Help, The

Featured In Issue 163, January 2012

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
DreamWorks Home Entertainment
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For thematic material
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Tate Taylor
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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"The Help" stars Emma Stone as the courageous Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who goes against the beliefs of her family and friends to find her own voice. The critically praised, emotional performance of Viola Davis as Aibileen Clark, a woman who secretly dreams of one day having more than she has been given, offers a deep emotional storyline. The breakthrough performance of Octavia Spencer as Minny Jackson, whose sass and tough exterior disguise the pain and fear she faces every day, brings both drama and humor to the film. Bryce Dallas Howard breathes life into the catty Jackson socialite Hilly Holbrook and Jessica Chastain brings charm and humor as Celia Foote, a kind housewife living outside of town who longs to fit in. "The Help" is an inspirational, courageous, and empowering story about very different, extraordinary women in the 1960s South who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project—one that breaks society's rules and puts them all at risk. Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett. (Tricia Spears)

Special features include the featurettes "The Making Of The Help: From Friendship To Film" (HD 23:25) and "In Their Own Words: A Tribute To The Maids Of Mississippi (HD 11:51), five deleted scenes with introductions by Director Tate Taylor (HD 09:36), and "The Living Proof" music video. A DVD is also included.

The 1080p AVC picture is gorgeous, with a perfectly natural appearance. The color palette is rendered with accurate hues that are warm and rich. Saturation is excellent and nicely balanced. Contrast is balanced as well with deep, solid blacks that are revealing in tonal shading and shadow delineation that is revealing of fine detail. Resolution and clarity are top notch, with revealing fine detail in facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. There is also an impressive sense of dimensional depth to the imagery. This is a very filmic and beautiful picture experience that captures the sense of historical perspective and fully complements the storytelling. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is frontal focused, due to the production design set primarily within interiors and the emphasis on dialogue in telling the story. Dialogue sounds perfectly natural and integrated spatially. The music score provides subtle surround envelopment, as do occasional atmospherics and sound effects. Deep bass is limited. While not a standout soundtrack, the production nicely supports the storytelling. (Gary Reber)