Cadillac Records BRAY Cover Art
SRP $38.95 2.35:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 SONY

One of the better biographical films about the music industry, "CADILLAC RECORDS" is now available on blu-ray from SONY. Adrian Brody stars as Leonard Chess, the son of an immigrant desiring the American dream, or his vision of it, and in love with the soulful music of "Blues." His drive and ambition help him build "Chess Records" and discover talents of such noteworthy artists as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Etta James, and more! While more concerned with success than the total well-being of his performers, he does reward them with cadillacs and tries to save them from the darker side of the music business, not always with success. What "CADILLAC RECORDS" does best, is turn the typical bio-drama of the "music genre" on its edge! "CADILLAC RECORDS" doesn't try to sugarcoat any of its facts, or characters, and the gritty atmosphere is magnetic. All of the actors are terrific, but some of the dialogue can be hard to discern at times, with Mos Def, occasionally sounding more articulate than the rest(not a good thing!).

Beyonce as Etta James, is arguably the best thing about the film, and finally, has proven she's one hell of an actress, when given the right material.

SONY has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray.  At first, one would worry that the subdued color palette in the early part of the film will be carried through, but about 1/3rd of the way in, colors kick it up substantially, with vibrancy, capturing the energy of the rock music that begins to be born. Detail is impressive, however there are few instances with the jump-off-the-screen kind of depth one hopes for on blu-ray. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks, allowing for flawless detail in darker scenes.

SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for this release.  Unfortunately, the mix is underwhelming. For a musical drama, there's a disappointingly low level of immersion for the viewer and minimal surround involvement. Bass is also virtually non-existent, and the overall impact of the mix is nothing more than average, a real shame for a film with such great music and performances.

There are great extras, including an insightful commentary with the impassioned writer/director, two decent featurettes(in hd!) and deleted scenes(standard resolution only)