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Downton Abbey Blu-ray Review

Abbey

“Downton Abbey” is strictly for fans of the TV series.

Set in 1927, the story of the first feature length “Downton Abbey” film finds the Crawleys and the house staff preparing for a visit from the Royals (the King and Queen of England). Given that there is a massive ensemble of characters, the film is packed with character subplots involving an inheritance quarrel, a Royal vs Crawley servant conflict, a pregnancy, a planned wedding, a parade, a ball, an assassination attempt, a retried servant called back into action, among other storylines.

Directed by Michael Engler and scripted by series creator Jullian Fellowes, “Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture” is exactly what you think it is- a movie extension of a popular TV series. The entire film plays like a double sized episode and it is structured more like a TV episode as well. For the fans out there (my parents included), this 2019 film is a dream come true as they get to spend more time with the characters they treasure. For the non fans (like myself), it’s a fluffy and safe British upstairs/downstairs soap opera that lacks depth and feels all too familiar.

Story wise, the movie is more situational than character based. Despite the return of actors like Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Matthew Goode, and Hugh Bonneville, most characters have little to do here as they have to contend with new faces and a plethora of subplots for screentime. Some fans may be dismayed to learn that the characters portrayed by Lily James and Ed Speleers do not appear here. Truthfully, the bulk of the plot simply involves the chaotic preparations for the Royal family visiting the grand titular home.

Overall Thoughts: Fans will eat this up as it was made for them. Given the impressive box office results, it’s clear there is an appetite for stories in this universe so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more sequels down the line. With all of that said, I can’t recommend this to anyone outside of the fanbase. It’s a very niche movie (albeit a big niche)

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The location shooting and production values shine in hi-def.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the score to the dialogue, this track hits all the right notes.

Extras:
* DVD copy
* Digital copy
* 5 ½ minutes of deleted scenes
* “Cast Conversations”- 2 separate cast discussions between the upstairs cast and the downstairs cast.
* “The Royal Visit”- A featurette about the central story of the film.
* “True To The Twenties”- A bonus feature about the authentic 20s sets and costumes.
* “Welcome To Downton Abbey”- A piece about Highclere Castle
* “The Brilliance of Julian Fellowes”- A puff piece about the writer/creator of “Downton Abbey.”
* A thoughtful solo commentary by director Michael Engler.

December 11, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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