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“The Blind Side”- {Blu-ray} - (Wayne)
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
3/23/10
Special Features:

Featurettes, deleted scenes

Review:

I don’t think that Sandra Bullock wore us down but I do think that “The Blind Side” might wear down some viewers even if it is heartwarming in a predictable TV movie of the week type of way. Whether or not Sandra Bullock deserved to win an Oscar for Best Actress doesn’t impact the heart of this moving drama based on a true story. Usually those last five words are the kiss of death meaning that Hollywood will over amp the film with moments filled with so much sugar that it would drive most viewers into either a diabetic coma or a sugar high feeding frenzy. While “The Blind Side” is far from subtle it remains an often moving if occasionally stogy film that tries to appeal to something other than our basest instincts—whether or not we are wealthy, middle class (which is rapidly shrinking thanks to our economic policies but that’s a whole other story read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein –no relation I might add—for an example of WHY our middle class is quickly going the way of the dinosaur) or somewhere in the middle this story portrays a woman dedicated regardless of color of skin to strong values and helping those less fortunate than her own immediate family. ***

Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy a woman of strong opinions who discovers that a high school student named Michael Oher is homeless after being bounced around within the foster care system for years. She and her family open their hearts to this kind, thoughtful African American youth taking him in and making him part of her while bread family fighting for him every step of the way as he discovers the fine art of playing football. Oher (played by John Lee Hancock) unfortunately isn’t really the focus of “The Blind Side”—instead its Leigh Anne and that’s part of the flaw of the film as Oher comes across as a rather dim bulb and isn’t fleshed out as well as I would have thought. ***

Is “The Blind Side” a classic? No far from it—it’s manipulative filmmaking at its best meaning that it’s far from high art but it also is moving in its own primitive fashion. Bullock’s work as an actress in the film is outstanding—she tackles this role with a gusto she hasn’t demonstrated since “28 Days” where she also did work that was worthy of Oscar recognition. The irony is that Bullock is often better than the serious movies she appears in and often better than the comedies as well elevating these films as if she’s unaware that she’s improving the overall quality of the films she’s been in just by the passion of her performance. ---

Image & Sound:

“The Blind Side” looks as if it was left out in the sun during Nashville’s worst heat wave; skin tones are often over-the-top and contrasts look like an egg that was left in the sun too long during a long, hot summer day. Detail looks good throughout with most of the film featuring a crisp, nice looking if inconsistent transfer. ***

Audio sounds nice although the 5.1 soundstage isn’t used quite as effectively as it could have been—it lacks subtly. ---

Special Features:

We get five solid featurettes. “The Real Michael Oher” is self explanatory featuring an interview with Oher which could be longer and more indepth. ***

“Sideline Conversations” features the director, author Michael Lewis who wrote the book that was the basis of the film, Leigh Anne Tuohy and Bullock. ***

“The Story of Big Quinton” focuses on actor Quinton Aaron who plays Oher in the film. ***

“Acting Coaches” is a solid if unspectacular behind-the-scenes featurette. ***

Finally we get a round of deleted scenes included as part of the mix. ---

Final Words:

It may be predictable but it’s also heartwarming in a manipulative Hollywood sort of way although not quite as bad or predictable as most Hollywood films based on a “true story”. I’d recommend renting this to see Bullock’s fierce performance.

 

 
 
 
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