parents review 3

Vestron Video’s Blu-Ray of Parents comes with original artwork and a slipcover as well, fitting in well with the rest of the Vestron line-up. This release features an HD transfer of the film that matches Vestron Video’s penchant for good, but not great, image quality. The film has an overall chunky grain that is more noticeable in darker lighting – in bright light, Parents actually looks quite good. Along with the grain comes a softness and lack of depth that is highly noticeable in some of the film’s longer shots. The film also loses detail in its blacks, and for a film that uses quite a bit of shadow, it’s pretty apparent. However, the color saturation pops, especially in the film’s outdoor shots featuring the garden greenery and red roses. I have to say that I’m not super impressed with the picture quality, although it’s certainly serviceable and perhaps the best that Vestron could offer.

The audio comes in 2.0 DTS-HD MA, and while Parents doesn’t have a memorable audio presentation, it still sounds good on this disc. I did notice a few volume drop-outs with dialogue, but nothing too concerning. There is also a subtitle track for those that like to use them.

The special features offer very similar content to the rest of Vestron’s releases. An audio commentary with director Bob Balaban and producer Bonnie Palef is the stand-out feature, but there’s also an isolated film score featuring partial commentary with composer Jonathan Elias that adds some added insight into the music. For featurettes, the Parents Blu-Ray offers four. Christopher Hawthorne, the film’s writer, talks about his work on the film and the amount of gratitude he received from viewers who experienced a childhood similar to what Parents portrays; Mary Beth Hurt (Lily) talks about her experiences on set, Randy Quaid and his kindness, and memories of her family in the ’50s; Robin Vidgeon, director of photography, talks about some of the shots and decisions made in the film; and Yolando Cuomo, decorative consultant, discusses the inspiration for the ’50s sets and costume designs.

Also included are trailers, radio spots, and a still gallery. Overall, there’s about 50 minutes of featurettes on here not including the audio commentaries, making this another solid Blu-Ray from Vestron Video in terms of extras. However, the disc loses points for its lackluster image.

Click here to go to the Parents film review.

Verdict
Parents is a surprisingly effective metaphor for parental abuse using a framing story about cannibalism. Vestron Video's Blu-Ray release features a fair transfer and some great extra features, making it a good Blu-Ray for those looking for Parents in 1080p.
The Good
Excellent exploration of the '50s familial dynamic
Interesting atmosphere aided by directorial decisions
Number of featurettes and commentaries adding value to the release
The Bad
Somewhat grainy, soft image quality
Cannibalism aspect of the film feels somewhat unnecessary
8
Very Good

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