The Blind Side is one of those movies that kinda sneaks up on you. When I first went into it I was ready to resist what I felt was going to be pretty blatant manipulation of my emotions. After all, the film deals with the uplifting story of a woman who takes in a virtually homeless giant of a man and helps turn him into a productive member of society and an NFL star to boot. That’s what I call a happy ending.
For a more in-depth review of the movie itself, Shannon Hood’s take is pretty much the same as mine. That said, I do like Sandra Bullock and find her appealing in almost any role. Also, Quinton Aaron as the young man she takes under her wing and turns into an NFL superstar does a great job without much previous experience. Sure, the film is, at times, blatantly manipulative, but that’s okay.
When you go into a film like this you expect to be pushed and pulled and unless you’re not human, you will feel emotion. I know I did. It’s a great story that reminds us all of the possibilities that life has to offer. And that’s something we should all try to remember, especially when things look bad.
The film is a times touching, poignant and also tends to hammer it’s points home a bit too hard once in awhile. Maybe the filmmakers thought the audience wouldn’t get the message? I hope not because the message seems right there on the surface for all to see. The film isn’t subtle and isn’t trying to hind anything, it just is.
Bullock’s performance elevates the film to the level it achieved but without her and Aaron, it may have been labeled as a glorified TV movie. But that would have been a disservice to the film. It does rise above that status and manages to become something else.
Turning to the more technical aspects of the film, the Blu-ray presentation is adequate without being overwhelming. Warner Bros. usually does a good job with it’s releases and this disk is no exception. The beauty of the High Def format is more well-suited to spectacle films and as such a smaller movie like this, while well shot, doesn’t really do anything amazing in High Def. Still, the movie is easy to watch and their are no discernible artifacts or other problems to detract from the viewing experience. The sound mix and transfer is similarly adequate.
The special features with this movie include The Real Michael Oher: An Exclusive Interview, Acting Coaches: Behind the Blind Side, The Story of Big Quinton, Sideline Conversations: Sandra Bullock & Leigh Anne Tuohy, Sideline Conversations: Director John Lee Hancock and Author Michael Lewis and some deleted scenes which, as per usual, were cut for a reason. These scenes include “I’m the Designer,” “Lunch Ticket,” “Sizes,” and “Who You Looking For?” And yes, they are as extraneous as they sound.
Of the special features, the one that interested me the most was the interview with Michale Oher, who’s real life store inspired the film. With all the press given to Sandra Bullock and the character she plays, the actual person who underwent this amazing transformation was given very little attention. It might have been nice to see more of him and to hear the story in his words, but that’s not how Hollywood and its press machine works, I guess.
Still, this oversight doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the film in theaters or on Blu-ray. It manages to do many things well and tell a very nice story all while mostly not being too overbearing. There was room in this story to make an exceptional and thought-provoking film but that’s not exactly what we got. Instead, the filmmakers chose to take the easier route and went for a happier, more feel-good approach.
That’s not necessarily the wrong way to go and the film does feel good. It just would have been nice if we had gotten a little more substance too.