Adapted by writer August Wilson from his own play, Fences follows former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Washington) in 1950's Pittsburgh as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. Viola Davis won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress. (Gary Reber)
Special features include five featurettes: Expanding The Audience: From Stage To Screen (HD 08:53), The Company Of Fences (HD 09:17), Building Fences: Denzel Washington (HD 06:56), Playing The Part: Rose Maxson (HD 06:57) and August Wilson's Hill District (HD 06:25); and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The 2.39:1 1080p AVC picture was photographed in Panavision® on Kodak Vision3 film stock and exhibits a warm, natural presence throughout. Derived from a play, the primary set is a small, two-story red brick home's interior and back porch, and back and front street exterior of the home. A few other settings are related to Troy's work as a garbage man. Such settings are decently detailed, as in brick work, and object texture. Resolution with respect to facial features, hair, and clothing is excellent. The color palette is perfectly natural with rich and warm and well-balanced hues. Fleshtones appear accurate. Contrast also is well balanced with revealing shadow delineation. This is a limited visual experience but realism is its forte. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack is strictly dialogue focused with limited nuanced atmospherics, such as children playing baseball in the street, street traffic, back of house birds chirping, and other urban sounds. Foley sound effects are excellent and enhance the sense of realism. The music is extremely limited and nuanced, except for the jazz song “Day By Day” performed by Little Jimmy Scott midway through. Both the music and atmospherics barely register as surround envelopment, but a rain and lighting storm does effectively energize the soundfield. As such, the sonics are without stellar impression, but dialogue is consistently intelligible and a tour de force, though, not always well integrated sonically. (Gary Reber)