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Goats Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray )
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 94 Mins.
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • List Price: $29.97

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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:2/5]

From all outward appearances, Goats seems like it should be a good family comedy. It has a strong cast of well known actors and a screenplay adapted directly from the novel from the writer Mark Poirie himself. But Goats isn’t a strong film, it’s only middling at best. One might not need to look any further than first time director Christopher Neill for an explanation. Neill was once a dialogue coach to George Lucas on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, and that should explain, at the very least, why the characters in Goats, despite the proven acting skills of David Duchovny, Justin Kirk, Ty Burrell and Vera Farmiga among others, feel dull, aimless, and one-dimensional. But that is only part of it.

Poirie’s story follows Ellis (Graham Phillips), a 15-year-old boy from a dysfunctional broken home in Arizona who is readying to enter a fancy boarding school on the East Coast that his father attended. Ellis’ mother Wendy (Vera Farmiga) is a flighty, new age spiritualist who doesn’t seem to pay much attention to his comings and goings, while his father Frank (Ty Burrell; TV’s Modern Family) left the family years earlier, split for the East Coast, and has since had a strong of young girlfriends. Ellis’ one father figure is Goatman (David Duchovny; TV’s Californication), a hippie-esque layabout who stays on Wendy’s property on exchange for doing the landscaping and cleaning the pool. He’s also been granted a plot of land to grow his marijuana and raise his goats, which he takes on mysterious “goat treks.” Sharing the fruits of his labors with Ellis and his incoherent wisdom, Goatman, AKA Javier, and Ellis develop a friendship.

When Ellis moves away to boarding school, he immediately realizes that he is equally as ill equipped to fit in there due to his parents, he’s a loner and stoner with straight As and a cross country runner, blackmailed onto the team. On a visit to his father’s home. Ellis discovers his father is marrying a young and pleasant woman who is pregnant and that his father wants to reach out to strengthen their relationship. Meanwhile, his mother Wendy, living back at home with new egomaniacal boyfriend Bennet (Justin Kirk; TV’s Weeds) who doesn’t care much for Ellis or Goatman, is having a breakdown over his new relationship with his father. As Ellis tries to figure out where he fits in in the lives of both of his parents, he falls for a pretty girl, Minnie (Dakota Johnson), who works in his school’s cafeteria and is rumored to be selling sexual favors to the high school seniors.

The issue at heart with the film is that the situations playing out in Goats ultimately feel pointless. In combination with the ineffective acting, even from David Duchovny whose Goatman’s idiosyncrasies seem less funny or deep than confused and out of place, or Vera Farmiga whose character is left without enough background to give her behavior much sense other than perhaps she needs to be in an institution, and the aimless writing from Poirie, Goats falls flat with little humor and little depth to its drama.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

According to IMDb, Goats was shot on the Arri Alexa in high definition. It arrives on Blu-ray in a fine AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Image Entertainment that captures the sunny palette of Arizona and the cooler looks of the North East with a clean and crisp image. There’s strong contrast with good shadow details and balanced white levels absent of clipping. Flesh tones are natural with colors that are vibrant.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack for Goats is by necessity of the film’s genre a subtle mix, but that is not to say that it isn’t an engaging, and strong mix for the material at hand. The dialogue is crystal clear, which is a must for a film such as this, but the surround channels are filled with lots of ambience and atmospheric sound effects that help to make the soundtrack sound lively. Of course, there isn’t much in the way of low frequencies, but it doesn’t spoil the overall effect of the mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Nothing on offer here is really required viewing, feeling tacked on, in all honesty, even the “making of” is brief and offers very little in the way of details.

The supplements:

  • Deleted Scenes (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:18)
  • Moments: The Making of Goats (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:37)
  • The Mailman’s Lament (1.78:1; 1080pp/24; 00:02:29)
  • Home Movies (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:50)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2.35:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

There is so much wasted potential in Goats, it’s so disheartening. It’s not so much that the film is a complete disaster or completely awful, but that it goes nowhere and has characters that never reach you on a personal level. With that said, the Blu-ray from Image is top notch, so, if you are still interested, then renting it is the best option.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Goats on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Goats

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B0088749H2[/amazon-product]

Purchase Goats on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Goats

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I also felt like this movie had a ton of potential that it
    never really realized. I figured that it
    would have a stronger story being based on a book and screenplay by the same
    author, but nothing really ends up happening.
    I was talking about the movie with a coworker from Dish, and she said that
    the only thing that kept her going were the performances. I did think that the acting was the best part
    of the movie, but again we could have had more.
    I had never heard of this movie until last week, and I decided to
    rent it through my Blockbuster @Home account because it looked promising. I
    am glad that I just rented it though because I don’t see myself watching this
    movie again. I think that the author kept
    parts of everything in the book so that the story seemed disjointed and didn’t
    have a driving force.

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