Archive for the ‘Spotlight (2015)’ Category

Spotlight cover.jpg

Distributor: Universal Studios

Release Date: February 23, 2016

Region: Region A

Length: 129 min

Video: 1080P (MPEG-4 AVC)

Main Audio: 5.1 English DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Ratio: 1.85:1

Notes: This release comes with a DVD and Ultraviolet copy of the film. A single disc DVD edition of this film is also available.

“At the end of the day we wanted to make an entertaining movie, and we hoped that in doing so we might make a film that might be more accessible — if not palatable — to an audience. There’s a bit more of a safe distance when you’re making a narrative movie, a bit more perspective. Audiences can separate themselves from the harsh reality of the facts a little bit more and think: “Okay, how do I consider this?” I think particularly the way we approached this subject matter, not only through the eyes of the journalists but through the eyes of survivors as men and women who have lived with this for decades and continue to struggle with it. With docs, there’s often a very direct communication between the filmmaker and the audience. With narrative movies, we leave it a little bit more open.” –Tom McCarthy (Rolling Stone, November 06, 2015) 

Spotlight is one of the most important and critically acclaimed films of the year. It was nominated for six Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress) and won in both the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay categories. Each of these nominations were well earned. The film tells the riveting true story of a dedicated investigative team that blew the lid off a monumental cover up involving one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. Delving into allegations of child abuse within the local Catholic Archdiocese, a tenacious team of Boston Globe reporters exposes a decades-long cover-up that reaches the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishments.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation was apparently perfect subject matter for an Academy Award-winning film. It is surprising to think that this film was directed by the same man who gave us the Adam Sandler stinker, The Cobbler! Of course, it has been argued that the film isn’t much more than a series of talking heads. However, it would be difficult to imagine the film any other way. Spotlight is certainly driven by the dialogue and some very nice performances, but this is more than enough to keep most people riveted. The story is simply that powerful.

One Sheet

Theatrical One Sheet

The Presentation:

3.5 of 5 Stars

The disc is protected in a standard Blu-ray case with film related artwork, and the case is protected by a special slip cover with the same artwork.

 The menus utilize a slight alteration of the original poster art and are accompanied by an excerpt from the film’s score.

Picture Quality:

4.5 of 5 Stars

Universal’s 1080p transfer is an absolutely fabulous rendering of one of the year’s better films. The detail displayed is razor sharp as one can easily see the textures of the actor’s skin and clothing. While colors are often rather subdued, they can also be quite rich in certain scenes. The transfer renders them accurately without any hint of digital manipulation or compression artifacts. Blacks are deep without crushing any of the film’s fine detail. It would be difficult for viewers to find any cause for complaint.

Sound Quality:

5 of 5 Stars

The disc’s sound mix is every bit as impressive as the image. This is a largely dialogue driven film, and the actor’s voices are clearly rendered while at the same time giving the music and sound effects room to breathe. The track never calls attention to itself and allows audiences to lose themselves in the film.

Special Features:

2 of 5 Stars

Uncovering the Truth: A Spotlight Team Roundtable – (1080P) – (6:33)

Fourteen years after their journalistic detective work made headlines and rocked the Catholic Church, the real-life Boston Globe Spotlight team reunites for a roundtable discussion about the challenges they faced, and how the shocking story they uncovered continues to impact the world. This could have been an amazing feature, but the conversation is cut into pieces and padded with an excess of flips from the film. I really wish that they had simply allowed these journalists to tell their story. This is an interesting feature, but it plays more like a promo for something much better than this.

Spotlight: A Look Inside – (1080P) – (2:30)

This is basically an EPK fluff piece that consists of small clips of key cast and crew discussing the films story and a wealth of rapidly edited footage from Spotlight.

The State of Journalism – (1080P) – (3:14)

This EPK fluff piece barely distinguishes itself from the previous promo. Quick editing wins the day as footage from the film is played along with interview sound bites discussing journalism. If there is anything insightful said here, it would be difficult to notice. Everything moves very fast.

Review Poster

Final Words:

Spotlight is a fascinating film that earns an easy recommendation as does Universal’s Blu-ray release.

 Review by: Devon Powell