The Blind Side appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a very good presentation.
No real issues related to sharpness. A few wide shots seemed just a tad soft, but those popped up infrequently. Instead, the vast majority of the movie looked concise and accurate. Jagged edges and shimmering failed to appear, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws also caused no distractions.
Colors were fine. The movie went with a fairly natural palette that favored a mild golden tint. The hues looked full and rich. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows demonstrated good clarity. I expected a positive transfer and that’s what I got.
One shouldn’t expect sonic fireworks from a drama such as Blind Side, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack remained subdued. The mix featured good stereo music and decent environmental information but little more substantial than that. Even the football games lacked much pizzazz; they contributed enough of the requisite material to succeed, but the audio wasn’t memorable. The surrounds played a minor role at best, so don’t expect much from them. A fight/flashback sequence briefly brought those channels to life, but that was about it.
At least audio quality was good. Speech appeared natural and concise, with no problems on display. Music sounded vivid and full, and effects were perfectly acceptable. As noted, they rarely offered anything to make them stand out from the crowd, but they worked fine. I thought this was a pretty average track without any qualities that allowed it to impress.
How did the picture and sound of this Blu-ray compare to the film’s DVD version? Audio was a wash. The soundtrack was so subdued that the extra oomph that often comes with lossless mixes didn’t make much difference; I’d be hard-pressed to hear differences between the two tracks.
The DVD didn’t match up with Blu-ray standards. The Blu-ray provided superior definition and also boasted clearer low-light shots and more engaging colors. It offered a substantial step up in quality.
Although Blind Side earned a jillion bucks at the box office, the Blu-ray doesn’t include a ton of extras. Most of the information comes to us via some featurettes. The Real Michael Oher goes for 10 minutes, two seconds and lets us get some info from the person who inspired the film’s character. I like the chance to see the real deal, but this never becomes a particularly interesting interview. While he seems like a nice guy, Oher is a dull speaker who doesn’t provide much introspection; we don’t really learn anything here that doesn’t come across in the movie.
During the four-minute, 52-second Acting Coaches: Behind The Blind Side, we hear from writer/director John Lee Hancock, producer Molly Smith, actors Ray McKinnon, Tim McGraw, Sandra Bullock and Jae Head, and coaches Philip Fulmer, Tommy Tuberville, Lou Holtz, Houston Nutt, and Nick Saban. The real-life coaches discuss their cameos. Those are some of the film’s most fun moments, and this is a quick but enjoyable piece.
The Story of Big Quinton lasts 13 minutes, 40 seconds and features Hancock, Bullock, Smith, McKinnon, producers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson, actor Quinton Aaron, Aaron’s aunts Mary Martin and Jannie McGoohan, friend/theater director Jomo Kellman, cousins Derrick Smith and Shinasia and Theresa Aaron, uncle Sylvester Martin, boss/friend Roy Winston, friend Wallace Owens, executive producer Tim Bourne, trainer Eric Ciano, and nutritionist Sasha Spencer. Quinton Aaron returns home to tour his childhood New York neighborhood, and we also hear about his casting and work on the film. Though this is a pretty fluffy short, it’s good to learn more about Aaron’s background and how he came onto the flick.
Finally, Sideline Conversations boasts a collection of interviews. These include Sandra Bullock and Leigh Anne Tuohy (5:11) and John Lee Hancock and author Michael Lewis (27:36). The women discuss Bullock’s casting and performance, their interactions, and the Tuohy family’s experiences during the shoot. Hancock and Lewis chat about the original book and its adaptation, story, character and casting issues, and thoughts about the movie’s real-life subjects.
The Bullock/Tuohy piece lacks substance, but it’s fun to see the women together and get to check out the real Leigh Anne. The Hancock/Lewis component boasts more substantial material and provides a good level of detail about the different story/character topics. Both programs deserve your time, but the Hancock/Lewis one is easily the stronger of the pair.
We find four Deleted Scenes that fill a total of seven minutes, six seconds. We get “I’m the Designer” (1:21), “Lunch Ticket” (3:47), “Sizes” (0:25) and “Who Are You Looking For?” (1:33). “Designer” just extends a scene in the final cut, while “Lunch” expands on the science teacher’s attempts to draw him out of his shell. It’s nice that this underdeveloped character gets some more time; the sequence would probably slow the film a little more, but it adds some background. “Sizes” offers a quick comedic beat, and “For” extends Leigh Anne’s attempts to find Michael’s mother. The latter mostly reinforces the scummy drug dealer character; we don’t need more of that to see him as a baddie.
The disc opens with an ad for Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove. No trailer for Blind Side appears here.
A second disc offers two elements. For one, it provides a standard DVD version of the film. Note that this doesn’t simply duplicate the DVD you can buy on its own; it’s a more barebones affair. It allows fans without Blu-ray capabilities a way to watch the movie until they do take the Blu plunge.
The second platter also includes a digital copy of The Blind Side. This allows you to slap the flick on a computer or portable gizmo. And there you have it!
Why did The Blind Side earn about $250 million at the box office and snare Sandra Bullock an Oscar? I don’t know. While the movie provides enjoyable “feel good” entertainment, little about it stands out from its genre crowd, so I can’t figure out why it struck it so big. The Blu-ray provides very good picture but comes with average audio and supplements. This is an acceptable release for an entertaining but unmemorable flick.
To rate this film, visit the original review of THE BLIND SIDE