Terms Of Endearment – Paramount Presents (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Paramount Presents has become something for collector’s and film lovers to look forward to, as they strive to put very wanted titles onto Blu-ray and 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray or to upgrade previous releases to (ideally) better editions. November sees the release of highly decorated Academy Award winner, including Best Picture, Terms of Endearment onto 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. This edition will include a new Filmmaker Focus interview with director James L. Brooks as well as a commentary. You can order the film by scrolling all the way down to the bottom of this page and clicking on the paid Amazon Associate link.



Widow Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger), have a strong bond, but Emma marries teacher Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels) against her mother’s wishes. When the marriage grows sour due to Flap’s cheating, Emma eventually splits from him, returning to her mother, who is involved with a former astronaut (Jack Nicholson). Soon, Emma learns that she has terminal cancer. In the hospital, supported by Aurora, she tries to make peace with Flap and her children.

Terms of Endearment was nominated for an astounding 11 Academy Awards, taking home 5 of them. And run through of it and its easy to see why and not even argue the result. The film sells dramedy in the highest order with some of the finest writing and acting put to the screen. The film is a powerhouse of relationships, laughter and sadness. Movies are meant to evoke emotions and this one is almost an sampler platter of all of them, but a tasty meal all its own.

Things really stink when multiple people from the same film get put up for the same award. This film somewhat centers around Debra Winger and almost hinges on her throughout. However, she didn’t home the trophy. Her costar, the equally worthy Shirley MacLaine did. Winger has a screen presence unique to her own and perhaps this is her finest hour in showcasing it. She’s provided gold on the page and delivers platinum in her performance.

One of the things that hit me this time around watching (Aside from now being more emotional than before from being a parent) was at how religion plays zero factor in this movie. Everything that happens in this movie, every conflict, every challenge is dealt with in completely human ways. Considering the film was made and delivered in 1983, that’s quite a triumph. On top of that, a box office sensation as well. We were amid the heat of a moral panic and a rise in conservatism and religion at the time and you’d think there’d be some sort of presence (Even if the book had none) to open up to the times. Thankfully, there is none and it allows the film to reach a much wider audience in that sense and get people to see themselves in it all.

Its quite incredible that Terms of Endearment was James L. Brooks directorial debut and he cleaned up at the Academy Awards. But he was able to capture not only the best of the people here, but the best of his source material as well. With the load of nominations, you can see the best people were operating at their best. The sign of an incredibly steered ship. And the film itself is one that holds back nothing, wears its emotion on its sleeve and makes all the right, human choices to be able to easily stand the test of time. When things are clearly human, they age well with the humans.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Terms of Endearment debuts on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a transfer from the original camera negative reviewed and approved by James L. Brooks. Its a nice, impressive look at the film that doesn’t go overboard with some of the tech they could have used. And it must be said, the opening scenes feature some of the best soft, fuzzy photography used for flashbacks I’ve ever seen on either Blu-ray or 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. This features a nice saturation of color, good depth and many nice instances of strong details throughout.

Depth: Depth of field is strong with a nice, big scenes of scale through open spaces in the exteriors and pushback down the halls of the homes and building in the film. Movements are cinematic and smooth with no issues from rapid motions or camera movements causing jitter or blur.

Black Levels: Black levels are natural and deep here. There is some nice shadow work and nighttime scenes here that prove both deep and also impressive in the amount of details that come through. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are natural and weave a nice palette of consistency throughout. There are some nice fabrics that pop throughout, contrasting with many the more rustic flavors. HDR helps to refine and give a stronger definition to some of them.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are remarkable in fine details and information.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, German 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, French 2.o Mono Dolby Digital, Italian 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch

Dynamics: Terms of Endearment retains the 5.1 mix from the previous standard Blu-ray edition. Its a nice, clean mix, but really a 2.0 track in stereo probably would compliment the film best. There are no qualms with it, but the film doesn’t really demand much of 5 channels.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer is really light here, mostly humming music or making nice accents on natural sounds with the foley work in the film.

Surround Sound Presentation: Mostly using the rear channels as ambiance here, there may be a couple moments where they do something pertinent to onscreen activity. This hangs out mainly up front and does well with tracking onscreen activity.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Vocals are crisp and clear.


Terms of Endearment in first pressing, comes with a slip cover that folds open to reveal the original poster art for the film. It also comes with the standard Blu-ray disc and a redeemable digital copy. All bonus material found on the standard Blu-ray disc.

Audio Commentary

  • with director James L. Brooks, co-producer Penney Finkelman Cox, and production designer Polly Platt

Filmmaker Focus with James L. Brooks (HD, 13:57) – “I read the book, and at that point I had only cried once in my life”. This new interview with James L. Brooks also includes vintage interview clips from him, Debra Winger. Brooks said it was important for the movie to be a comedy because of the somber ending, but the ending made it live on as a drama which he feels it is not. His discussion is heavily focused on the performers in the film.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 4:50)


Terms of Endearment is exactly the kind of film we say we want to see box office success in nowadays. And today, it still holds up just as strong as it did 40 years ago. Paramount celebrates it with this new 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release that has a terrific transfer and a nice pair of extras. Film alone is a must own, your valued price on it may vary.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com). He is also the Moderator/MC of the Live Podcast Stage and on the Podcast Awards Committee for PopCon (popcon.us). In the past 10 years at Why So Blu, Brandon has amassed over 1,500 reviews of 4K, Blu-ray and DVD titles.

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