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Take Shelter

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'Take Shelter' is an engaging, must-see film of 2011 with stellar performances, now on Blu-ray.

    Take Shelter Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • 'Take Shelter' Blu-ray boasts an exceptional 1080p transfer with vibrant colors, sharp details, and natural textures, despite minor flaws and inconsistencies reflective of its indie budget.

  • Audio
  • Take Shelter's Blu-ray features an immersive DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, with lifelike storms and subtle ambiances, though quieter scenes and dialogue may seem subdued.

  • Extra
  • Take Shelter Blu-ray extras offer detailed insights, from director and cast commentaries revealing behind-the-scenes facts and effects, to informative Q&A sessions and unique deleted scenes, elevating the viewing experience.

  • Movie
  • 'Take Shelter' melds gripping drama with prophetic nightmares, showcasing stellar performances and a tale of love, fear, and foresight against a backdrop of looming disaster.

    Video: 73

    Take Shelter" on Blu-ray showcases a commendable video presentation, characterized by its 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode and a wide 2.35:1 aspect ratio that lives up to the high standards often associated with Sony new releases. Viewers are treated to an image that boasts remarkable clarity, sharp details, and vibrant colors throughout. The release skillfully manages to capture the essence of every scene, from the natural textures and colors of the landscape to the delicate facial details and fabric textures, rendering a visual feast that remains consistent and dazzling across various scenes. Despite being a low-budget indie movie, the transfer achieves a premium quality that rivals that of higher-budget films, maintaining a balance of warm, natural tones in everyday scenes and a colder, muted palette during the nightmarish sequences, thus enhancing the storytelling through its visual palette.

    However, the Blu-ray isn't without minor flaws. Though the video quality is predominantly noise-free and meticulously detailed, it suffers from occasional inconsistencies such as slight compression noise in darker scenes and minimal use of Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) meant to clean up additional noise. These instances are few and might not detract from the overall viewing experience unless specifically sought out. Additionally, the black levels could have been stronger, with rare occurrences of aliasing noted. Nonetheless, these issues do little to mar an otherwise impressive video presentation that is free from overt digital manipulation, edge enhancement, banding, and artifacts, thereby preserving the film’s natural and intended appearance.

    In summary, the Blu-ray presentation of "Take Shelter" demonstrates Sony's commitment to high-quality transfers, offering an immersive viewing experience with its exceptional detail, color representation, and filmic texture. While not entirely flawless due to minor video quality inconsistencies and weaker black levels in certain scenes, these aspects do not significantly detract from what is predominantly an exemplary showcase of videographic excellence. With its efficacious use of color to differentiate narrative realities and maintenance of a clean, detailed image throughout, this release stands as a testament to how even low-budget films can achieve visual splendor on home media formats.

    Audio: 75

    Take Shelter" elevates its Blu-ray release with an audio presentation that is both thunderous and nuanced, captured in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack that is nothing short of reference-grade. From the opening scenes, the audio vividly recreates a tempest, enveloping the viewer in deep, booming thunder that embodies the physical and psychological storms at the heart of the narrative. The soundscape is meticulously crafted, with each rumble of machinery and patter of raindrops adding layers of realism. The bass frequencies, particularly during the storm and work scenes, are profound and impactful, resonating deeply with the viewer. Ambient sounds, like rain, contribute to the immersion, creating an almost tangible experience of weather that surrounds you.

    Beyond the mastery of atmospheric conditions, the soundtrack excels in clarity and balance across all elements. Dialogue emerges smooth and clear from the center channel, maintaining its presence amidst the dynamic range of background noises and music. The accuracy with which environmental sounds are rendered—ranging from subtle domestic moments to the commanding force of nature—is impressive. Meanwhile, the score is distributed with precision throughout the soundstage, enhancing the film's emotional depth without overwhelming the nuanced sound design.

    However, the mix does exhibit areas for improvement, notably in quieter scenes and with some vocal tracks that seem too subdued compared to the rest of the audio landscape. This appears to be a deliberate choice, likely intended to accentuate intimacy and tension, but it can sometimes leave dialogue competing for attention. Despite this, during moments of climactic weather or intense action, the soundtrack truly comes alive. The use of directional audio to track thunder or flocks of birds across the soundstage is exemplary, creating a genuinely immersive experience. This audio presentation underscores "Take Shelter" as an auditory marvel during its most tempestuous scenes, albeit with room for refinement in its quieter moments.

