has an average rating of 8.1 on IMDb
1080p in VC-1 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
include namely 2 HD featurettes
– 142 minutes
Street Date: February 17th, 2009
This uses 31.3GB for the movie out of 35.1GB total.
Overall Verdict – Highly Recommended
— Review by: Brendan Surpless —
The Film is directed by Clint Eastwood (a classic director with no need for an introduction). The year is 1928. The city is Los Angeles. Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) is a happy mother of her young seven year old Walter. She cares for him after his father “left a box of responsibility” when Walter was born. One Saturday morning Christine is called into work leaving Walter at home. Upon returning from her job, Walter is nowhere to be found. Flash forward five months and Christine is reunited with her son. All should be good right? Well something doesn’t seem right as Christine immediately doesn’t recognize Walter demanding that her this boy isn’t her son at all and a new search has to be done. Refusing to admit that this boy is her son, Christine must now search for the truth in a time when the Los Angeles Police Department had all the power, in particular over woman. What results is a film that just might be Eastwood’s best effort to date, which is a lot to say as the man has directed many classics.
One of the best aspects of “Changeling” is the fine acting on pretty much all fronts. It’s not only main fronts like Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich who turn in great performances (with Malkovich turning in an excellent one) but a majority of the supporting actors do a great job as well. Colm Feore as Chief James E. Davis (Feore is probably best known for his current role as the first gentleman on this season of “24“). Even though Feore doesn’t have the largest role in the film, whenever he’s on screen he gives a quite but impacting performance. Obviously not wanting to accept the blame the city is putting on him and others, Davis is steadfast in his opinion that his LAPD force acted right in their treatment of Christine. Jeffrey Donovan as Captain J.J. Jones (Donovan is perhaps best known for his role on “Burn Notice“). Acting in an even more foot down manner than Davis, Jones plays off the “ignorance” of women during this time. He bullies Christine into thinking she is wrong basically confusing her knowing that society at this time views women as not equal to men.
Speaking of treatment of women Eastwood handles this issue with expert direction as one might expect from him. I’m not going to go into a history lecture here for clear reasons but Eastwood has always been the type of director who doesn’t shy away from controversial topics but rather confronts them running at full steam never backing down or giving us a cliff-notes glance. Such as the case with his most recent film “Gran Torino” here in “Changeling” the topic of the treatment of women during the 1920s is dealt with. Like many critics have said it’s topics like these that cause this film to not only deeply immerse itself into your mind but also causes it to have a truly lasting impact, which is something missing from a lot of films today. I’ve seen a majority of the Best Picture nominations (and honestly feel that this should have been nominated instead of “Benjamin Button” because while that’s good it’s nowhere near Fincher’s best — that’s probably “Zodiac” — and the only nomination that deserves the trophy is “Milk“.
With that said “Changeling” is perhaps Eastwood’s best effort to date not only because of the all around great acting or direction but rather the impact the story leaves in your mind. Eastwood is a master filmmaker and storyteller and knows how to create sequences that we can’t help but remember. “Changeling” is truly a film that needs to be seen. Trust me you won’t regret it.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the VC-1 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte Blu-ray Disc). Colors tend to be somewhat mixed. We do have our darker sequences that do hold fine detail but it seems like that there always is a glow around the character played by Jolie. I’m not sure if this is done on purpose by Eastwood or more to emphasis that she’s the main focus of the film. I will say that the color palette does have solid blacks and other fine colors. A majority of the colors do lean more toward the paler side as most of the sequences are shot with a drab look to them (in particular the interiors of the pysch ward and the homes). There is a bit of film grain in some of the darker scenes as well as in the later desert shots but nothing that becomes overly barring. We actually do have a few instances of “3-D” pop (check out the close ups of Christine’s face). Like I had mentioned I felt like there was a glow to her character, which I’m sure leads me to feel these moments do hold “3-D” pop. All in all this earns an excellent “4.5 Star Rating“. This is a fine effort on Universal’s part.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio Surround. Dialogue, which consumes a majority of the film, is recorded a bit low so if you intend to watch this movie with a talkative person you’ll find that you need to raise the volume. Whatever the case be the film’s dialogue, when heard, is intelligible with no instance of drop out. Dynamics are kept to a minimum minus the film’s score (I’ll mention that in a minute), while any LFE works only in the later court scenes. Looking at the back of the case I was surprised to see that Eastwood wrote the music for this film. It’s not that I thought this was his first affair, it’s that I found it impressive that Eastwood to not only direct, write and produce the film but also write the music. With that said the film’s score is understandable somber in most points helping to convey not only Christine’s missing child but also the injustice done against Christine. There also is a nice sense of directionality with the score too. Even though we do tend to have most of the score focus as a frontal mix, there are a few moments when we do get a solid 360 degree soundfield. Nothing that will cause you to grab the disc and demo out the scene but rather something that brings you into the film even more, which is crucial for a movie like this. All in all this earns a solid “4 Star Rating“.
Bonus Materials are presented in High Definition (1080i) video using VC-1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound @192kbps.
- BD-Live: My Scenes Sharing allows the viewer to share their favorite scenes with their friends. Also included is access to Universal‘s own BD-Live network to download more content. This requires the user to be on a “Profile 2.0” capable Blu-ray Disc Player to access the internet via Ethernet (or Wi-Fi on some players).
- U-Control: This is broken down into 3 sections:
- Picture-In-Picture uses “Bonus View” (requiring the user to be on a “Profile 1.1” capable Blu-ray Disc Player). This feature allows you to watch interviews with the cast and crew, view behind-the-scenes footage and all without leaving the film. This proves to be worth checking out on this release especially.
- “Los Angeles: Then and Now” shows us specific moments in the film where we can see a visual comparison of the two time periods.
- “Archives” shows us archival images and documents of real individuals portrayed in the movie.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.