Descendants, The

Featured In Issue 166, April 2012

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Language inculding some sexual references
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Alexander Payne
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants chronicles a detached father's attempt to reconnect with his two daughters and their quest for truth. Matt King (Clooney) is an indifferent husband and father of two girls, living in Hawaii, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident. The event forces him to re-connect with his daughters while he wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a conversation with George Clooney and Alexander Payne (HD 11:58); two deleted scenes with director introductions (HD 05:46); the following featurettes: Everybody Loves George (HD 07:27), Working With Alexander (HD 13:34), The Real Descendants (HD 12:06), Hawaiian Style (HD 16:47), Casting (HD 08:11), Working With Water (HD 10:58) and Waiting For The Light (HD 02:52); three music videos (HD 10:28); the silent film The World Parade—Hawaii (HD 09:55); the theatrical trailer; up-front previews; and a digital copy.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is underdeveloped in the sense that is really undistinguished in terms of image quality. The appearance is mediocre, with a subdue color palette that lacks vibrancy but favors naturalism. Fleshtones are not particularly accurate, exhibiting a yellowish tone. Contrast is well balanced, but blacks are shy of deep hue, but shadow delineation is revealing. Resolution is unremarkable, with generally softly focused imagery, except for some close-ups. There is also a light layer of grain, which accentuates the filmic quality. For a nominated Best Picture, this is surprisingly a mediocre picture experience. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is conventional and mediocre. Surround envelopment is limited to the Hawaiian-flavored music, with subtle surround envelopment. Dialogue is intelligible but often wanting in spatial delineation. Atmospherics are limited to the front soundstage. Deep bass is absent, with virtually no .1 LFE energy. This is an unremarkable soundtrack experience. (Gary Reber)