10.4 C
New York
Friday, November 27, 2020
Advertisement

Disconnect Blu-ray Review

disconnect-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

– –

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Disconnect-BD_01

Documentary filmmaker Henry Alex Rubin (Murderball) steps into the world of feature fiction with this multi-layered film in the style of Crash about our modern social networking culture. Similarly, Jason Bateman also steps out of his comfort zone and takes on a dramatic role in Disconnect, and pulls it off without a hitch given the somewhat uneven material he’s given to work with.

From a screenplay by Andrew Stern, Disconnect tracks the stories of several people who fail to make real emotional connections with the people in their lives despite their active online social activities. In one plot thread, busy corporate lawyer Rich Boyd (Bateman) is so addicted to his job and texting that fails to make an emotional bond with his son Ben (Jonah Bobo), or even notice that the 15-year-old doesn’t have any friends. Meanwhile Ben, a loner/Goth musician finds himself striking up a relationship on a popular social networking site with a girl that he likes. Unbeknownst to Ben, however, it’s really just a prank by Jason Dixon (Colin Ford) and his friend Frye (Aviad Bernstein). The prank turns tragic when Ben reveals his identity in an embarrassing way to the “girl” online and it tears the Boyd family apart, as Rich is bent on finding the people responsible, his wife Lydia (Hope Davis) is left alone to comfort Ben, and their daughter Abby (Haley Ramm) feels guilty for the way she treated her brother. In a parallel story, Jason Dixon’s father, retired policeman turned private detective Mike (Frank Grillo) is involved in a case helping a couple whose marriage is apparently falling apart, Cindy and Derek Hull (Paula Patton and Alexander Skarsgård), who have also recently fallen victim to identity theft owing to Cindy’s intimate chat’s with a man online and Derek’s visits to online gambling sites. Another story involves an ambitious television reporter, Nina Dunham (Andrea Riseborough) who chases down a story about a webcam sex site with young teens, and gets too close to the subject of her story, Kyle (Max Thieriot).

Each of the stories interconnect in some way, other than the story of the reporter and the sex site, which seems tacked on, and somewhat out of place in the grand scheme. It’s just one of the issues that keeps Disconnect from being a perfectly engaging drama/thriller. Rubin’s tendency to make the drama tilt into overbearing melodrama is the biggest issue. At every turn, Disconnect is so weighed down by its sense of self-importance that it becomes a bit intolerable. So much so, that some of the characters’ decisions seem downright stupid, and done solely for that extra bit of dramatic effect. Nina, for instance, is presented as an intelligent, ambitious reporter, yet she gets backed into a corner by the FBI and threatened, presumably, with child porn charges, for using her PayPal account to access the website she was doing the story on unless she reveals the name off her source. Then there’s Mike, a supposedly strict father and top private detective whose first instinct when he finds out his son Jason was involved in the prank on Ben Boyd is to use security software to wipe all evidence of the chats from his son’s friend’s iPad. Well, one might make an exception for a father trying to protect his son, but any police officer and detective would know that you can wipe an iPad all you want, the internet is forever. A social networking site and, more importantly, the government, would be able to track the original IP address and possibly even reconstruct that wiped data, depending on how well (or poorly) it was done.

To wrap up this multilayered, self-examination and condemnation of our emotionally “disconnected” modern world, Rubin sends all the characters toward somewhat unlikely violent conclusions played out in interchanged slow-motion. This is where we’re supposed to really feel the impact of everything that just transpired. As if we couldn’t figure that out for ourselves.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Disconnect-BD_02

Disconnect looks about as clean and modern as one would expect a film of such recent vintage shot in high definition to look. Originally captured on the Red Epic camera, the film comes to Blu-ray with a strong AVC/MPEG-4 encodement from Lionsgate that only shows a few slight digital anomalies like some rare instances of banding. Otherwise, apart from the fact that black levels never really look absolutely obsidian, the image looks pleasing, with strong detail and crisp textures and nuanced shadow delineation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Disconnect-BD_03

The lossless English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack works perfectly for the material at hand. A dialogue-driven film, the mix offers up a balance of the clean dialogue across the front and moments of big sound courtesy of the atmospheric score from Max Richter and other musical soundtrack moments, such as an early scene in the shopping mall with Ben Boyd, where the music from his headphones fills the entire soundfield. It’s hardly an aggressive mix, but that wouldn’t work for this sort of film. Perhaps a little bit more emphasis on the ambience in surround channels would have helped, but its a minor complaint.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Disconnect-BD_04

There’s nothing much here worth sitting through. The featurettes are brief, EPK-type material and a making of that just seems promotional.

The supplements:

  • Audio commentary with Director Henry-Alex Rubin
  • Making the Connections: Behind the Scenes of Disconnect (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:27:18)
  • Recording Session of on the Nature of Daylight for Disconnect (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:16)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Disconnect-BD_05

This film could have been so much better if the stories were streamlined and if Rubin restrained himself from the overly dramatic tricks intended to really make us feel every last second of it – and believe me, you will feel every last second go by of this film. Thankfully, a few really strong performances by the cast and a reasonably good looking production keep Disconnect for completely going astray. The metaphor never gets lost in this film, its just hammered home with too much of a heavy hand.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B00EOL15FA[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00DUX28V8[/amazon-product]

Disconnect-BD_06

Disconnect-BD_07

Disconnect-BD_08

Disconnect-BD_09

Disconnect-BD_10

Disconnect-BD_11

Disconnect-BD_12

Disconnect-BD_13

Disconnect-BD_14

Disconnect-BD_15

Disconnect-BD_16

Disconnect-BD_17

[amazon-product]B00EOL15FA[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00DUX28V8[/amazon-product]

Advertisement

Related Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.
%d bloggers like this: