Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda
Release Date: Own it today on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD & Digital HD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 9.5/10
When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide-driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.
‘This Is Where I Leave You’ tells the story of four now grown siblings, all of whom are off on their own and involved in their own separate lives, who return to their childhood home where their mother still resides following their father’s passing. Upon returning home, they must all agree to live under the same roof for seven days at the behest of their father’s final request, for them to abide by a Jewish mourning routine, regardless of the fact they were never Jewish. As these four who have been away for so long return to their hometown, they are confronted by new and rekindled questions and emotions as they must deal with everything from old loves, lost loves and friends and family not seen for far too many years. Soon it begins to feel as if everything is different, which by the end of their stay, it just might be.
The film is directed by Shawn Levy (Real Steel, The Internship, Night at the Museum) who does a fantastic job at the helm of a film quite outside his usual more one dimensional comedies. His passion for this story is clear in the care and detail he takes guiding it, directing from a screenplay by Jonathan Tropper who adapts his own novel. ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ also includes a talented and more than capable cast, including the likes of Jason Bateman, Tina Fey (in what is easily one of her best performances), Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Timothy Olyphant, Rose Byrne and a number more, all of whom deliver solid performances in each of their respective roles.
Fantastic, emotional, both heartwarming and heartbreaking at times and yet all the while, downright hilarious; ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ is definitely not a film to be missed. These days there is certainly no shortage of either raunchy comedies or emotional drama’s, but it’s a rare occasion where both of these genres come together and also manage to pull it off so flawlessly; bringing some real heart and touching on relatable family issues. The cast plays off each other surprisingly well which is a huge contributing factor to how well this movie works. The interaction between Bateman and Fey is one of the most impressive aspects here; the two have such amazing chemistry together that you can really buy them as brother and sister in every way. If you’re looking for an emotional and powerful film that really gets to the root of families and also manages to keep you continually laughing throughout, then I would highly recommend ‘This Is Where I Leave You’, an incredibly well done movie that is definitely more than worth the watch.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.4:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic overall, the colors are sharp, the background, movement and all aspects of the presentation appearing detailed and smooth throughout, with no notable faults to be found within on my end. Fans and newcomers to this wonderful film alike should be extremely pleased with this more than satisfactory high definition video presentation.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. While it comes as no surprise considering the nature of the movie, the surround channels on this lossless soundtrack don’t get too much of a workout, but are nonetheless utilized quite nicely whenever the option is presented, providing background noise in group gatherings, along with other tiny bits of surrounding audio effects in outdoor sequences and whenever properly fitting. None of this makes this 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack any less impressive as it continually delivers clear and discrete dialogue and beautifully accentuates those emotional moments.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ includes a pretty nice collection of bonus content. Included on the release is ‘The Narrative Voice: A Commentary with Shawn Levy and Jonathan Tropper’ which in simpler terms is an audio commentary with the director and writer, as well as ‘The Narrative Voice: A Discussion with Shawn Levy and Jonathan Tropper’; plus a number of short featurette’s exploring the lead characters and featuring interviews and input by the cast and crew. These short featurette’s are collected in ‘Points of Departure’ which includes the multiple featurette’s within (all able to viewed separately of course and not bundled together), one focusing on the relationship between Jason Bateman and Tina Fey’s characters, another on Jane Fonda’s character, plus a look at Adam Driver’s portrayal of Phillip and lastly one that examines director Shawn Levy’s personal attraction to the story and his tackling of the film as director. A separate short featurette focusing on Ben Schwartz’s hilarious role titled ‘The Gospel According to Rabbi Boner’ is also included. Last but certainly not least, we are treated to a number of Deleted Scenes, approximately thirteen minutes worth to be more precise.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.