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Down The Shore (Blu-ray Review)

Down-The-ShoreHave things been going good lately?  Are you feeling happy?  Wanting to kick it down many notches?  Down The Shore will gladly help you out.  As a big fan of Famke Jannsen and finding James Gandolfini a plus when added to any cast, I was able to find medium expectations prior to viewing Down the Shore.  While it pretty much delivers on the performance front, its rather a downer movie that slightly tests your patience.  It has really no light spirit anywhere to be found.  I just wish for a second this film or somebody in it could have cracked just the tiniest little smile.  I understand the subject matter is a downer, but still.  The film tries to be the furthest thing from “feel good movie” as it can.  Some decent performances surround a film that tries to embrace a group’s depression over a lost loved one while unraveling their past’s dark secrets and confronting them once and for all.

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Film

Bailey (James Gandolfini) is visited by a French man (Edoardo Costa) one regular afternoon while at work.  The man is the husband of his sister (Maria Dizzia) and is there to deliver him her ashes and a note with her final words to him.  Bailey also discovers his sister left her husband her half of the house she owned with him.  While struggling to deal with the loss and this new person in his life, Bailey consoles with his lifelong friends and neighbors, Mary and Wylie (Famke Jannsen and Joe Pope).  Wiley is turning to drugs and pressuring higher rates on Bailey as he owns his business.  A dark secret is revealed and finally confronted in this depressing tale.

This whole film reeked of a project to garner James Gandolfini some awards season attention.  His character is prime focus and the script calls for him to go through every range of emotion in the book.  He’s pretty good, but he’s also just typical James Gandolfini.  If you’ve seen him in one thing, you’ve seen him here.  Maria Dizzia is limited to just a brief scene in the beginning, but charms the screen leaving a lasting impression on the rest of the film.  Everyone else is solid, with the exception being John Magaro who maybe goes a bit too far with his role.

Down The Shore is just kind of a bummer of a movie.  It keeps trying to move from one depressing event to the next.  And a lot of it feels rather unnecessary.  The twists and character development is pretty cliché.  You can see just about every turn and character development elements coming from a mile away.  Plenty of the events seem rather forced, too.  There’s really nothing here you haven’t seen elsewhere.

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Video

Down The Shore comes to you with a 1080 MPEG-4 AVC encode with a 1:78:1 presentation.  The film carries a very light layer of grain.  The picture is a very dull one.  There are not a lot of strong colors to embolden it.  The film takes place in a period between fall or spring and winter, so I’m guessing this is kind of the point.  In a few close up shots in scenes there is some minor flickering on the skin of the face of the characters.  Aside from that, the detail is good for a majority of the film, at times letting up, but on most occasion well defined.

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Audio

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is a nice, serviceable accompaniment to the film.  The film itself really doesn’t demand much from its soundtrack, but it does well enough when needed.  There was a scene in a bar that really gives the viewer a great sense of its environment and wonderfully utilized its volume and 5.1 capabilities.

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Extras

Down The Shore contains no extras.  The trailer for Border Run appears before the main menu.

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Summary

If you’re looking for an indie drama dealing in coping with the death of a loved one, adding some twists in its plot, Down The Shore is up your alley.  The film is a little too dour, but someone looking for a conventional indie drama may find some good within it.  The film has a pretty good audio/video presentation and delivers solid performances from its cast.  On the downside, the disc features no insight or additional supplements that may provide a better appreciation of the film.  I say pass, but others may find some light in this sad tale.

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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 “Down The Shore (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Brian White

    At least it had Famke in it.