ANCHOR BAY/STARZ has released the "SUNSHINE CLEANING" on blu-ray and dvd. Due to the marketing of the film, those expecting a hysterical laugh-filled comedy in the mode of "LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE" will be disappointed. However, those expecting a quirky, unpretentious, sweet drama with subtle laughs will thoroughly enjoy "SUNSHINE CLEANING." Amy Adams stars as Rose Lorkowski, a single parent struggling to raise her son, Oscar, help her needy sister, Norah(Emily Blunt) and be there for her father, Joe(Alan Arkin). Rose is also trying to deal with those feelings which come with having been the high school cheerleader/beauty and years later, feeling she's amounted to nothing. She works for a cleaning business, using couch change to buy cigarettes, and is having an affair with a married cop, who happens to have been her high-school sweetheart, Mac(Steve Zahn).
When Mac investigates a crime scene, he passes on an idea he picked up there to Rose, of starting a crime scene clean-up business. He heard complaints from the shop owner paying for the services how much it cost, and Mac sees that if Rose started something up, there'd be money to be made for her.
Soon enough, Rose opens "SUNSHINE CLEANING" and although the job seems quite unsettling at first, things begin to turn around for her, and potentially for her family. "SUNSHINE CLEANING" succeeds by not trying to delve into too many sub-plots, handling the ones it does offer with skill, honesty and sometimes, uncertain but hopeful resolution. Adams is great, but so is Blunt, Arkin and the rest. Tightly directed and well-written, "SUNSHINE CLEANING" is one of those special rarities, a film that feels independent, but entertains in a pleasing, quiet way.
STARZ/ANCHOR BAY has provided the correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray and 16:9 enhanced dvd. Colors are often vibrant, but even when intentionally subdued, they feel natural. Detail is outstanding on the blu-ray, and as good as depth will allow for standard resolution. In addition to depth, a major advantage of the blu-ray is showcased in darker scenes, wherein inky blacks maintain great depth. However, on dvd, a lot of information appears to be swallowed up in shadow.
"SUNSHINE CLEANING" offers a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix for blu-ray and standard dolby digital 5.1 for dvd. Both mixes are front heavy, with minor use of surrounds. Even ambient effects tend to be utilized mostly in the front. However, music, while front-focused, steers a little towards the rear at times, and is well complimented. Both mixes are on par, and there wasn't a noticeable difference in dynamic range.
A commentary track with the film's writer and producer is offered on both formats. It's a decent commentary with plenty of production info, but not overly engaging. A brief featurette, running close to ten minutes, offers interviews with cast and crew and more info on the nature behind crime-scene clean-up.