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Thurgood Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Spanish DTS Digital Surround 2.0
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: HBO Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

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BestBuy.com:
Thurgood - Dubbed Subtitle AC3 Dolby
Purchase Thurgood on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are only are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Thurgood, written by Peabody and Emmy Award winner George Stevens, Jr. (The Thin Red Line; Separate But Equal), was shot before a live audience at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. A one man play starring Laurence Fishburne (Contagion; The Tuskegee Airmen), it follows the life of civil rights activist, lawyer and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s life through first-person stories, pictures, and humor.

From Marshall’s birth in St. Louis in 1908, his time as a young man in Baltimore, and at Howard University through to his later years as a lawyer and Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood gives not only a look into the life of the man who would successfully challenge the laws of school segregation in the south, arguing the famous Brown v. The Board of Education case before the Supreme Court, and go one to become the first Black American to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, but it offers a look into the often complex and difficult history of a nation.

George Stevens, Jr.’s writing is absolutely splendid and engaging, but it is the performance by Fishburne that especially keeps this play afloat. It is truly amazing how a simple play with a bare set with chair, desk, and screen with a few photos and minimal lighting can keep one transfixed for nearly two hours. Fishburne’s adept handling of the material is wonderful. When he tells the story, for example, of being driven to a secluded area by White police officers in the South and fearing that he was going to be lynched, you truly fear for him. Only a minute later, the mood is lightened with the story of how afterwards he is on the train drinking happy to still be alive. A mix of perfect writing and perfect casting.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Originally captured in high definition, Thurgood arrives on Blu-ray in a progressive AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from HBO Home Entertainment. It is full of detail with little video noise deep black levels and strong contrast. The stage setting is sparse and there is a little imagery to really “pop” on screen, but what is there looks great. This is what an HD production of a live performance should look like.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Thurgood is supplied with a marvelous DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack that more than effectively captures this live performance with crystal clear dialogue and a good amount of ambience and crowd noise in the surround channels that helps evoke the sounds of the performance space.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

There are no supplements on this disc.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

An absolute must-see production that exposes the ills of American society past, present, and future with thoughtfulness, humor, and intelligence while telling the story of a great American icon, Thurgood marks a career-defining performance for Laurence Fishburne and arrives in a top notch Blu-ray release from HBO.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004LROMXO[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Thurgood - Dubbed Subtitle AC3 Dolby
Purchase Thurgood on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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