Writer/Director Tim McCarthy's newest film, "WIN WIN," is now available on blu-ray from FOX. Feeling like those special films there used to be more of, known as "small, artful," or "independent" films, that alone makes "WIN WIN" worth seeing. It's not as well-crafted as "SLING BLADE," but it's really good. And, not as well-crafted as "SLING BLADE" is still a pretty good review for any film to aspire to!
Paul Giamatti stars as Mike, a lawyer fighting the good fight for the elderly and of ill-health. He's a genuinely decent guy, trying to raise two kids, and make the best of a solid, but dull marriage, while struggling to keep his law firm from closing. Aside from his work and family, Mike also coaches a high school wrestling team with a spectacularly abysmal record.
Hoping to keep above water, and desperate for more income, Mike crosses the line of ethics he's always held sacred. He convinces a court to make him legal guardian of Leo, an older man with dementia, paying him over a thousand/month supplemental income. However, with so many responsibilities, Mike opts to move the client into a nursing home, which isn't part of the court arrangement, but ensures virtually no extra work for him to simply collect his monthly check. When Leo's grandson, a run-away, comes to town with nowhere to live, Mike ends up taking the kid in, and conflict, moral decisions, and hard knocks kick in. There are plenty of other relationship difficulties needing working out, but McCarthy manages to juggle things and present an ending, which while imperfect, feels more natural, acceptable and right than the ones for his two previous films, "THE STATION AGENT" and "THE VISITOR."
FOX has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this AVC MPEG-4 1080p blu-ray release. It's a really good image. Sure, there are plenty of scenes that look flat, but that's more due to the director's style of composition than anything else. Where high definition detail needs to shine, it does so and does it very well. Colors are rich and generally natural looking. Contrast is quite good, with blacks deep enough to retain depth in darker scenes.
FOX has provided a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix for this release. Generally subdued in tone, surrounds are rarely used, but effective. Crowd scenes, particularly during wrestling matches, fare best, but the score is quite good too, and is fully complimented here. Dialogue is perfectly rendered and the overall fidelity is impressive.
Some extras have been provided, including:
Deleted scenes(very, very short, but in 1080p)
Two short featurettes, a mini-conversation with the director and Giamatti, a music video and theatrical trailer are also offered.