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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2010

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"The Kids Are All Right" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-november-2010-the-kids-are-all-right

Synopsis

Laser and Joni are the two teenage children of a a lesbian couple, Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Benning).  Joni has recently turned 18 and is soon going to be heading off to college, which Laser is a 15-year-old that doesn't really have much direction for his life currently.  Under some pressure from Laser, Joni contacts the sperm bank that their mom's used to conceive them and manage to track down their biological father, Paul (Mark Ruffalo).  While the meeting is a bit akward for everyone, both Laser and Joni manage to connect with Paul and want to keep seeing him, while both Jules and Nic worry about what this says about them as parents and about the structure of their family.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 46 min
  • Aspect Ratio:1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: VC-1
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Starring Annette Benning, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo
  • Directed by Lisa Cholodenko
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

Based on the trailer, I was expecting a film more in line with Juno, where there is a serious plot and message, but mostly a fun, good time.  However, this wound up being a far more serious film that I had assumed, but it was also a better film that I assumed.  Annette Benning and Julianne Moore pull off their roles perfectly, and Mark Ruffalo seems to have found his niche with the slightly irresponsible, not-quite-ready to grow up guy.  Overall, I thought it was a very enjoyable film, with a good amount of humor, but a lot of serious discussion as well.  Both Benning and Moore really deserve any awards nominations that they managed to pick up this year as well.

Technical

There is a fine grain visible for the whole film, but otherwise it looks great.  Not as detailed as a true reference quality title, but still very detailed, with great color and contrast, and never anything at all to distract me.  The soundtrack is mostly dialog focused, with the mix really opening up more when the soundtrack picks up, or Paul goes off on his motorcycle.  One scene in particular where we are supposed to be hearing the world from inside of Nic's head is particularly effective with the surrounds.

Extras

There is a directors commentary and a few featurettes.