending (think I prefer the one in the film), and Deleted Scenes (running just over 7-minutes) plus the, more or less, standard Making of... for just shy of 15-minutes. All supplements are in 480i and are on the simultaneously released DVD HERE.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'd watch anything with Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper. Costner, in his limited role, was also quite effective. This is a very good film - approaching the corporate angle from the personal truisms. It was honest, human and I liked what it was saying. The Blu-ray won't be a 'demo' disc but it will give you a solid presentation. I suspect a lot of people will really like The Company Men - beyond the impressive performances. I'm surprised I didn't hear more about it last year. Anyway - recommended! 

Gary Tooze

June 2nd, 2011

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
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Gary W. Tooze

 

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