Quantcast

Blindspotting (Blu-ray Review)

It bummed me out that I wasn’t able to make it to Blindspotting during its wider theatrical run. It seemed like I had a lot of time to catch it, but the stars never aligned just perfectly for me. Luckily, I do review Blu-rays, so now the opportunity has arisen and I’m jumping at it. And they are rewarding me with, of all things, an ATMOS track! This film that wow’d audiences at Sundance and SXSW makes it way home with two feature commentaries and some featurettes to boot. It looks like a nice little release given the circumstances or it not being a major wide venture. Hopefully it hangs around for some awards steam and gets a pick me up. You can pick it up on your own when arrives November 20th. Pre-order using the Amazon link below. 

Film 

Collin must make it through his final three days of probation for a chance at a new beginning in his Oakland, Calif., neighborhood. His bond with his volatile best friend soon gets tested when Collin sees a police officer shoot a suspect in the back during a chase through the streets. Things soon come to a head when the buddies attend a party at the upscale home of a young and wealthy tech entrepreneur.

Blindspotting is EVERYTHING. And I honestly mean that. The film features some of the best comedy of the year, the best dramatics, is socially relevant, has unique perspective, some of the best vision, script, suspense, dialogue…you name it. It runs the whole damn gamut. Carlos Lopez Estrada, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal’s little film hits in a big way. After viewing the film, you will have adventured through the entire spectrum of emotion and your brain will have gone through quite the depths of thought. THAT’s the best kind of film. And it does so in a way that never damns anyone nor does it feel hypocritical. Everyone in this movie has a mirror held up on them.

While cinema has seen characters, locales, scenarios and such with characters like the ones in Blindspotting, its not often we get one with an honest and fond approach to the material. A place like Oakland and its inhabitants is usually set for danger or being as a place and people one is trying to escape. What about the people that live there. That like living there, that want to make it a better place or just live their damn lives and not feel like they have to be better than their home? That’s what you get here. People having each other’s backs, people trying to help one another to make their lives better where they are. This movie is about perceptions, and our have always been a skewed one, so its nice to see truly misunderstood people presently honestly with their actions and knowing what they do isn’t where their heart is. And that these people CAN learn, they CAN improve.

The film isn’t just a nice drama with some great comedic character building. No, we wouldn’t be as over the moon if it was just straightforward. Its the way this is told is what makes it so great and even more effective. There are great visions, editing, lighting and powerful music cues to hammer home its points and thoughts. Language and communication at the performance level is really one of the most important tools as the back and forths between Daveed Diggs (Who gives quite possibly the best performance from a male this year) and Rafael Casal (Excellent in his own right) make this film like no other before or since. They have a very rhythm timed hip hop way of saying things that ends up culminating in some fantastic musical numbers that feel right at home with everything. Its intense, important and damnwell inspiring. You remember the last rap battle in 8-Mile that everyone wows at for the mic drop? This is that as a movie, but actually driving home important issues and done with a good performance. There is so much to sit and appreciate in this film that does SO MUCH with a smaller budget. You don’t needs hundreds of millions to make a larger than life entertaining film with such strong fantastical visuals.

As if you can’t tell, I’m over the moon for Blindspotting and totally kicking myself for not efforting better to get to the theater to see it. This is truly a movie that no matter how hard you try, you’ll stop everything you’re doing from start to finish because it just commands your attention. The film features some of the best dialogue, performances and visuals of the year. Without question its one of the BEST films of the year. There are three powerful voices behind this film in Carlos Lopez Estrada, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. I hope they are afforded future opportunities to tell these unique stories they want to tell and maybe someday all three can collaborate once again on another film. Blindspotting has my highest of recommends.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: A shame Lionsgate didn’t afford this one a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release, but I get it. With a more expensive new format and a newer, smaller film, its probably a little risky. However, this transfer is absolutely fantastic. The amount of sharpness and the crisp details will have you forgetting about that instantly. There is good use of color in this sharp image. This Blindspotting disc is about as top of the line as you can push the old standard Blu-ray format.

Depth:  The depth of field here is above average and all around solid. It mostly becomes impressive in the dream sequences and other heightened moments. Spacing is never and issue as there is a clear separation of character and environment. Movements are very natural and smooth.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty deep and inky. Shading is really terrific here and almost coming off very natural in the saturation. Details still shine through on dark items quite easily. No crushing witnessed at all during the viewing for this review.

Color Reproduction: Colors are rather natural and bold with a little bit of a peppy look thanks to the designer. Flashing moments with big red and blue filters are presented expertly. There is a nice glow from cigarette cherries, police cherries, and other little lights that emanate in darker moments.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from shot to shot, start to finish. Pores, stubble, scars, tatoos, wrinkles, dried blood, make-up and more come through like peering through a window from any distance in this impressive display.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: What a noble thing this movie has done, in bringing itself to Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos track. The mix isn’t full of above action, but the rolling sound and full environment experience allows for a nice, loose and natural feel to every scene. The mix is well balanced and features good free flowing loud and quiet moments that never feel abrupt, out of place or bleeding out any other aspects.

Height: There isn’t a whole lot to totally boast about here from above. Nothing flashy comes across, only things that are perfectly natural, like a voice yelling form an apartment window above, or music bouncing off of the ceiling and such.

Low Frequency Extension: Gunfire, punches landing and music beats lead the charge and the subwoofer really gives it a good pound.

Surround Sound Presentation: Every environment gets a lifelike approach from the surround speakers. However, when shit gets crazy, so does the mix for this film. Normalcy quickly whips you off your seat and stuff surprisingly hits you from one random direction to another. Its quite awesome, fitting and effective.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are the star of this film and they are crisp, capturing the diction of every actor to a T. They get loud and forceful at times and the mix really pushes a nice punch to them.

Extras 

Blindspotting comes with the DVD edition and a digital copy of the film.

Audio Commentary

  • With Director Carlos López Estrada
  • With Writers/Actors Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal

Straight from the Town: Making Blindspotting (HD, 26:18) – This little mini-doc takes us from the friendship of the two leads, everyone’s background and the unique language with which the film is told. There’s a lot of honest, meaty stuff here in a fascinating story told with interviews and behind the scenes footage.

Blindspotting Director’s Diary (HD, 17:11) – Carlos Lopez Estrada’s personal video footage shot by him through shooting the film in Oakland. Gives a nice look into rehearsals, being on location and the working relationships with the crew and cast members.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:18)

Summary 

Blindspotting is one of the year’s finest films, hand down. It will be a bit of a travesty if this one becomes forgotten come awards season. Lionsgate has put together a terrific Blu-ray package for the film. The video and audio are bot top of the line and there is a nice set of featurettes and commentaries that are quite a lot to chew on and aren’t overwhelming. This is the best you could certainly ask for in terms of a modern independent film released on Blu-ray.

Share

Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “Blindspotting (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Right? How great is this movie!