The Power of Injustice
Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray Review
Boasting a stunning star turn from Matthew McConaughey, possibly reaching the pinnacle of his recent career resurgence, Dallas Buyers Club champions the true story of the ultimate underdog with passion and prescience.Charting the tragic tale of Dallas cowboy Ron Woodroof, who finds himself HIV-positive and given just 30 days to live, the film explores the alternative path Woodroof takes when he finds that the FDA-approved medication offered Stateside just isn’t doing him any good. Crossing the border to Mexico, Woodroof finds a positive improvement from non-FDA-approved drugs and decides to share his discovery with a larger US HIV-positive populace – illegally of course – helping him slowly embrace a subculture that he had previously dismissed through sheer prejudice.
Steeped in striking injustice, Dallas Buyers Club gets right under your skin, hitting you repeatedly with the sheer stupidity of the whole FDA-approved medication system – the insanity of taking a 50:50 chance of either getting dosed with a drug that kills your cells rampantly, or, unbeknownst to you, just a pure placebo; charting the lives of the very real human beings suffering at the heart of this fiasco.These events are all seen through the eyes of a man who, himself, undergoes some almost spiritual changes to see the reality of the situation he, and those like him, are in. McConaughey, following off a superb hit streak of master performances in everything from Killer Joe to Mud; Magic Mike to The Paperboy; The Wolf of Wall Street to True Detective – and soon to be taking the lead in Nolan’s highly anticipated Interstellar – is on fire here, stripped down to just skin and bones but with no less passion and energy, matched only in performance by Jared Leto’s transgender fellow HIV-sufferer.
Indeed their performances are so great that they even bring the best out of the supporting cast, including the generally lightweight Jennifer Garner. Dallas Buyers Club is a must-see drama for McConaughey alone, but its power is far greater than just that, taking you on a heartbreaking journey which will make you feel equal parts moved and outraged.
Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray Picture QualityDallas Buyers Club hits UK shores on a Region B-locked Blu-ray which delivers a 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.4:1 widescreen. Detail is excellent, allowing us clinical close-up observation of skin textures, clothing weaves and background touches, bringing characters, sets and scenery to life, with no signs of digital issues – no edge enhancement, no excessive DNR application, no banding or aliasing.
Although the muted tones and intentional style of the piece preclude this from being quite demo material, it remains a faithful presentation.
The colour scheme is largely muted – as intended – with plenty of pastel tones and only a few stronger primaries that stand out in the range. Black levels are marginally troublesome, with a hint of crush, but overall it doesn’t affect your enjoyment of the movie or its entirely faithful, and largely very good, presentation.
Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray Sound QualityThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is equally faithful, and with no reservations whatsoever. Dialogue-driven, the spoken words are presented clearly and coherently and largely dominate the frontal array where necessary. Effects are entirely atmospheric, never bombastic, though never understated either, with the LFE channel always on hand to get involved in the proceedings, underpinning even the least likely noises with a deeper, more guttural undertone. Crowd noises boom, and bustling waiting rooms – or court rooms – heave, and traffic noises produce a welcome mechanically-derived input of growling engines.
Proudly reserved and unexpectedly immersive, Dallas Buyers Club boasts a strong audio accompaniment.
The score furthers the impressive delivery, allowing yet more surround activity, and further LFE input, whilst never smothering the rest of the proceedings. With keen directionality and skilful sound design, this is a surprisingly potent offering, despite the relative limitations of the material.
Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray ExtrasA tiny 4-minute EPK-style background Featurette, and about 5 minutes of Deleted Scenes is all we get in terms of Extras. Shocking.
Is Dallas Buyers Club Blu-ray Worth Buying
Raw and unflinchingly powerful, this movie deserves to be seen for McConaughey's performance alone, not to mention the compelling true story.
This Region B-locked UK release boasts strong video and audio and, despite the almost complete lack of extras, makes for a must-have purchase and arguably even a blind buy. Highly recommended.
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