Changeling

In 1928 Los Angeles, a single mother, Christina Collins (Angelina Jolie), leaves for work on a Saturday, leaving her 9-year-old son at home without any supervision. Upon her return home that night, he has vanished without a trace. Five months later, the LAPD inform her they've found her son in the Midwest and he's on his way home. Regrettably, the boy isn't her son, though the police refuse to believe her and are convinced she's just in shock. Driven by her quest for the truth, she exposes corruption in the LAPD and captivates the people of Los Angeles with her horrific tale.

Changeling is based on the true events surrounding the Wineville Chicken Coop Murders that occurred between 1928 and 1930. Jolie deserves her Oscar nomination as the emotionally jolted mother, and kudos go to both John Malkovich and Jeffery Donovan in their supporting roles. Eastwood does another masterful job in directing, and the set design is amazing in its detail in recreating Los Angeles in the pre-depression era.

The VC-1 encode brings out the best of the cinematography with inky blacks, phenomenal shadow detail, and vivid contrast, creating a near three-dimensional image for the majority of the film with the exception of the occasional soft shot. Flesh tones are accurate with every pore visible in close-ups, and the red lipstick worn by Jolie really jumps out.

The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is a solid effort and effectively captures the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles during the period. The exterior scenes in downtown LA have a lot of surround activity with many vehicle pans, crowd noise, and the occasional snap of a flash bulb creating an immersive environment. Dialog remains crisp and clear, and the somber score helps set the tone of the film.

The sparse bonus features include two HD featurettes, a limited U-Control feature contrasting LA depicted in the movie versus how it looks today, and BD-Live content from Universal to view some trailers and share scenes.

Changeling is another well-crafted film from director Clint Eastwood, but it isn't an uplifting story by any means. The subject matter is very depressing, especially if you have your own kids, but the presentation is solid.

Release Date: February 17, 2009
Studio: Universal

Movie: 8/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 8/10

Review System

Source
Panasonic DMP-BD55

Display
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Electronics
Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner

Speakers
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Cables
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics

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