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The Words: Extended Special Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13 (Theatrical Cut); Unrated (Extended Cut)
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Run Time: 97 Mins. (Theatrical);  103 Mins. (Extended)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 24, 2012
  • List Price: $35.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
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]

So many novels and films have been made about the search for artistic truth they are too many to list here, add The Words from childhood friends and collaborators Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal and Bradley Cooper to that list. Klugman and Sternthal wrote and directed while Cooper takes the lead in this multi-layered, story-within-a-story on top of a story literary thriller. An audacious concept on paper, the story begins with a celebrated author, Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) reading from his new novel in front of an audience. His tale tells of young struggling writer Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), newly wed to Dora (Zoe Saldana), who reaches a moral crossroads when he must decide whether to plagiarize an old manuscript of a wonderfully written novel he finds in an old satchel. He does, and success comes to him, but so does the enormous weight of the decision he made, especially when the old man (Jeremy Irons) who wrote the novel as a young man shows up and demands to tell him the story behind it.

Although it starts out rather engrossing, the story becomes increasingly melodramatic and difficult to follow, especially as the narrative involving Rory Jansen is interrupted by the story of Clay Hammond and a younger woman, (Played by Olivia Wilde), making it difficult to discern whether Hammond is really Jansen or not. The most notable performance comes from Irons, who also injects his own storyline as the Old Man, when he imposes his story upon Rory about the details of how the novel he wrote came to pass.

Mostly, however, this film is the kind of ambitious project that has literary pretentious that work better when they are actually literary. This dreary and dull cinematic quagmire, with all the right queues of swelling strings, artsy cinematography and clever twists is too ambitious for its own good. Bradley Cooper is out of his depth in his portrayal of the morally strapped artists, Saldana and Wilde are sadly used as mere window dressing, and Quaid, well, is acting is fine, but his role only mucks up the whole narrative.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The Words looks clean and cinematic in this AVC/MPEG-4 encodement, but a pervasive softness, somewhat muted color palette, and heightened levels of grain in darker scenes don’t exactly lead to it being the best of high definition material.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

As to be expected, this sort of film’s soundtrack doesn’t wow you, but the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is more than adequate. It offers a decent amount of dynamic range for its limited sound effects and musical score and clean dialogue. Atmospherics are rather low and still, but audible nonetheless.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The supplements are mostly throwaways that present the cast, crew, and filmmakers waxing poetic on how fantastic the film is.

The supplements:

  • Theatrical & Extended Cuts
  • Unabridged: A Look Behind the Scenes of The Words (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:30)
  • A Gentleman’s Agreement (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:44)
  • Clay and Daniella (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:12)
  • The Young Man and Celia (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:09)
  • UltraViolet

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Skip it. The romantic comedy Lila, Lila (2009), also about an author who plagiarizes another author’s manuscript, might not be perfect, but it lacks the pretensions and confusing twists of this. You’re better off watching that than The Words, which may put you to sleep before it keeps you entertained. Or even better, go actually read a book.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B00AF29H34[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B009H3LNW0[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Words on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Words (Extended Cut)

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B00AF29H34[/amazon-product]

[amazon-product]B009H3LNW0[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Words on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Words (Extended Cut)

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]



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