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Matthew Warchus
Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Andrew Scott, George MacKay, Joseph Gilgun, Ben Schnetzer
Writing Credits:
Stephen Beresford

Based on the inspirational true story.

U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

120 min.
Price: $34.95
Release Date: 12/23/2014

• “Pride: A True Story” Featurette
• Deleted and Extended Scenes
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Pride [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 11, 2014)

As the saying goes, politics makes strange bedfellows, and that theme resides at the heart of 2014’s Pride. Set in the UK circa 1984, we find the National Union of Mineworkers in the midst of a months-long strike. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher holds a hard line but the miners stay on strike.

When young gay activist Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) learns of this, he finds common cause since both the miners and the gays oppose Thatcher and suffer from police oppression. Mark persuades his friends to support the miners, and this leads to an attempt to openly affiliate the two groups.

In that vein, the nascent Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners organization adopts the Welsh mining town of Dulais. Mark and his compatriots donate money to the residents and eventually relocate there to offer more active assistance. The two sides deal with resistance to each other and work their way toward an active partnership.

If you experience a sense of déjŕ vu during Pride, don’t feel alone, as it fits the typical “inspirational fare” framework to a “T”. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with heartwarming tales such as this, but I’d like my “inspirational” material to be a wee bit more inspired.

From start to finish, Pride feels like it checks off boxes, as it gives us an awfully predictable story. I don’t mind movies with narratives that follow easily anticipated plots as long as they do something creative or dynamic.

Unfortunately, Pride fails to find a sense of spirit. It checks all the afore-alluded boxes with its trite characters and dramatic arcs and it never manages to rise above the level of mediocrity.

Part of the problem stems from the manner in which the film spreads itself too thin. My synopsis doesn’t get into the broad array of characters we find, but suffice it to say that Pride attempts to develop a slew of roles.

“Attempts to” becomes a key phrase because it fails to flesh out any of the parts. Even Mark – logically the movie’s focus and lead character – never gets a lot of depth, and none of the others receive sufficient exploration either. I guess Pride seeks strength in numbers, but this technique doesn’t work. Instead, we just encounter a load of personalities about whom we never really get to know much.

Despite the underwritten nature of the parts, the actors do fine and invest in their roles. Old hands like Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton never break a sweat, but they add a little heft to their thin parts, and others seem positive as well.

Unfortunately, Pride wastes the actors in their one-dimensional characters and doesn’t deliver an involving drama. It turns into a long, slow, bland exploration of a predictable tale that never develops into anything memorable or creative.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

appears in an aspect ratio of approximately :1 on this Blu-ray Disc. All aspects of the image did well.

Sharpness seemed solid. If any instances of softness materialized, they escaped me, as I found this to offer a tight, precise presentation. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. No signs of source flaws emerged. From start to finish, the movie provided a clean presentation.

Pride went with a stylized palette. Much of it seemed teal and orange, but a mix of other hues emerged as well. These seemed well-rendered within their constraints. Blacks appeared deep and dense, and low-light shots presented nice clarity. Across the board, this developed into a pleasing image.

Though I didn’t expect much from the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it provided a good soundscape. Music used the five channels in an immersive manner, and some effects added to the impact. These didn’t dazzle, but they brought out a good sense of place.

Sound quality was more than acceptable. Dialogue could be difficult to understand, but that stemmed more from thick accents than the recordings themselves; the lines seemed natural enough. Music was lively and warm, while effects demonstrated good accuracy and heft. Though nothing here truly impressed, the mix was pretty positive.

Only minor extras appear here. Pride: A True Story runs 16 minutes, three seconds and provides comments from Member of Parliament Sian James, screenwriter Stephen Beresfor, real-life participant Mike Jackson, Dai Donovan and Jonathan Blake, and actors Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Ben Schnetzer, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Joseph Gilgun and Paddy Considine. “Story” looks at the events that inspired the film and how these got adapted for the big screen as well as cast and performances. The show covers these topics in a reasonable manner and gives us some good details; it’s especially nice to hear from the folks who inspired the film’s roles.

Six Deleted and Extended Scenes fill a total of 10 minutes, nine seconds. These offer minor character moments but don’t add anything substantial.

The disc opens with ads for What If, Space Station 76, The Song, Love Is Strange, To Write Love on Her Arms and Predestination. No trailer for Pride appears here.

At its heart, Pride tells an interesting story, but it does so in such a rote manner that it fails to evolve into anything better than average. The movie keeps us with it but it wobbles too much along the way. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals as well as good audio and a couple of decent bonus materials. I wanted to like Pride more than I did, as it winds up as a serviceable inspirational tale but not one with any real impact.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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