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Ceremony Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • List Price: $29.98

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BestBuy.com:
Ceremony - Widescreen Subtitle Dolby

Purchase Ceremony on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

First-time filmmaker Max Winkler, son of Henry Winkler, makes his debut with Ceremony, a charming film about friendship, romance, and coming of age. The 22-year-old Sam (Michael Angarano) convinces his estranged best friend Marshall (Reece Thompson) to take a trip to the seaside, ostensibly to strengthen their friendship. In reality, Sam is planning to invade the wedding of the older woman, Zoe (Umma Thurman), he had a brief affair and became pen pals with in order to win her away from the documentary filmmaker fiancé (Lee Pace) he views as a rival and a phony.

Upon his arrival at Zoe’s wedding celebration weekend at her wealthy fiancé’s house, however, Sam is confronted with many realities that he must come to terms with and he must not only learn quickly how to grow up, but also how to truly save his friendship with Marshall.

Ceremony is filled with little moments of truisms that ring even truer through the strong performances from the young Angarano, who first came to my attention in the heartwarming Almost Famous (2000).  Here he shows how he has grown as an actor by leaps and bounds. Thurman is perfect as well, older and still stunning. The film never panders to the audience or makes any judgements on the age differences of the characters, but rather shows the truth of what may be a doomed relationship with subtle humor.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Arriving with a 2.35:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Magnolia, Ceremony looks clean with strong detail. The film’s color palette doesn’t always lend itself to a natural look and likewise, flesh tones can tend towards pastiness as well. Shadow detail is well extended, but there is a bit of noisiness in some darker areas. Still, it’s a solid if not perfect looking image.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

A typical romantic comedy soundtrack, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack for Ceremony is a bit boring, to say the least, but there is one party scene where it really comes alive with big deep low frequencies and spacious mixing. Overall, dialogue is intelligible and clean.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

Everything included here is in standard definition, which is disappointing for a Blu-ray release at this point. Otherwise, the supplements offer a decent amount of time with the stars and filmmakers plus a mildly amusing “documentary” from Ceremony’s character “Whit Coutell.”

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.11)
  • Outtakes (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.40)
  • Extended Scene (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:02.37)
  • Making of Ceremony (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:21.47)
  • Max Winkler Makes Ceremony (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:08.18)
  • Behind the Scenes Footage (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:07.17)
  • HDNet: A Look at Ceremony (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:04.36)
  • A Year in a Tent: A Film by Whit Coutell (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:03.58)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A pleasing first outing by filmmaker Max Winkler, Ceremony is carried along by the wonderful performances of its strong cast and clever script.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004TFTE7M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Ceremony - Widescreen Subtitle Dolby

Purchase Ceremony on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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