The Blind Side (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I used to really dislike Sandra Bullock. Really I did. I didn’t have any specific reason why, but something about her just rubbed me the wrong way. To complicate matters I actually really liked her movies like “Demolition Man”, “Speed” and “While You Were Sleeping” are perhaps three of my favorites. Still, as the years went by I guess my disdain for her must have somewhat subsided, that or I just got older and it really didn’t mean as much to me to dislike an actress I’d never meet or who would really care what I though of her to begin with. After seeing “The Blind Side” I can officially say that I now consider Bullock one of my favorite actresses and she no longer annoys me. I think her casting was perfect and her subsequent Oscar win for Best Actress was well-deserver. But, we’ve a ways to go before we talk any more about awards. First let’s talk sports movies. Usually there aren’t a lot of sports in them. “The Blind Side” is no exception. I’d only heard of Michael Oher in passing before this movie came out and I even live in the Baltimore area, where Oher plays professional football. Keeping my newfound respect for Sandra Bullock and my lack of knowledge of the subject of this film, let’s find out what it’s all about.

Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is one of a dozen children. He’s been sent to foster homes in the streets of Memphis and hasn’t really ever known a true day’s happiness. But he’s a big guy, loves to play “anything with a ball” and manages to get into an exclusive private school in a Memphis suburb (I’m guessing in Germantown as there aren’t too many affluent Memphis suburbs). Suffice it to say he sticks out like a sore thumb, but he catches the eye of Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) as he’s walking down the street at night in the cold. She offers him a warm place, a bed or sorts and before long he’s living with the Tuohy’s. The Tuohy’s are wealthy, Sean (Tim McGraw) is the owner of 85 Taco Bell’s so food is never in short supply. They convince him to go out for football and wouldn’t you know it, he’s a natural left tackle (the second highest paid person on a football team, I might add). But there’s the issue as to where he’ll go to college and even when he’s made a decision, there are still consequences to his actions.

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about “The Blind Side” is that it avoids all of the pratfalls that movies like this could throw at you. He wasn’t made fun of or mocked at the school, he’s slow on the IQ side but we can see he’s actually incredibly bright and he doesn’t turn to a life of crime and take advantage of those who cloth and shelter him. No, none of that happens. “The Blind Side” is a true story and though I’m sure Hollywood took a few creative turns with the story, by and large it’s right on the money. Bullock is perfect as the Southern Belle who’s always looking to help out, Tim McGraw is unrecognizable as her husband and the real scene stealer is S.J. (Jae Head), as the precocious son who turns out to be Michael’s best friend. “The Blind Side” actually has it all and it’s probably the reason it was so successful both critically and commercially. You need not be a fan of football to appreciate this movie, period.

Video: How does it look?

Warner has given “The Blind Side” a very nice-looking 1.85:1 VC-1 HD transfer that leaves very little to the imagination. The sun-drenched scenes show a vibrant, yellowish hue and even the indoor scenes seem to be a bit on the bright side and look great. Flesh tones look warm and natural and we can tell that Sandra Bullock’s makeup artist was really going for the Southern look with all the makeup she’s wearing. Every pore of skin is visible, the blades of grass on the football field all look great. I’d expect no less from a big studio with one of their prize films entering the home video arena. Top notch here, as expected.

Audio: How does it sound?

As impressive as the video is, the audio is right up there as well. The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack has a great array of songs humming along during the course of the film. Dialogue is very clear and although it is hard to understand what the soft spoken actor who plays Michael Oher is saying, it’s not a fault of the audio. Surrounds are used with great effect during a few of the football games and in one game in particular, the sound was so encompassing, I had to re-watch the scene just to hear how robust the sound actually was. Thumbs up in this department as well.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There are enough supplements to warrant a purchase, Warner made sure of that but surprisingly lacking is an audio commentary. Still, we do get enough of an assortment in this department that it’s of little consequence. This Blu-ray shares some deleted scenes with the DVD as well as the theatrical trailer, but the lion’s share of the supplements are exclusive to Blu-ray (which has a DVD included, so splurge). First up is an interview with the real Michael Oher as he gives us his thoughts on the film, the actor who portrayed him and his relationship with Leigh Anne and his tutor, Miss Sue (Kathy Bates in the film). Next up we get some insight from the SEC coaches who tried to get Oher to play. Growing up in Arkansas, I can vouch and say that it was the real Houston Nutt in the film. These guys aren’t actors, but did a fine job in the film. “The Story of Big Quinton” gives us a look at the actor who portrayed Michael Oher in the film and how uncanny the parallels in his life mirror that of Michael Oher’s. Lastly we get a series of “Sideline Conversations” between Sandra Bullock and Leigh Anne Tuohy as they was prophetic on the film and the life and times of one another. It’s actually pretty interesting. We also have a digital copy of the movie as well as the standard DVD if you don’t want to loan your Blu-ray copy out to anyone.

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