Monday, June 27, 2016

The Confirmation Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
An all-star cast headlines this touching drama coming soon to Lionsgate Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD. Clive Owen stars as Walt, an out-of luck carpenter who suddenly finds himself caring for his estranged son Anthony  (Jaeden Lieberher) for a weekend while his ex-wife (Maria Bello) and her new husband (Matthew Modine) head to a Catholic retreat. Neither father nor son is initially happy about the arrangement, but through a series of events the two start to see each other in a different light. With understanding comes healing, and both embark on the journey of love that makes them stronger together and allows Walt to become the father he needs to be. 

Film (3 out of 5 stars)
Walt is a down on his luck, alcoholic carpenter whose son, Anthony, is left in his care for the weekend after his ex-wife goes out of town with her new husband. Walt stops at the local bar, and tells Anthony to wait in the car. As he’s waiting, Anthony sees another boy sitting in a truck also waiting for his father. After a bit of time, Anthony leaves the car and heads in to find his father, but not before bumping into the other boy’s father. He retrieves Walt, who takes him home where they have nothing to do. When Walt receives a call that he’s been given a job starting on Monday, he sends Anthony out to the truck to gather his tools. Anthony returns empty-handed and tells Walt the tools are gone. They are specialty tools, and Walt can’t do his job without them.

Walt and Anthony go to Walt’s sponsor, Otto, and ask for some help. Otto tells Walt to go see Vaughn, who might be able to find out who stole the tools. Turns out, Vaughn is the man from the bar who Anthony ran into. Vaughn points Walt in the direction of Drake, another thief who enthusiastically tries to help, but only takes Walt and Anthony in the wrong direction.

As Walt and Anthony try to figure out who stole the tools and how to get them back, they grow closer and form a better father/son bond. Walt helps Anthony with his paper route and the two of them fix some things around Anthony’s mother’s house. Anthony confides in Walt that he’s unsure about receiving his communion and confirmation the next week and asks Walt why he doesn’t attend church. Walt tells Anthony that when he’s older, he’ll be able to choose his path and decide if he wants to remain in the church… advice a father would give his son.

When Walt takes Anthony home later that day, he’s invited into the house (that he’d been staying in all weekend) and awkwardly converses with Kyle, his ex’s new husband. As Walt’s ex figures out that Walt stayed there and watched Anthony taking some money to give Walt, she realizes that her son and his father have a new bond and allows Walt to take the car and Anthony to give Walt the money. Walt tries to use the money to get his tools back, but is able to get them back another way. He takes Anthony home and as he drives away, looks back and sees his son in the street watching him go.

I really enjoyed The Confirmation. Clive Owen is always so great in his roles and I enjoy his films. Jaeden Lieberher, the boy who plays Anthony, is so good! He really embraces the role and did a great job. The story was sweet, if not a little depressing. It really envelopes you into the working class issues and fractured families. I was unsure when I started watching it, having agreed mostly because of Clive Owen, but I was pleasantly surprised when I liked it more than I thought I would. The direction by Bob Nelson was great. He is a good writer and director and he really brother the story to life. I’ll be sure to look up his other work, now.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
The Confirmation is presented in 1080p widescreen and is good. It’s nothing spectacular, but it really made you feel the depression of the area and of Walt. Colors were muted and took on a wintery feel, there was a bit of snow on the ground and you could tell it was cold. The picture was clear and transitions between scenes were smooth. I saw no visible issues with the picture.
Audio (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The English 5.1. DTS-HD Master Audio was really low. I had to turn the volume up a lot in order to hear. The dialogue was soft and speaking voices were at normal tones, it was just too quiet and not amplified. Once I turned the volume up, though, it all sounded good.
Extras (2 out of 5 stars)
The special features provided could have been better. With only two featurettes, I found them lacking.
  • A Father-Son Story: Inside the Characters of The Confirmation (10:48) – A behind the scenes look and interviews with the cast and crew talking about the characters and their methods.
  • The Performances of The Confirmation (8:11) -- Another behind the scenes look at characters and the performances by the actors. Includes more interviews with the cast.
  • Also by Lionsgate
  • Bookmarks
Summary (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Confirmation was a sweet story of a father and his son bonding over a theft of some small, but sentimental items. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and don’t think I would have chosen to watch it if it weren’t for Clive Owen starring in it. While a little depressing, it’s a good look at a blue collar town and the effects of divorce and alcoholism on a family. I don’t know how often I will watch it, but I do know it’s likely I’ll watch it again at least once.

Order your copy today!

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