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God Bless America 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
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
  • List Price: $29.98

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
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:3/5]

God Bless America is a 2012 comedy from comedian Bobcat Goldthwait starring Joel Murray as Frank and Tara Lynne Barr as Roxy. Frank is a thoughtful man who gets himself depressed by watching far too much television during his hours at home. Divorced from his wife, he finds himself fired for reasons of political correctness from his job of 11 years. To top it off, he is suddenly diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Frank is a sympathetic and charming character, to the point that we follow him throughout the movie in a relatable way, almost as if we would find ourselves doing similar things if we had nothing to lose.

During this time, the show that most annoys Frank is my Sweet 16 (much in the vein of the MTV series, so it’s hardly a parody). Instead of the original plan to kill himself, Frank decides to steal his annoying neighbor’s Camaro, drive to Virginia, and kill the spoiled rich girl Chloe after a profanity laced tirade of hers due to receiving a Lexus sedan rather than an Escalade from her rich parents. Accomplishing this after a failed attempt to ignite the gas tank, the murder is witnessed by Roxy, one of Chloe’s classmates. Delighted by this turn of events, the somewhat sociopathic Roxy demands to join Frank on a quest to kill more annoying celebrities and generally people they disapprove of (People who take two parking spots because they feel that their car is so special).

The rest of the movie involves Frank and Roxy’s conversations about targeting such people and life in general. I enjoyed their banter about hippies and political pundits, but it is when they see a tone-deaf singer on the requisite American Idol parody that the movie loses focus. An earlier scene in a movie theater involving rude patrons would have been a better focus of the duo’s ire, but the Superstarz subplot just makes them look like cruel sadists, especially as it is the focus of the second half of the movie.

Overall, God Bless America is at its best when it is focused in its rage at the banality of this country, much like Natural Born Killers did in an inadvertent way. I enjoyed the movie, and I would like to see more of this kind of work from Mr. Goldthwait, seeing as I remember him mostly as the voice of Mr. Floppy on the occasionally funny sitcom, Unhappily Ever After. Those who are looking for subversive comedies on the level of South Park be on the lookout for his future work.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

This 2:35:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer captures the satiric themes with mostly solid results. Shot using the Arri Ariflex Camera system, the film’s color palette does feature a rather bright palette, with sky blues and grass greens dominating; however, a majority of the darker sequences hold a kind of bluish tint to them resulting in a loss of detail. Depth is also lost in a few scenes, but textures and facial close ups are rock solid. Whether it be a stylistic decision by the DP/Cinematographer, I’m not too sure. All I know is that this transfer handles the material with okay results.

Audio Quality

[Rating:2.5/5]

Arriving with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, I have to be honest and admit that I expected more out of this lossless offering. Consisting of funny and amusing dialogue as one would expect, but no real explosions or other ways of pushing a sound system to its limits. The audio is clear and free of distortion, with the occasional punch of gunfire and automatic weapons bringing some life to an otherwise rather drab sound mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The included supplements are featured in High Definition:

  • Behind the Scenes: Killing with Kindess – This runs 27:34 and is an extended behind-the-scenes look into the film, featuring cast interviews.
  • God Bless TV: Deleted/Extended Scenes – 5:00 worth of deleted scenes are shown.
  • Outtakes – 2:29 of completely forgettable outtakes.
  • Interviews with Bobcat Goldthwait, Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr – A 27:42 interview with Goldthwait, Murray and Barr as the 3 discuss the origin of the film.
  • HDnet: A Look at God Bless America – Your standard run-of-the-mill HDnet making of, running 4:54.
  • Roxy and Frank Music Video – A 3:02 music video is shown.
  • Commentary with Goldthwait, Murray and Barr –
  • Trailer – The film’s trailer is shown.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

It’s clear that Mr. Goldthwait’s humor won’t appeal to everyone. But, those who do enjoy a mix of British styles and a comedy poking fun at politics, just may find something to enjoy in God Bless America. Worthy of a rental.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase God Bless America on Blu-ray at CD Universe

God Bless America

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B007UW9WKK[/amazon-product]

Purchase God Bless America on Blu-ray at CD Universe

God Bless America

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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