Oct 012017
 

Home for the Holidays is, to me anyway, holiday classic that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves. While Planes, Trains and Automobiles is in its own right a great Thanksgiving film, this one deserves its place on the holiday as well.

 

 

Home for the Holidays
(1995)

Genre(s): Drama, Comedy, Romance
Shout Factory | PG13 – 103 min. – $27.99 | October 3, 2017

Date Published: 10/01/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Jodie Foster
Writer(s): Chris Radant (short story); W.D. Richter (screenplay)
Cast: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Dylan McDermott, Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Guttenberg, Claire Danes, Cynthia Stevenson, Charles Durning, David Strathairn
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentary, Gallery, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 29.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


Plot Synopsis: Claudia Larson (HOLLY HUNTER), newly unemployed, is heading home for yet another chaotic and exasperating family Thanksgiving with an overbearing mother (ANNE BANCROFT), laid back but aloof father (CHARLES DURNING), drama queen sister (CYNTHIA STEVENSON) and obnoxious brother-in-law (STEVE GUTTENBERG), and making matters worse, her 16-year-old daughter (CLAIRE DANES), is spending the holiday at her boyfriend’s house with plans on losing her virginity. But Claudia does receive emotional help from her only true friend: her flamboyant brother (ROBERT DOWNEY JR.) who is accompanied with his handsome friend (DYLAN MCDERMOTT).

Quick Hit Review: Home for the Holidays is a bit of an underrated film and one of only a few Thanksgiving movies out there that could be watched on that day with (most of) the family. While there are plenty of laughs, the movie, directed by Jodie Foster (her second following 1991’s Little Man Tate), has some great drama and, best of all, a genuine heart and frank honesty with the heartbreaking dynamics of family.

Holly Hunter is great in the lead role and Robert Downey Jr. is a delight, but the highlight for me was the chemistry between veteran actors Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning. The supporting cast all give very nice performances from Dylan McDermott, who does share some fun scenes with Hunter, to Cynthia Stevenson as an obnoxious sister (“If I just met you on the street, if you gave me your phone number, I’d throw it away”) to a small role by David Strathairn portraying a sad-sack, ex-boyfriend.

Not sure how many times I’ve seen the movie, probably 4-5 times now, but Home of the Holidays is wonderful in every way and with Thanksgiving coming up, well worth watching.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5


This is the latest in Shout’s Select line of releases (#32). The Audio Commentary by Director Jodie Foster and Theatrical Trailer has been ported over from the DVD and also includes a Photo Gallery. Would’ve been nice to have some new interviews with Foster, Hunter and/or McDermott (got to think Downey Jr.’s busy being Iron Man)…

 


VIDEO – 3.75/5


Home for the Holidays makes its debut onto Blu-ray through Shout Factory and is shown in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. This isn’t a particularly great looking picture as there is a good amount of grain, but detail is at least decent and colors are well balanced and skin tones appear natural. There were some very minor dust marks or specs in a few shots but otherwise it is fairly clean.

AUDIO – 3.5/5


I have to preface this portion by saying that the back cover says this has a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track but for whatever reason, and have to think it was a mistake, because the main track is DTS-HD MA 2.0 along with a second 2.0 track which is a norm for Shout.

So, with that in mind, the 2.0 track(s) don’t sound too bad but this is very much a dialogue-driven film which means there is limited depth, though there is some nice music thrown in. The dialogue itself comes through nice and clear, however, so it’s a more than adequate lossless track.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, Home for the Holidays is, to me anyway, holiday classic that probably doesn’t get the attention it deserves. While Planes, Trains and Automobiles is in its own right a great Thanksgiving film, this one deserves its place on the holiday as well. As for the Blu-ray from Shout’s Select line, the video and audio transfers are good while the features are on the limited side.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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