    Extra: 60

    The "Take Shelter" Blu-ray extras provide an enriching companion to the film, offering depth and insights not just into the film's production but into the creative minds behind it. The commentary with Director Jeff Nichols and Actor Michael Shannon stands out for its mix of professional insights and personal anecdotes, shedding light on their collaborative process and the nuances of the story and characters. The "Behind the Scenes of Take Shelter" featurette goes beyond typical promotional content, discussing not only the inspiration behind the film but also the practical challenges of bringing such a complex narrative to life with limited resources. It reveals the dedication of both cast and crew, highlighting the efforts to maintain high quality despite a tight schedule. The Q&A session adds further value, featuring heartfelt discussions about the characters and themes. Deleted scenes offer a glimpse at what might have been, providing context and additional layers to the narrative. Overall, these extras serve not only as a testament to the film's artistic achievements but also as an invaluable resource for fans and students of cinema alike.

    Extras included in this disc:

    Audio Commentary: A detailed track featuring Director Jeff Nichols and Actor Michael Shannon.

    Behind the Scenes of Take Shelter: Insights into the making of the film, including casting, themes, and visual effects.

    Q&A with Michael Shannon & Shea Whigham: A SAG Foundation moderated session providing deep dives into character development and scene analysis.

    Deleted Scenes: Two scenes offering additional context to the narrative.

    Theatrical Trailer: The official trailer for "Take Shelter".

    Previews: A selection of trailers for other Sony titles.

    BD-Live: Access to online Blu-ray features.

    Movie: 78

    Take Shelter," presented on Blu-ray by Sony, is a masterfully crafted drama, earning not only its high-quality release but also acclaim for its intricate story and remarkable performances. At its core, the film delves into the psyche of Curtis, played with fervent intensity by Michael Shannon, a man plagued by apocalyptic visions that threaten the fabric of his otherwise normal life. Residing in a modest home with his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain) and their deaf daughter, Curtis's life spirals as these nightmarish visions become increasingly vivid. The character-driven narrative beautifully captures the unraveling of his domestic life and his descent into obsession, as he clandestinely prepares for the foreseen cataclysm, risking financial security and straining marital trust.

    Director Jeff Nichols crafts a tense atmosphere, paralleling Curtis’s growing dread with an impending storm that symbolizes the tumultuous battle within. The film’s comparison to a darker "Field of Dreams" resonates deeply, portraying a man driven by unseen forces to act against conventional wisdom, facing societal and familial alienation. Unlike the clear-cut magical realism of "Field of Dreams," "Take Shelter" thrives in the ambiguity of its protagonist's visions, leaving viewers pondering over the nature of Curtis's experiences - a divine prophecy or the inheritance of his mother's schizophrenia. This uncertainty is the film's allure, enhanced by Nichols’s subdued yet effective visual style and the haunting Midwest backdrop that complements the tension.

    The technical prowess of the Blu-ray presentation accentuates the film’s eerie tone and emotional depth. The cinematography vividly captures both the serenity and ominous foreboding of the Midwestern setting, mirroring Curtis’s fluctuating state of mind. Michael Shannon delivers a powerhouse performance, skillfully navigating Curtis's internal turmoil and external resolve. His portrayal, along with Jessica Chastain's compelling turn as Samantha, anchors the film’s exploration into themes of destiny, mental health, and familial bonds. "Take Shelter" is not merely a tale of apocalyptic premonition but an introspective look at the complexities of human perception, choice, and love, making it an essential viewing experience deserving of its critical praise and technical merit on Blu-ray.

    Total: 70

    Take Shelter" emerges as a profoundly compelling film, inviting its audience into a deeply immersive narrative that commands engagement rather than passive observation. This cinematic journey navigates the turbulent waters of psychological struggle and societal conformity through the eyes of its lead, portraying a poignant battle between external conformity pressures and the internal compulsion towards personal truth. Enhanced by its methodical pacing, enigmatic storyline that retains its mystery until an unforgettable climax, and remarkable cinematography, "Take Shelter" offers a quintessentially novel experience within the contemporary film landscape. The stellar performances by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain not only anchor the film's emotional weight but elevate the entire narrative to a level of intimacy and intensity seldom seen in relationship dramas. It stands as a testament to character-driven storytelling, marked by a profound understanding of human nature and moral dilemmas.

    On the technical front, Sony's Blu-ray release delivers an exceptional home viewing experience. While it narrowly misses perfection, attributed to minor visual compression issues and slight digital noise reduction, these detractors do little to diminish the overall quality. The audiovisual presentation is commendably faithful to the original theatrical experience, with video quality that supports the film's stunning photography and an audio mix that excels in the more dynamic sequences. Supplemental features exceed expectations for an independent film of this scale, offering valuable insights into its production and thematic depth.

    In conclusion, "Take Shelter" is an essential addition to the collections of cinephiles appreciating nuanced storytelling and technical execution. Its Blu-ray release not only makes this underappreciated gem more accessible but does so with a presentation that respects its artistic integrity. Despite some minor shortcomings in video compression, the release stands out for its robust audiovisual quality and thoughtful inclusion of extras. "Take Shelter" firmly establishes itself as a must-see drama of emotional resonance, technical merit, and narrative innovation.