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Beasts of the Southern Wild Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 93 Mins
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: iTunes
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 4th, 2012
  • List Price: $39.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

 

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Beasts of the Southern Wild tells the story of a 6-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), and her quest to save her father Wink (Dwight Henry) after he succumbs to a mysterious disease. Along the way, her journey will find her dealing with an army of prehistoric beasts, all of whom have been unleashed after the melting of the polar ice caps. What results is a charming film with pure heart and a few captivating performances by Wallis and Henry.

Before the recent Academy Award nominations a few weeks back, I thought I had seen all the ‘rumored’ films to be nominated (Les Miserables, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty.) I was surprised to see a film called Beasts of the Southern Wild hit the Best Picture list as well as the Best Actress list. Now this isn’t because the film fell under my radar, but more so because the actor nominated, Quvenzhane Wallis, is only 6 YEARS OLD!! This in and of itself is a true testament to the quality of her performance, one of which I can easily attest is something that deserves to be seen. Subtle at times, but commanding our attention, Wallis captures the true definition of what acting is all about. Here is a role that even most veteran actors might not be able to handle, with the balancing of venturing into a cold new world by yourself. Yet, Wallis delivers easily an acting performance that certainly deserves to win the ultimate prize. (NOTE: even though I found this performance the best of the year, do not be surprised if Jessica Chastain wins for Zero Dark Thirty.)

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Beasts of a Southern Wild arrives with a 1:85:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, one of which is captures the beauty of the film well. Shot using Arriflex Cameras on 16mm instead of the normal 35mm due to a smaller budget, the film’s palette has somewhat muted colors, the grays of the sky and light blues of the murky water. Detail is quite impressive considering being shot on 16mm, particularly that of clothing textures. Grain, EE, DNR or any other transfer issues are nowhere to be found. More what is to be found is an all around great effort from Fox.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Audio-wise, Wild contains an excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. One of the single best aspects of this lossless effort is the film’s amazing score by Dan Romer and Director Benh Zeitlin. From the initial opening moments, to the closing credits, the score by this duo will make you remember each and every scene. Dialogue is well reproduced, as one might expect, with no instance of drop out. Atmosphere is also top notch, whether it be the quieter dialogue driven moments, or the scenes at sea (with the whooshing of the wind and the clapping of the ocean water.) All in all this is an excellent effort for a film that had a very minimal budget.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The provided supplements are featured in High and Standard Definition:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD) – A total of 14:00 worth of scenes are shown, with optional commentary by Director Benh Zeitlin.
  • Auditions (SD) – 15:15 worth of audition tapes of both Wallis and Henry are shown.
  • The Making of (HD) – A 22:27 fantastic making of captures all the themes featured in the movie.
  • Glory at Sea (HD) – This is Director Benh Zeitlin’s 2008 short film (25:44), and sort of tells of a pre-cursory story to Wild.
  • Music (HD) – A 3:06 glance into composer Dan Romer’s score.
  • The Aurochs (HD) – A 3:18 look into the beasts featured in the film.
  • Trailer (HD) – The film’s trailer (1:53) is shown.
  • Digital Copy – A Digital Copy is included.
  • DVD – A DVD of the film is also included.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Featuring a truly ‘wow’ performance by youngster Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a charming little film that I highly, highly recommend be viewed by all.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
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Purchase Beasts of the Southern Wild on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Univers

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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