The Upside Of Anger

The Upside Of Anger (2005)
New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood, Keri Russell
Extras: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Documentary

A touching drama centered on Terry Wolfmeyer (Joan Allen) who is attempting to deal with the sudden and mysterious departure of her husband, while her four daughters, Andy (Erika Christensen), Lavender 'Popeye' (Evan Rachel Wood), Emily (Keri Russell) and Hadley (Alicia Witt) continue to go about their own lives, dealing with his absence in their own way, in the film 'The Upside of Anger.' Terry strikes up a 'drinking buddy' companionship with neighbor and faded baseball star turned radio show host, Denny Davies (Kevin Costner), who begins to involve himself within the day to day tensions present in the Wolfmeyer household. Through ups and downs, each family member feels the effects of the negative pressures that tension and bitterness produce within their relationship as a family, leading to an uncommon and startling revelation.

Featuring a notable supporting performance from writer/director Mike Binder, who plays the role of sleazy radio producer Adam 'Shep' Goodman.

New Line Home Entertainment presents 'The Upside of Anger' in a finely produced, anamorphic transfer displaying an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Color saturation is quite rich throughout and showcases the various seasons captured within the film, ranging from; golden browns and oranges during autumn scenes to vibrant tones of green present during spring and summer scenes. Flesh tones appear quite natural and blacks are reproduced rich and deep to provide a well-detailed presentation. There is little to no visible compression issues or haloing produced by edge enhancement, creating an overall near-flawless exhibition.

Soundtrack options include both dts and Dolby Digital 5.1. The overall presentation is confined to the front soundstage, with dialogue delivered naturally. There is limited use of surrounds and the lower frequency channel is almost non-existent. The soundtrack could have been labeled 5.0 as the subwoofer remained inactive throughout, but there was never any point within the film where you felt it was needed anyways and the balance matches the films overall content.

Special features for this DVD presentation include an audio commentary with writer/director Mike Binder and Joan Allen that is moderated by filmmaker Rod Lurie. Rounding out the DVD's extras is a short selection of deleted scenes that you can view with or without audio commentary, and the 30-minute documentary 'Creating the Upside of Anger.'

Solid performances, especially from Costner's amusing portrayal of Budweiser-toting Denny Davies, carry this slow- paced, but mostly entertaining drama to the finish line.