Sunshine Cleaning (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy
Anchor Bay || R - 91 minutes - $39.98 || August 25, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-09-24


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Christine Jeffs
Writer(s): Megan Holley (written by)
Cast: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Steven Zahn


Theatrical Release Date: March 27, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Spanish (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) finds herself a single mother attempting to support her son Oscar (Jason Spevack) and her unreliable sister Norah (Emily Blunt) while working a mundane job as a maid. Once the head cheerleader in school with plenty of prospects, Rose now has little to show for her years, and while she still sees the former lead football player (Steve Zahn), it is little more than a despondent affair. When Oscar is expelled from public school, Rose takes a job as a bio-hazard crime-scene cleaner to help pay for a private education, and brings Norah on to help in her steadily growing business. As the sisters work to clean up the messes left behind by the chaotic lives of others, they must learn to reconcile their own differences and overcome a troubled past if they hope to prosper in their newfound venture. What we have here is a cute movie that is worth a rental but probably not a purchase. It really tries to be too many different films at once (is it a Romance? Comedy? Drama?) and it never really succeeds at any of them. Take for instance the odd relationship Rose (Adams) has with Mac (Zhan) - it's essentially forgotten after the first 30 minutes. They were clearly building up to something, but as soon as she starts her new business it just gets dropped. Then they try and trick the audience into thinking maybe they will get back together or she will form a relationship with her supplier, but that never really happens either.

Finally we have short bursts of comedic moments (a fire, trying to sell shrimp, selling popcorn tubs) that seem like an odd fit for a film like this. While I enjoyed the quirky Grandpa (Alan Alda), he is only used for comedic relief and a way for Rose to to ignore her child while she works. Honestly, I was fully expecting Abigail Breslin to show up given the numerous coincidences the film has with Little Miss Sunshine.

The real talent here is Emily Blunt who you can never really be sure if she is trying to form a relation with someone who lost their mother or if she is sexually attracted to her. Sadly, her performance cannot carry the movie which starts to wear a bit dry towards the last 30 minutes or so.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Producer Glenn Williamson and Megan Holley

A Fresh Look at Cleaning (11 Minutes; SD) - This takes us behind the scenes of two real women who actually do this for a living. It's very similar to the movie but runs a bit too short.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Sunshine Cleaning is presented in 2.40:1 (MPEG4) on a 25GB Disc. Given the small budget of the film, the Blu-ray really does make the film shine where I wouldn't think it would. It's not up to par as a recent theatrical film, but its suitable. Some scenes do feel a bit soft and over saturated but nothing major.

Anchor Bay has included an English and Spanish 5.1 TrueHD Track for this release. Dialog comes across just fine, though at times it may have a bit of an echo to it (when Grandpa talks) . Rears are seldom used, though they are not really needed for this film. Acceptable is the best way I would put it.



.::OVERALL::.

While not bad, it's hard to recommend this film as a purchase but rather a rental. It's a little gem that was lucky enough to get release on Blu-ray so itís owed at least that. Given the mediocre picture quality and lack of extras... well, rent it.