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Playing for Keeps Blu-ray Review

playing-for-keeps-blu-ray-cover

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Video Codec: AVC MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Audio Descriptive Track
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 105 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: Ultraviolet 
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 5th, 2013
  • List Price: $29.98

Overall
[Rating:2/5]
The Film
[Rating:1/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below 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:1/5]

Keeps_1

Playing for Keeps tells the story of George Dryer (Gerard Butler), a once famous soccer player who is now generally viewed as a ‘has been.’ In order to raise money, George tries to sell off his game memorabilia, as well as occasional sports announcing (which is typically interrupted by his credit card companies calling to inform him of his debt.) Also, George’s son Lewis (Noah Lomax) doesn’t care for his father either, mostly due to the sporadic time he spends with him. But wait, we aren’t done with Georges’ issues yet! To make matters even worse, he finds out that his ex-wife Stacie (Jessica Biel) is set to marry her new flame Matt (James Tupper.) Insert standard ‘I must get them both back into my life’ storyline and bam you have Playing for Keeps, a film that copies every genre cliche known to man – only does it extremely poorly.

Keeps_2

With a cast of this size, and star power, I figured that Playing for Keeps might, just might, be a halfway decent movie. Then I read what the movie was about. Okay, I STILL thought the film had a chance, as I’ve seen more than a few solid ‘must get them back’ family dramas out there. Such isn’t the case with this one, folks. Not only is Playing for Keeps too long (by about 15-20 minutes), I felt that a majority of the story was bland. None of the actors, especially Jessica Biel (who looks fantastic, but seemingly can’t act worth a damn,) show any remote interest in what is going on. The saddest part here is that Gerard Butler is a decent actor, but has fallen on bad luck. Maybe, like the film’s plot, he’ll realize the mistakes he’s made and come back to the better days of his career.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Keeps_3

Playing for Keeps arrives with a 2.40:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer, one that is the exact opposite of the film at hand (read – excellent.) The film’s color palette shows off all the normal traits of a film of this genre. Bright sky blues, green grass, yellow suns – all of which are displayed with top notch clarity and detail. Speaking of detail, facial close-ups result in both accurate flesh tones, as well as contrast levels. Nothing was overly pumped up, instead of focusing on a very natural, clean looking image, thanks in part to a very light layer of film grain. All in all, this is a fantastic effort from Sony.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Keeps_4

The film includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, one of which is nearly perfect. Dialogue is well reproduced via the center channel, with no instance of drop out. Atmosphere, thanks in part to the varying musical keys, is rock solid. The mix is easily able to handle the different tones, while also mixing in dialogue and other effects. Speaking of effects, the game sequences do add a nice sense of atmosphere. Low end is deep at times, while the sound field always seems to have something going on. While this may not be the first disc you’ll grab out to show off your HT, fans of the film will certainly be pleased with Sony’s effort.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

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The included features are presented in High Definition:

  • Deleted Scenes – 10:17 worth of deleted scenes are shown, most of which are character background/useless interactions.
  • The Playbook: Making Playing for Keeps – This one runs 8:24 and looks into how the film came about, as well as the casting.
  • Creating an All-Star Team: The Cast of Playing for Keeps – A 6:34 more in-depth look into the casting.
  • UltraViolet Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2/5]

Keeps_6

Outside of a spectacular technical presentation, Sony’s Playing for Keeps is a boring, bland family drama that, really, only the most desperate families will like. Save your time and hard earned money for something better.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Playing For Keeps - Widescreen AC3 Dolby - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Playing for Keeps on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Keeps_7

Keeps_8

Keeps_9

Keeps_10

Keeps_11

Keeps_12

[amazon-product]B00BLVOQ1Q[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00A2H9VBU[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Playing For Keeps - Widescreen AC3 Dolby - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Playing for Keeps on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

 

Overall
[Rating:2/5]
The Film
[Rating:1/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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