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Smashed Blu-ray Review

smashed-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French, German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: German, French, Arabic, English, Turkish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 81 minutes
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 12, 2013
  • List Price: $35.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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:3.5/5]

title

Films come in all shapes and sizes. Smashed is a relatively small film that focuses on a large problem, alcoholism. The Hannahs, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) are a married couple with a common pastime, drinking.  Kate’s life begins to spiral out of control quite early when she comes to her teaching job hungover, and pukes in front of her first grade class. Kate then fabricates a pregnancy story that gets her the sympathy of supervisor Dave Davies (Nick Offerman) and Principal Barnes (Megan Mullaly). To make matters even worse, Kate picks up a drunk and possibly homeless girl at a bar, gets her first crack cocaine experience and wakes up in a vacant lot. For those who have weak stomachs or low tolerance for self-destructive behavior, perhaps you should read no further as this film covers a gradual descent into the personal hell of a woman out of control. Perhaps not as dark as Leaving Las Vegas (but what is?), we watch Kate visit AA and get to see the troubled souls exorcizing their personal demons. As Kate’s sponsor Jenny, we are treated to another brilliant performance turned in by Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer. As Kate begins to recover,  her personal life undergoes a significant transformation. By the film’s end, we get a new and liberated Kate who has come through to the other side, made closure with her alcoholic mother (Mary Kay Place) and, finally, yet somewhat wistfully, regained control of her now-sober life.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

karaoke

The cinematography has a lot of the handheld camera effects, particularly during the indoor scenes, that gives this film a reality TV effect. Not the best details or colors, but certainly serviceable images.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

kiss

There is a decent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that delivers the musical selections and dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

 face

Extras include several deleted scenes, a featurette about this film and audio commentary. This is a catalog of excellent choices and we see the creative process at work. While I am not sure that the film would have benefited from the inclusion of these scenes, there is some welcome material here. We also get the usual trailers.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

octavia

Films that deal with highly personal material always run the risk of crashing and burning on take off. Thankfully, this is not the case here. Smashed delivers a set of strong performances, led by Mary Elizabeth Winstead who becomes a real cinematic creature. Aaron Paul does the best that he can with the rather thankless role of Kate’s drunkard husband, while the supporting roles are well handled by screen veterans, Davies, Mullaly, Place and Spencer. What elevates this film above most of today’s big screen drivel is the sensitive way in which it deals with a real problem for the young and restless generation. Never an easy watch, director/writer James Ponsoldt still manages to create a small masterpiece. This being only Ponsoldt’s second feature-length film, Smashed holds out expectations for this director’s bright future.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Smashed - Widescreen AC3 Dolby - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Smashed on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

sober

bed

mom

class

[amazon-product]B00BFSESF4[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B00A2H9QYC[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Smashed - Widescreen AC3 Dolby - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Smashed on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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