Movie Review: The Upside – Bluray

Ex-convict Dell Scott becomes an unlikely friend and caregiver to billionaire Phillip Lacasse. What follows is a poignant and funny reminder of how powerful a positive attitude can be.

Synopsis

Ex-convict Dell Scott is looking for a job to satisfy his parole requirements. Thinking he’s applying for a janitor position, he unwittingly stumbles into an interview with billionaire quadriplegic, Phillip Lacasse and is offered the job of life auxiliary, a companion and care provider. Though completely unqualified, he adapts to the demands of caring for someone completely dependent on others. The two men become unlikely friends as Philip struggles to deal with his disability and Dell tries to get his life back on track. As they become closer, they both come to understand the power of a positive attitude and what it truly means to live, rather than simply exist.

SPECS

The Upside Cover
Entertainment
Violence: No
Sex: No
Language: No

Universal Studios
2017, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hrs 7 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman
Directed by: Neil Burger

I am a huge fan of Bryan Cranston, so I was already predisposed to like this movie, and he did not disappoint. His performance was superb and likely a challenge too as he could only act with his facial expressions. Kevin Hart turns what could be an extremely dark and depressing subject into a top-notch comedy. There are many funny moments and even a few classic gags that are sure to entertain.

There’s no shortage of emotion here and I found myself laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time. While there are some dark themes here, they never bring the movie down. There’s just enough contrast to keep the audience engaged without the need for excessive intensity.

The chemistry between Philip and Dell is palpable and portrayed to perfection by both actors. The entire package is a lot of fun to watch. I expect I’ll be viewing this film again and again.

The Upside

Technical

New York City is portrayed in mostly cool hues with accurate and natural flesh tones and deep contrast. The detail in closeup shots is sharp and almost textural. Tight shots of Bryan Cranston’s face reveal a fairly heavy makeup job in several scenes but that is simply a testament to the high quality of the transfer.

The Upside Bluray

Audio is centred around dialogue which is crisp and clear. The musical themes are all taken from famous operas and are presented beautifully with a clear and open sound stage. There are many popular arias playing in the background throughout and one scene takes place at the Metropolitan Opera which is a feast of both sight and sound.

Extras

The Upside Movie

There are several short features including a plot recap and analysis of the film’s themes. Each is less than one minute in length. You also get a few deleted scenes and a trailer. My screener included both Blu-ray and DVD copies plus an iTunes download code.

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