R2 - United Kingdom - Soda Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (28th August 2013).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

Olivia Silver directs this coming-of-age indie drama in which a family begins a 3,000 mile road trip to a new life in California. Whisked away by their father Tom (John Hawkes) in the dead of night from their home in New England, twelve-year-old Greta (Ryan Simpkins), her elder sister Caroline (Kendall Toole) and her younger brother Nat (Ty Simpkins), find themselves crammed into the family's beat-up station wagon on a cross-country journey to Arcadia, where their father has a new job. Told that her mother will be meeting them there, an initially wary Greta, making her own journey of self-discovery, begins to have her suspicions that something is wrong when her father's demeanour descends from a cheery, day-trip dad to that of a belligerently tense hothead, ready to snap at any moment.


Soda Pictures release the independent feature "Arcadia" in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 which has been anamorphically enhanced. Overall, the picture is pretty good, though there are one or two minor drawbacks.

The colour scheme used for the movie is quite light and pale, with the avoidance of overly vivid bright colours as well as blacks. This suits the tone of the feature very well, as the humour is quite offbeat, and, although the dramatic sections can feel dark at times, they are not particularly depressing. The transfer shows these timid colours off to good affect, with good clarity and sharpness.

My only real issue with the transfer, was that on occasion, detail appeared to be slightly lacking. This was most notable on the hair of the characters when the camera showed more than one member of family at a time on screen. During close-ups, detail was good, but these shots that were slightly more distanced, sometimes lacked that extra definition that we would generally expect to see.

The disc is PAL, and the movie runs 87:06.


There is only one audio option here:
- English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

As far as the stereo track goes, it is technically fine. Separation is good, dialogue is clear with the score never overpowering, and there are no signs of any damage by way of dropouts, scratches or background hiss. A 5.1 track might have set the atmosphere a little better, but the stereo track is certainly suitable - if nothing special.


Just some start-up trailers:
- "Gimme the Loot" (1:31)
- "See Girl Run" (1:56)
- "California Solo" (1:59)


The Film: C+ Video: B+ Audio: B Extras: E Overall: C+


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