Archive for the ‘Blindspotting (2018)’ Category

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Distributor: Lionsgate Films

Release Date: November 20, 2018

Region: Region A

Length: 01:35:25

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4, AVC)

Main Audio:

English Dolby Atmos

7.1 English Dolby TrueHD

Alternate Audio: 5.1 Spanish Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Ratio: 1.85:1

Bitrate: 35.38 Mbps

Notes: This package also includes a DVD and a digital copy of the film.

Teaser Poster

Blindspotting was by all reports an overwhelming success at Sundance and SXSW and has been a bit of a critic’s darling ever since. It certainly has admirable ambitions and a number of wonderful performances, and Carlos López Estrada’s visual flair further elevates material that was already going to secure favor with audiences and critics by virtue of being both topical and socially relevant.

The story follows the final three days in the life of a parolee named Collin (Diggs) who is trying desperately to stay out of trouble in a world where trouble comes to him—especially considering that his best friend Miles (Casal) has a knack for creating it due to his volatile personality. These two friends have a shared history and communicate via free-verse—a potentially polarizing element in the film that could very well make it or break it for the viewer. When Collin witnesses a police shooting, the two men’s friendship is tested, sending Collin and Miles on a collision course with each other in this bold and thought-provoking film that bursts with energy. It is a film that deserves to be seen, because those who like it will probably love it. Actually, even those who don’t care for it may find that it still earns their grudging respect.

The Presentation:

3.5 of 5 Stars

Lionsgate protects the Blu-ray and DVD discs in a standard 2-disc Blu-ray eco-case. We are not fond of eco-cases and find that they do not offer adequate protection for the discs or the artwork. There must be a better way to be friendly to our economy and still offer collectors sturdy packaging. Luckily, the first printing protects the case with a slipcover that features the same artwork that features on the sleeve. It is too bad that they didn’t use either of the film’s other one sheet designs, because both are vastly superior to this one in every respect.

The animated menu uses the more popular of these two alternate designs to frame footage from Blindspotting. Music (which can be turned off) accompanies this footage. The result is both attractive and intuitive to navigate.

Picture Quality:

4.5 of 5 Stars

Blindspotting was shot using Arri Alexa SXT and Arri Alexa Mini cameras with Panavision Primo Lenses in the ProRes 4:4:4 XQ codec at 3.2K resolution and was mastered in 2K. The result is an image that showcases an admirable level of fine detail in the Blu-ray format. Estrada’s color palette and lighting design favors bold primaries during some of the film’s more dramatic moments, and the transfer is more than up to the task as it represents these colors with a remarkable vibrancy. The film has a gritty aesthetic and can sometimes appear slightly softer than other contemporary releases, but this seems to be an intentional choice on the part of the filmmakers. It is still sharper than most of the films that were a few decades ago. Contrast is also impressively rendered here and black levels are deep without crushing important detail. Finally, there are no artifacts to raise concern. This is a very nice transfer.

Sound Quality:

5 of 5 Stars

Both the Dolby Atmos and the 7.1 English Dolby TrueHD mixes are fabulously rendered and appear to be representative of the film’s theatrical origins. Blindspotting is a film with an interesting sound design that supports the story while transporting the viewer into the protagonist’s mindscape. These tracks are incredibly immersive without becoming unnatural or distracting. The power of these mixes will be immediately apparent as the film’s first scene is a subjective rendering of Collin’s parole hearing. Dialogue is always reasonably clear (when it is intended to be clear), and the music sounds wonderful and has plenty of room to breathe. It is a dynamic experience that really adds power to the proceedings.

Special Features:

2 of 5 Stars

Audio Commentary with Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal (Writers/Actors)

The Diggs/Casal track is definitely the better of the two tracks as it is both conversational and informative while offering observations and recollections about the production from both a writer’s and an actor’s perspective.

Audio Commentary with Carlos López Estrada (Director)

To be fair, Estrada’s commentary is probably just as informative. He simply doesn’t have anyone else there with which he can engage. Neither track is overwhelmingly insightful or revelatory.

Deleted Scenes – (06:18)

These 4 wisely deleted scenes are interesting enough but no one is likely to question the reasoning behind their omission from the final cut of the film.

Straight from the Town: Making Blindspotting – (26:18)

This particular program is essentially an above average EPK promo that discusses the origins of the project, the cast and characters, and the film’s thematic content. There are also glimpses of “behind the scenes” footage dispersed throughout the piece. Fans should find it engaging enough for a single viewing.

Carlos López Estrada: A Director’s Diary – (17:11)

This is actually footage that was captured on Estrada’s phone. This “behind the scenes” footage is made up of various introductions of various members of the crew, rehearsals, and a certain amount of on-set activity. Nothing here is terribly enlightening or informative, but those who enjoy the film should find it engaging.

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Final Words:

Blindspotting isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but it should probably be seen at least once. We simply don’t recommend any blind purchases.

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