This Is Where I Leave You (Blu-ray Review)

This is Where I Leave You -“When their father passes away, four grown siblings bruised and banged up by their respective adult live are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof.” Looking at it from that angle one would say that it makes for some awkwardness but when you see who the cast of characters is then that just compounds the situation in a big way. The proverbial hijinks will ensue moniker definitely comes to mind when visiting This Is Where I Leave You. With a cast like this I would not doubt it.  


This Is Where I Leave You


As the log line states – when four siblings move back home with their mother during their time of grieving hijinks will most definitely ensue. They are mourning in the tradition of Shiva, which as the film describes, is 7 days of sitting inside the home of where the deceased person lived. What sets that gag up in a particularly scathing way are that the deceased was an Atheist and his wife played by Jane Fonda was non-Jewish. Believe me, in context, it’s a funny gag, and sets the film up nicely. Please be reminded that this film is rated R for a reason.

Aside from religious gags the main plot of the story is of Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) who is having a pretty terrible week since his father passed away while he was having some marriage difficulties at home. Wendy (Tina Fey), Phillip (Adam Driver), and Paul (Corey Stoll), the siblings, also come in tow to mourn. Of course they bring all of their baggage along with them and I don’t mean luggage. Wendy is having problems with her a-hole husband and still reminisces what it would have been like if she had stayed in town and gone off with the neighbor across the street played by Timothy Olyphant. Paul and his wife are desperately trying to have a baby and it’s wrecking their lives. Phillip is the youngest of the brood and he’s out to have a good time and really has no direction in life. He’s also dating his therapist played by Connie Britton.

Yep, it’s really one whacky game how when you think about it. Judd is our protagonist and we follow him along as he deals with the loaded hand he’s been dealt in life. It’s certainly not easy for him to just drop everything back home with his potential ex-wife to come and stay at his childhood home to mourn. The problems everyone has are not limited to the people with them. In the Altman home a person’s problems become everyone else’s problems.

When This Is Where I Leave You hit theaters I didn’t really pay attention to the film thinking that it would be an actual comedy-comedy, because I don’t remember it being marketed it as one. This changed when I popped the Blu-ray in the player and started laughing out loud within the first five minutes. The film does work as a dramatic-comedy and it does hit the right notes when it needs to without beating you over the head with one or the other. I appreciated that.

The film was directed by Shawn Levy (Reel Steel, Night At The Museum Trilogy), who I’m not biggest fan of, and was written by Jonathan Tropper based off of his novel. In watching some of the special features you can tell that this film is about a 180-degree spin from what Levy normally does in terms of family and whatnot. The film is also rated R and I don’t remember the last time Levy directed one of those. Levy talks highly about the source material and he seems passionate enough about it that he had to get it made.

The casting of the film was perfect. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, etc., do a great job and play off of each other effortlessly. I wasn’t too familiar with Adam Drive since I don’t watch Girls but he was great. My boy Corey Stoll (The Strain) was great, as well. Jane Fonda pretty much sealed the deal with her role as Hillary, the grieving and unfiltered widow. Some of the supporting characters were also great and played roles well. This Is Where I Love You is surprisingly deep and very funny. If you missed it in theaters then now is the perfect time to catch up. I’m glad I gave it a shot on Blu-ray.


This Is Where I Leave You


Encoding: AVC MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: This Is Where I Leave You looks pretty good on Blu-ray, quite above average actually, but doesn’t hit the reference mark in terms of video quality – few actually do. This high definition image does look great and I did not spot any instances of aliasing or contrast fluctuations. Details are retained.

Depth: The level of depth is consistent and for being a comedy the overall look of the film is actually quite bright. The Blu-ray conveys that although there’s some rough material tow work with the film does not have to look dark and dreary.

Black Levels: There are a few scenes that take place at night and in darkened interiors and those scenes look great. I did not spot crush or compression. Black levels were deep and inky.

Color Reproduction: Again, the film is a bit bright and colorful. I did not notice any pixilation or banding issues throughout the film. In fact, there’s a very pastel-like quality to the overall look of the film.

Flesh Tones: This is the one where I have to knock off points for. For some reason all of the women (at least 90% of them minus Rose Byrne) look a tad on the over polished “waxy” side. I want to go with the notion that maybe the make-up artist used way too much base make-up on some of the characters that they literally covered up the details on their faces. Byrne looks the most natural of them all but everyone else looks somewhat waxy. This really comes through on high definition, which is why it’s a bit distracting.

Noise/Artifacts: Noise and artifacts were not a problem on this Blu-ray.


This Is Where I Leave You


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Dynamics: Loud. That’s the word for this lossless track and it doesn’t mean it’s loud just to be loud. From the opening song and titles you will see that the filmmakers wanted to immerse you into the film and the mixers on the soundboards also had that intention when mixing this lossless soundtrack. I cannot remember the last time a comedy sounded this good and this isn’t even an action-oriented comedy.

Low Frequency Extension: The subwoofer channel gives the bass a nice push only when needed. There are a couple of scenes with some nice low-end flourishes.

Surround Sound Presentation: Ambience was handled superbly by the rear speakers, as were any off-camera effects, crowds, voices, and directional action. Remember, this is still a pretty grounded drama-comedy but it’s an active one.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is crystal clear and I did not spot any inconsistencies with what came through the center channel. Pristine would be a word that I would use to describe dialogue reproduction.


This Is Where I leave You


The special features on this Blu-ray edition of This Is Where I Leave You are quite plentiful. There’s an audio commentary with the writer of the book/film and director of the film in addition to a couple of featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes, etc.

  • Points of Departure (HD) – This featurette is separated into four segments that cover: The Brother-Sister Bond, The Matriarch, Sibling Rivals, and Choreographed Chaos. They’re basically interviews with the cast featured in the film.
  • The Narrative Voice  – There are two “narrative voice” features on this Blu-ray. The first one is this lively audio commentary featuring Jonathan Tropper, who wrote the book and screenplay, and director Shawn Levy.
  • The Narrative Voice (HD) – This second part of the “narrative voice” is an interview with Jonathan Tropper and Shawn Levy.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD) – Over thirteen minutes of deleted scenes are presented in high definition. At first glance you would think that they needed to be restored but if they had been the tone of the film would have been very different and not necessarily in a good way.
  • The Gospel According to Boner (HD) – Here are various outtakes featuring Ben Schwartz.



This Is Where I Leave You


This Is Where I Leave You isn’t necessarily a sappy family “dramedy” but it does hit those dramatic notes on occasion while bringing it back down a notch and keeping it funny. When you have a bunch of comedic actors involved I often wonder how much is improvised and how much of it is in the script. I’m sure it could have gone either way during the film shoot. The Blu-ray is above average in terms of video/audio specs and the special features are slightly above average, as well. This Is Where I Leave You is recommended.


Order This Is Where I Leave You on Blu-ray!

This Is Where I Leave You - Relationship Chart

This is Where I Leave You


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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