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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2013

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"Promised Land" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-April-2013-Promised

Synopsis

Corporate salesman Steve Butler (Damon) has been dispatched to the rural town of McKinley with his sales partner (McDormand) to offer much-needed relief to the economically hard-hit residents in exchange for drilling rights to their properties. What seems like an easy job for the duo quickly becomes complicated by a respected schoolteacher, a slick environmental activist (Krasinski), and Steve's interest in a local woman. As they grapple with a surprising array of both open hearts and closed doors, the outsiders soon discover the strength of an American small town at a crossroads.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2013, PG-13, 1 Hr 47 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand
  • Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I was surprised that this was not the “environmental” movie I thought it would be. Instead, it was a very thoughtful and well paced film about discovering oneself and deciding what is really important in life. Coupled with beautifully shot pastoral scenes and great acting, the story held my interest to the (yes, somewhat predictable) end. I enjoyed Hal Holbrook's understated, yet potent, acting role as the school teacher. Damon does well in a non-action hero role. You, the audience, are left to decide if money from the Corporation is good for a dying town or is it only “selling your soul to the Devil”. This is a good grown-up movie that will probably not appeal to the under 12 crowd.

 Technical

The beautiful cinematography was enhanced by a very sharp 1080p transfer. Colors, details and contrast are excellent. The audio is dialog heavy, but the music soundtrack is wonderfully full bodied and all encompassing.

Extras

Extras are bit thin with some deleted scenes and a featurette. A DVD, UV and digital copy are also included.