South of Heaven (Blu-ray Review)

South of Heaven Blu-rayIn SOUTH OF HEAVEN, convicted felon Jimmy (Jason Sudeikis) gets early parole after serving twelve years for armed robbery. Upon his release he vows to give his girlfriend Annie (Evangeline Lilly), who is dying of cancer, the best last year of her life. But things are never that simple, and when he is given a “side job” from his parole officer (Shea Whigham), it sets off a series of events that leaves Jimmy in the crosshairs of a local crime boss (Mike Colter). Now, he must stop at nothing to save Annie and fight for whatever time they have left.


South of Heaven Blu-ray


Jimmy (Jason Sudeikis) is an ex-con who has been granted parole after serving twelve years for a botched bank robbery. He wants to get back to his girlfriend, Annie (Evangeline Lilly), who is dying of lung cancer. He wants to marry before she dies in a grand wedding ceremony. Schmidt (Shea Whigham) is Jimmy’s new boss and wants him to collect on a delivery from a rival gang boss. Just when Jimmy was trying to get out, they pull him back in, right?

On the surface, South of Heaven is a film that we’ve seen before. It utilizes some of the same conventions that other films of the genre, or sub-genre, use. This isn’t a bad thing because South of Heaven has some great and understated performances, especially Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis tends to embellish some of his past characters with a lot of humor, especially when he’s starring in an actual comedy. Here, it’s quite the opposite. Jimmy is a quiet non-brooding ex-con that has acquired a bit of a non-flashy skillset while locked up all those years. His one true motivation is his girlfriend.

The couple play off each other well and I never felt that their story or sub-plot was forced. It felt very natural, and I rooted for them during their time of turmoil. Once Whit Price (Mike Colter) is introduced, the film escalates to a more dangerous level. Price is the local kingpin, and nothing happens in his town without his permission. When he sets his sights out on Jason, things get heated.

As I write this, I must mention that as I was watching the film and for the first 80-90 minutes of it, I was enthralled. It was a cool little “prisoner reformed” type of tale. The ex-con with a heart of gold just wants to make things right with his dying girlfriend but these outside forces just won’t let him. There are times of scathing humor by supporting characters that are swiftly squashed before moving into a more sad or bleak situation. The bleak and sad situations start right after the 90-minute mark. It’s a two-hour film.

South of Heaven was co-written and directed by Aharon Keshales who co-wrote and directed Big Bad Wolves from a few years ago, which was one of the best films of that year. His writer/producer partner is Navot Papushado who co-wrote and directed Netflix’s Gunpowder Milkshake. I was not a fan of that film even though it was competently made. I think Keshales did a great job with South of Heaven and hope that more people seek it out. It’s worth a watch just for Jason Sudeikis’s performance.


South of Heaven Blu-ray


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Clarity/Detail: The transfer looks great for the most, but I had to dock a half-star due to some instances of softness in the picture. A smidge. Other than that, contrast and sharpness levels were spot on. It’s a great looking Blu-ray.

Depth: South of Heaven has a very naturalistic aesthetic. It has elements of a western and neo-noir, which makes the film look even bigger than what it is. The Blu-ray transfer highlights these factors beautifully.

Black Levels: Black levels were deep, inky, and free from crush.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is very refined. As bleak as the material can get at times, the color palette stays natural throughout.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tone look nice and natural.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


South of Heaven Blu-ray


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Dynamics: The lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix of this film is terrific. It has instances of being a slow burn until it’s not. When it hits full throttles, do does the soundtrack.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer handles the rumbles well enough in scenes involving car crashes and folks handling shotguns and other types of firearms.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels handle the ambiance quite well. When the action beats hit, you can hear people and objects rattle throughout the rear sound-field at times.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are clean, clear, and crisp.


South of Heaven Blu-ray


Both featurettes are standard EPK’s that are probably just over ten minutes combined. The filmmakers and cast talk about the project.


SOUTH OF HEAVEN  DVD and Blu-ray include the following bonus features:

      Meet the Cast

      The Making of SOUTH OF HEAVEN


South of Heaven Blu-ray


South of Heaven was an awesome little dramatic thriller. It does not reinvent the wheel but has enough heart and likeable characters that it does the job. The Blu-ray has great video and audio specs, with lackluster special features. South of Heaven highly recommended!


South of Heaven is released on

Blu-ray December, 14, 2021!


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South of Heaven Blu-ray


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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