Paradise (Blu-ray)

November 25, 2013 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

After being severely burned in a near fatal accident, Lamb Mannerheim (Julianne Hough) starts to question her belief in God. She leaves her small Montana town and heads for Las Vegas. She has been handsomely rewarded since the accident and uses the money to help fund her trip. She longs for her life before the accident. She gave a speech about her recovery, but instead mentions her new-found disbelief in God. As she arrives in Vegas she meets a couple of new friends played by Octavia Spencer and Russel Brand. I’m not a big fan of either of the two and Hough brings absolutely nothing to the role. I find Russel Brand annoying after less than five minutes. It’s sad to see an actor so in love with himself yet so very, very unfunny. Maybe he has his fans, but I’m not one of them. This is Diablo Cody’s directorial debut and her direction is just too lazy. The film has no sense of urgency or energy at all. It just plods along, wandering aimlessly from one scene to the next. The Lamb character also has no arc. She’s one-note the entire film and her sad-sack demeanor gets old very fast. I often enjoy films that give more attention to characters than plot, but the characters here just aren’t that interesting. It doesn’t surprise me that the film currently sits at 19% on Rotten Tomatoes.

As I sat to watch this film several questions arose in my head. Why am I watching this? Who in their right mind would WANT to watch this? And lastly, why would the talented Diablo Cody choose to make a film like this. I can answer the first question. It’s simple, I have to review it. As for the other two questions? That I can’t answer, but to each their own. The film did little for me. I found the characters annoying and little else entertaining in the slightest. I won’t say Cody has ever been my favorite screenwriter, but I did enjoy “Young Adult” and “Juno” had its charm despite feeling very smug at times. Late film critic Roger Ebert once said “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.” I must admit that as I sat and watched this film I was tempted more than a few times to push the fast forward button. That wouldn’t be fair so I avoided temptation. The readers of the site can thank me for this. I’d definitely consider this an instance where I took one for the team. Don’t waste your time on this forgettable garbage.

Video: How’s it look?

I didn’t care for the film one bit, but the transfer is very nice. Colors are sharp and well saturated, detail is strong throughout. Black levels are deep as well. Vegas is certainly an attractive place with much to see and this transfer displays it’s scenery nicely. The image is AVC encoded image has a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The print used is clean and free of any form of digital tinkering. Background detail is also strong with strong clarity. I feel pleased with this transfer and fans will do.

Audio: How’s it sound?

While not as strong as the transfer, the DTS HD track is still nice. It’s mostly front loaded, but the rear channels kick in on occasion. There’s some background noise in a few scenes in the Vegas clubs and that adds depth to the track. Vocals are always concise and well balanced as well. This isn’t a track that will be used to show off your system, but then again neither is the film itself. It gets the job done and should satisfy.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The extras are a bit spartan, but nevertheless some are included:

  • Audio Commentary – Writer/Director Diablo Cody
  • Behind the scenes – Diablo Cody, Russel Brand, Julianne Hough and Octavia Spencer.
  • Theatrical trailer – and some other previews.

Disc Scores