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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

12 YEARS A SLAVE

Blu-ray Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  134minutes, making-of documentary, two featurettes, theatrical trailer, previews, digital copy

VIDEO: 2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 Descriptive AudioFrench 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish,

 

STUDIO: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/Regency Enterprises/ River Road Entertainment/ Plan B/ Film4

RELEASE DATE:  3-4-2014

Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is  a free black man in 1841 New York.  A trip to Washington leads to him being kidnapped by slavers who try to strip him of his identity as he spends several years trying to be free and maintain his dignity.  He first ends up with the fair and kind plantation owner Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch before he ends up with ruthless drunk plantation owner Epps (Michael Fassbender).

 

Director Steve McQueen prevents a dramatic portrait of a true story based on the autobiography of the same name.   It is one of the most accurate depictions of slavery in the South before the American Civil War seen through the eyes of a free black man taken into slavery.   It is an intense portrait of a man trying to survive and maintain hope because he wants to live for the day when he is free again.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

12 YEARS A SLAVE: A HISTORICAL PORTRAIT- an extensive two part documentary that explores the autobiography the movie is based on and what the actors, director Steve McQueen, and the production brought to the movie adaptation.  Star Chiwetel Ejiofor reads from sections of the autobiography the movie is based on.   Illustrations from that book and interviews with the biographer of Solomon Northrup are also included.

 

THE TEAM- the production team, director Steve McQueen, and star Chiwetel Ejiofor discuss the look of the movie

THE SCORE- the director and composer Hans Zimmer talk about the score for 12 YEARS A SLAVE

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   12 YEARS A SLAVE is one of the most true and accurate portraits of how blacks lived as slaves in the pre-American Civil War South.   It is one of the most important movies of the 21st century to chronicle the true tale of a free man turned into slavery.   It is deserving of the Best Picture Oscar and it is a must see.   The best extra is the making-of documentary.

 

This review is 3-7-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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