Sapphires, The

Featured In Issue 179, September 2013

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Anchor Bay Entertainment
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Sexuality, a scene of war violence, some language, thematic elements and smoking
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Color With B/W Sequences
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Wayne Blair
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Four smart, gutsy young women become unlikely stars in the most unlikely of places, with the most unlikely of allies, in The Sapphires. Set in 1968, the film follows Gail (Mailman), Cynthia (Tapsell), Julie (Mauboy), and Kay (Sebbens) as they seize a risky, but irresistible, chance to launch a professional career singing for U.S. troops in Vietnam. Under the guidance of an R&B-loving Irish musician, Dave Loveface (O'Dowd), the girls transform themselves into a sizzling soul act and set out to make a name for themselves hundreds of miles from home. Inspired by a true story, this is a celebration of music, family, and self-discovery. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 09:42), an interview with the original Sapphires (HD 05:46), and the music with Jessica Mauboy (HD 06:16).

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture is naturally photographed with a rich and warm color palette. Hues are nicely saturated and vibrant. Fleshtones are naturally rendered throughout. The result is a fantastic visual vibrancy. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. The Vietnam sequences also are vibrantly hued and natural in appearance. Detail is superb, with resolution expressive of fine nuances in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Clarity is impressive, with a touch of fine film grain that creates a film-like appearance. This is a reference-quality picture throughout. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dynamic and natural sounding, with a driving soul music score. Atmospherics are convincingly environmental, with appropriate sound effects interspersed to enhance dynamic impact. Bass extension sounds absolutely natural and enhanced with nuanced .1 LFE energy that deepens the impact. While the music is spatially enhanced with subtle surround, the sound effects, such as helicopters and artillery explosions, are effectively aggressive and directionalized, as well as spatially suggestive of distance, whether distant, close artillery, or terrifying gunfire. Dialogue is naturally presented with convincing spatial delineation. This is a well-balanced sonic experience that effectively shifts from frontal focus to spatial soundfield envelopment. This is a perfect complement to an exceptional picture presentation. (Gary Reber)