Blu-ray Review “The Magic of Belle Island”

Director: Rob Reiner
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline Carroll, Emma Fuhrmann, Nicolette Pierini, Kenan Thompson
Distributed by: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 109 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“The Magic of Belle Island” is one of those rare gems that gets quietly released each year that no one has seen but everyone should.  It is easily one of my favorite films of 2012. It is also one of the best directorial efforts from Rob Reiner, who reunited with Morgan Freeman again after “The Bucket List”. The film just has this “Rob Reiner” feel to it, which is just so recognizable.  Freeman is so amazing in this film and really nails this role. He is funny yet very deep. Besides Freeman, Emma Fuhrmann really steals the show for me personally.  She is going to be big and real fast, mark by words. We had the chance to interview her earlier this year about this role, read her interview here.  I highly recommend this film to everyone in the family.

Synopsis: Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer inpicturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door – an attractive single mom (Madsen) and her young daughters – who help him find inspiration again.

The Blu-ray presentation is very respectable and impressive.  The 1080p transfer looks clean and sharp but overall not really given much of a challenge since the film is a very simple straight forward dramedy.  Same goes for the audio track, it works perfectly with the notable “Reiner” music and score and delivers clean dialogue.  The special features are great as well as the film.  There is an amazing audio commentary track with both Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman.  I highly recommend this fun track.  There are a few deleted scenes, nothing that would have made the film better but worth visiting.  There is a the typical EPK-style behind-the-scenes  feature “HDNet: A Look at”.  Lastly there is the theatrical trailer included.

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