Blu-ray Review: Oscar-Winning ‘The Descendants’ with George Clooney

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CHICAGO – Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” was one of my favorite films of 2011 and, no, nothing has changed in the last 12 weeks. The window between theatrical release and Blu-ray has become so small that there’s not even time really to allow a film to age or change between a film review and a Blu-ray review. “The Descendants” was great a few months ago. And it’s still great. Blu-ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

So, for my opinion of the film itself, check out my Chicago International Film Festival Preview, film review, and my piece on the Best Films of 2011.

But how’s the Blu-ray? Fox wasn’t about to drop the ball here and they’ve truly improved their HD transfers for new theatrical films over the last few years. “The Descendants” looks good, near the high end of Fox HD transfers, which is still a bit below Warner Bros. or Universal. And the film comes with a nice amount of special features, especially for a company that can be a bit skimpy in that department. Some of the featurettes run too short, as Fox special features are known to do, but a number are also meatier than the common mini-featurettes of the company. And there’s a lot of them, covering multiple angles of the film. There are also two deleted scenes that are both interesting but were wisely cut from the final film.

The Descendants
The Descendants
Photo credit: Fox

From the celebrated director of Sideways (Alexander Payne) comes a wonderfully warm and witty film that Rolling Stone calls “damn near perfect.” Academy Award winner “George Clooney leads the ensemble cast of year” (Chicago Tribune).

Experience a bittersweet drama about a detached father’s attempt to reconnect with his two daughters and their often-hilarious quest for the truth in this “moving, enlightening, funny and unapologetically human” film (Pete Hammond, Boxoffice Magazine).

Special Features:
o Everybody Loves George
o Working With Alexander
o Hawaiian Style
o The Real Descendants
o Casting
o Working With Water
o “Will I Ever See You Again” - Music Video
o “Postcards from Paradise” - Music Video
o “Honolulu’s Whisper” - Music Video
o Waiting For The Light
o The World Parade - Silent Film
o A Conversation With George Clooney and Alexander Payne
o Deleted Scenes

“The Descendants” stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, and Robert Forster. It was written by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, & Jim Rash and directed by Payne. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13th, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

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