The Blind Side Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: PG-13
- Discs: 2
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Blu-ray Release Date: March 23, 2010
- List Price: $35.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Sandra Bullock one this year’s Oscar for Best actress portraying Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, and I can’t argue that her performance in this film was probably one of the best of her career, but I have to side with many who think that The Blind Side, despite its roots in the true story of Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), was the weakest of the films nominated this year for Best Picture and rings a bit untrue.
The underprivileged son of a crack-addicted mother, Michael Oher, a ward of the state, lucks into being admitted to a rich, white Christian school in Tennessee after the coach there believes he may become a good football player. There he finds his salvation in the benevolence of Leigh Anne Tuohy and the Tuohy family when she notices him after her son S.J. (Jae Head) befriends the lonely Oher. With no place to stay on a cold, rainy night, Leigh Anne takes Oher into their home and soon into the Tuohy family proper.
Where at first Michael was a reticent young man with a learning disability and low grades, he soon begins to blossom with the love of the Tuohy’s, their children and help from his teachers. Eventually, the Tuohy’s even hire Michael a private tutor to help him get his grade point average up so he can qualify for a scholarship to a Division 1 college.
It’s all inspirational stuff, but the problem is that the film surely glosses over the challenges that not only Michael Oher must have faced as a black man in the south going to a nearly all white Christian school, but also those faced by the Tuohy family. There is only brief mention in a couple of scenes about what people might say or, in one particularly wince-worthy scene, as Leigh Anne is dining with her hoity-toity friends, one nasty lady worries about the Tuohys daughter being in the house with a “big black man.”
For the most part, however, the film sugarcoats the issues and focuses on all the triumphs and none of the pitfalls of this unusual situation. It even pushes Michael Oher’s character into the background, placing Leigh Anne Touhy front and center, so that white, middle-America can feel good about themselves. If only solving poverty and race relations were this simple.
With a solid 1.78:1 1080p VC-1 encoding, The Blind Side offers strong color reproduction, extended shadow detail, natural flesh tones, and sharp foreground details. Backgrounds soften just a tad and there are occasional scenes that look a little bit softer and noisier than others, but the overall presentation is clean and sparkling.
The main audio option for The Blind Side is a lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. It’s a rather boring, front-heavy mix that misses the opportunity to make good use of the surround channels even during the football sequences. The result is a competent mix that delivers clean dialogue, but is rather dry. There isn’t much in the way of audible atmospheric sound effects to add to the entertainment for an engulfing sound experience.
The supplements on The Blind Side are all in 1080p and allow viewers more insight into the real life characters that the film is based on.
The supplements provided on this release are:
- The Real Michael Oher (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:10.02): An Exclusive Interview: From his impoverished upbringing to his love for the Tuohy family, to being selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft with the Baltimore Ravens, hear from the real Michael Oher, whose personal life is dramatized in The Blind Side.
Behind the Story:
- Acting Coaches: Behind The Blind Side (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:04.52) — When you put several legendary SEC college football coaches together, be certain that the competition steps up, both on and off the field.
- The Story of Big Quinton (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 0:13.40) — Completely unknown before being cast as the lead, actor Quinton Aaron’s moving story has many things in common with the football star he is playing.
- Sideline Conversations (1.78:1; 1080p/24) — A series of unique, personal “one-on-one” interviews about their role in the story and to each other.
- Sandra Bullock & Leigh Anne Tuohy
- Director John Lee Hancock and Author Michael Lewis
- Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
- DVD+Digital Copy – A combination standard definition DVD of the film that also includes access to a downloadable digital copy for transfer to a Mac/PC or iTunes/Windows Media portable device is also included in this release.
The Definitive Word
The Blind Side is your prototypical Hollywood “topic” film. Its sole purpose is to ease the conscience of Middle America, and to make people feel good and on that it succeeds, but I have difficulty believing that this “true story” happened exactly as told by these filmmakers.
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