Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Featured In Issue 174, February 2013

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
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Thematic material including child imperilment, some disturbing images, language and brief sexuality
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Benh Zeitlin
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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In "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," a six-year-old child (Wallis) is faced with both her hot-tempered father's (Henry) fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient prehoristic Auroch beasts—the harbingers of death. For survival she must learn the ways of courage and love. Based on the stage pay "Juicy And Delicious" written by Lucy Alibar. (Gary Reber)

Special features include 10 deleted scenes with commentary by Director Benh Zeitlin (HD 14:00); auditions (HD 15:15); a making-of featurette (HD 22:27); three additional featurettes: "Glory At Sea" (HD 25:44), "Music" (HD 03:06), and "The Aurochs" (HD 03:18); the theatrical trailer; upfront previews; and a digital copy.

The 1080p AVC picture was shot in 16 mm and exhibits a gritty, textured appearance that reflects the low-budget graphic life of the bayou. Grain is prevalent throughout, and the imagery is generally soft. When detail is evident, the picture instantly looks better. Still, this is a mediocre presentation, with a natural color palette that never exaggerates and intensifies the harsh realities of the life depicted. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Mater Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack beautifully complements the reality storytelling with both subtle nuanced atmospherics and energized special effects during the more intense, dramatic scenes. Gusts of wind, and intense thunder from the glacier breakups to the Aurochs' approach fill the soundfield, especially directed to the surround channels. Deep, powerful bass to sub-25 Hz frequencies supports the more dramatic scenes. The sound of Aurochs' roots and grunts is convincingly real. Every scene sounds natural, with ambiance that perfectly depicts the soundscapes. The Creole-tinged music score is nicely recorded and presented, to enhance the strong emotional thematic thread of the storytelling. In particular, the orchestral strings express excellent timbre. This is a well-conceived soundtrack that sounds dynamic and nuanced, with natural dialogue throughout. (Gary Reber)