Blu-ray Review and GIVEAWAY: Fences {ends 3/17}

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Paramount Pictures. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

I was excited to review Fences, as Viola Davis won the Oscar for her performance in it, and her co-star, Denzel Washington, also directed it. That being said, I had heard that it was a very slow-paced movie (and I'm not a fan of slow movies), and this ended up being true.

Official synopsis:
Blu-ray Review and GIVEAWAY: Fences
Adapted by legendary writer August Wilson from his own renowned play, FENCES follows former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Washington) in 1950s Pittsburgh as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. An unforgettable and timeless masterpiece, FENCES “connects with people on a deep, emotional level” (Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times) and pulses with the universal truths of love and forgiveness, despite what lies beyond your own fence.

About the Blu-ray:
The FENCES Blu-ray Combo Pack includes over 30 minutes of fascinating bonus content. With interviews from the cast and crew, including actor/director Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, discover how August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play was adapted from stage to screen. Plus, visit the movie’s Pittsburgh set, learn how Davis prepared for her award-winning performance, and much more.

The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following bonus content:
  • Expanding the Audience: From Stage to Screen
  • The Company of Fences
  • Building Fences: Denzel Washington
  • Playing the Part: Rose Maxson
  • August Wilson’s Hill District

My thoughts:
The runtime of Fences was 2 hours and 18 minutes, and it felt a lot longer. Fences is based off a stage play, written by August Wilson, and you can tell that the writers here didn't adapt it much for the movie: it feels like you are watching a play. 

At first, Denzel's character, Troy Maxson, seems like a nice enough guy: he provides for his wife, Rose (Viola Davis), and his son who still lives at home, Cory. He has a special needs brother whom sometimes comes to visit, and he's gentle with him. Troy is also the one friend that we all have who likes to talk and talk and talk, and takes a while to stop talking (part of what made this movie seem so long ...). 

During the last hour of the movie, though, we learn something about what Troy has done (no spoilers, you'll have to watch for yourself) that directly impacts Viola and also Cory. He's not even apologetic about his actions, and for me, that just made Troy's character instantly unlikeable, though I wasn't entirely liking him beforehand, either, since he's a bit hard on his son. 

Even though the movie was excruciatingly slow for me, both Denzel and Viola are fantastic in their roles, and I can see why they both received Oscar nominations for them. Viola is great at saying nothing but showing her feelings in her expressions; however, she's also good at expressing disappointment, which she does a lot near the end of this film. 

Personally, I will not be rewatching this movie, since the 2h18m runtime felt more like 3-4 hours for me, but if you like "slice of life" films, you might enjoy this one. When we start the film, Cory, their youngest son, is in his senior year of high school, wanting to go out for a college football scholarship, and the film ends about six or seven years later, so we do get to follow the Maxson family through both a trying time in their lives and then seeing how it all turned out. 

2.5 stars out of 5.

Fences will be released on Blu-ray + Digital HD combo pack on March 14th; click here to pre-order on Amazon.


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Fences Blu-ray combo pack

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