Welcome to the Rileys Blu-ray Review

Welcome to the Rileys [Blu-ray]

The Film
Bored husband goes to New Orleans on business and decides to stay when he takes up the project of a local stripper, restores relationship with wife. A strange relationship triangle evolves in Welcome to the Rileys that is interesting to watch, though the film never completely draws you in.
This Indianapolis couple, Doug (James Gandolfini) and Lois (Melissa Leo), have drifted apart after the death of their 16-year-old daughter a few years back. Lois never leaves the house, not even to walk to the curb to check the mail, and copes with life by taking a handful of pills each day. Doug settles into his weekly routine of Thursday night poker with the guys followed by waffles at the Pancake House and a romp in bed with the waitress, his mistress.
Doug travels to a convention in New Orleans and decides to stay after he meets 16-year-old Mallory/Allison (Kristen Stewart), a damaged stripper. As he tries to fix her life, Lois ventures out of the house and down to New Orleans, and so the situation becomes a trio. You can tell there are two ways to go here. The Rileys take in Allison as their daughter; or the Rileys go home a changed couple while stripper Mallory grows up just a little. Tune in to see how it goes.
Get another welcome look at the movie Welcome to the Rileys in Beth McCabe's review.
The Picture
The look changes just slightly between Indianapolis and New Orleans. The latter takes on a bluish cast to the soft, washed out look of the film. The 1.85:1 transfer shows New Orleans in gritty detail. Back alleys, side streets and strip clubs are in full view and the film doesn't hide those aspects, but looks to show them off. Allison's house is the most deteriorated on the block and still displays spray paint markings from Katrina, which in this film happened roughly five years before.

The Sound
In this film the 5.1 channel DTS HD Master Audio sound puts dialog in the right places. It doesn't manage as well to fill the gaps with the immersive sounds of New Orleans. The filmmakers made a point of filming on location to capture the real city, yet in only a few scenes does music that characterizes New Orleans play. You may expect the sounds of jazz, chaos, traffic, washing machines at a laundromat, yet you won't find them. A scene in an upscale New Orleans hotel lobby makes it seem easy to hear a phone conversation or even a pin drop. Yet in the "making of" feature -- an interview with the director -- there's an abundance of ambient chatter and noise that you might have expected in the scene.
The Extras
The background "Creating the Rileys" features interviews with the cast and crew. It discusses the settings, filming in New Orleans, and the dialog coach who taught Gandolfini and Leo to speak with a heavy drawl typical of Indianapolis. Though it sounded, at times, more fitting for the New Orleans local. The disc has an added special feature: a firmware upgrade that gives your Blu-ray player the ability to broadcast some 3D content, if your set will support it.
Final Thoughts
While the story told is compelling enough, a certain degree of character development is lacking here. You see characters like Ally Sheedy for a moment just to establish that her sister Lois won't leave the house, then she's out of the picture. The depth of the underlying story is never quite matched by the depth of the movie itself. A worthwhile rental, but perhaps not one for the permanent collection.
Product Details

You can go here to purchase....
  • Actors: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo
  • Director: Jake Scott
  • Audio Languages: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: R
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • List Price: $34.95
  • Extras:
    • Creating the Rileys
    • Previews
    • BD-Live
Thanx to @KstewAngel for the tip

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