Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Blind Side (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
8 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Touhy
Tim McGraw as Sean Tuohy
Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher
Jae Head as S.J. Tuohy
Lily Collins as Collins Tuohy
Ray McKinnon as Coach Cotton
Kim Dickens as Mrs. Boswell
Adriane Lenox as Denise Oher
Kathy Bates as Miss Sue
Catherine Dyer as Mrs. Smith
Andy Stahl as Principal Sandstrom
Tom Nowicki as Literature Teacher

Special Features:
Michael Oher Exclusive
Sidelines: Conversations On The Blind Side
Acting Coaches: Behind The Blind Side
the Story Of Big Quinton
Additional Scenes

Includes Standard DVD Copy Of The Blind Side

Includes Digital Copy Of The Blind Side For Portable Media Players

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
DTS-HD MA 5.1
French and Spanish Language
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 129 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) knows little about family. Less about football. What the homeless teen knows are the streets and projects of Memphis. Well-to-do Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) knows little about his world. Yet when she and Michael meet, he's found a home. And the Tuohys have found something just as life-changing: a beloved new son and brother. This real-life story of family and of Michael's growth into a blue-chip football star will have you cheering with its mix of gridiron action and heartwarming emotion. Share the remarkable journey of the college All-American and first-round NFL draft pick who was a winner before he ever stepped onto the playing field."

"The Blind Side" is rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references.

Mini-Review:
On the surface "The Blind Side" looks like yet another sports movie. And there's no question that sports play a big part in the film. But the heart of the movie is a story about someone looking beyond race, class, and culture and helping another human being in need to rise to their full potential. Since that true story is so inspirational it's a bit easier to look beyond some of the film's flaws.

They do a good job looking at the situation from all aspects. We see Oher struggle with grades and apparent learning disabilities. We see him reluctant to take charity. We see Oher have to warm up to football and find a correct way to approach it similar to his academics. The Touhy's white family and friends also all question the wisdom of letting a strange black teen into their family. They even bring up the awkward question of having a teen daughter in the mix and keeping her safe. Then there's Oher's mother, problems with the NCAA, and more. It's interesting to see just how many challenges are thrown in front of these people along the way that must be overcome. Like I said, the football side of the story is quite secondary to everything else.

Sandra Bullock won Best Actress at the Oscars for her role as Leigh Anne Touhy. While I think that's more due to her likability in real life than due to her performance here, there's no question she did a good job in the role. The thick accent and socialite attire is a lot to get used to, but she's believable as someone who is comfortable taking charge of an upper class social scene or taking charge of a massive troubled African American teen. Quinton Aaron is also noteworthy as Michael Oher. Staying true to the real man, he doesn't say much in the film. But Aaron plays him in a way that makes the audience sympathetic to him along with Leigh Anne. Tim McGraw is also good as Sean Tuohy though he's definitely on the sidelines compared with everyone else. Jae Head as S.J. Tuohy is also a notable standout next to the gentle giant. I expect to see a lot of him in the future.

So why give this movie all this praise then rate it 7 out of 10? Well, it's a bit long. At over two hours in running time, the storytelling could have been tightened up a bit. There are some boring moments and there are some repetitive moments. Plus, as far as overall entertainment value goes, it simply felt like a 7 out of 10 to me. So there you go.

"The Blind Side" falls squarely under the category of 'feel good film.' If that appeals to you, then you're going to want to check this out. But if you're looking for a more straightforward sports film or you have a bit of cynicism in you, then you'll probably want to pass on this.

With movies based on true stories, I like the bonus features to tell me a bit about the real people and events. The extras on "The Blind Side" Blu-ray delivers that quite a bit. You get an interview with the real Michael Oher and you hear the events straight from him. You also see Sandra Bullock sit down and interview the real Leigh Anne Touhy. It's funny, entertaining, and you realize that Bullock really nailed down her character and mannerisms. You also see director/writer John Lee Hancock interview author Michael Lewis. "Acting Coaches: Behind The Blind Side" features the cameos by the various NCAA coaches seen in the movie. "The Story Of Big Quinton" features actor Quinton Aaron and you learn that his background isn't all that different from that of Michael Oher. Rounding things out are a few Additional Scenes, most of which are from the early scenes showing him in school.

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