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post #1 of 16 Old 11-28-2018, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Searching Blu-ray Review



Dive deep into the virtual world of social media with a mystery-thriller for the digital age. Searching offers a unique take on society’s pervasive use of technology, inspired by the connection between parent and child in the Internet age.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

85



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La
Directed by: Aneesh Chaganty
Music by: Torin Borrowdale
Written by: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian
Region Code: A

Release Date: November 27, 2018


"No One is Lost Without a Trace"


My Take:


After David Kim (John Cho)’s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.

Searching is the feature film debut for writer-director Aneesh Chaganty, and writer-producer Sev Ohanian. It’s a mystery/thriller that follows a determined father that will stop at no lengths to find his missing daughter, as he must resort to exploring her social media accounts, emails, pictures, videos and more to aid in the police investigation. Not unlike other films in its genre Searching sets up the story, main characters and begins peeling back the layers of the mystery.

I liked the establishment of David’s character and the personal story surrounding his family and their connection. This lent credence to the film’s emotional center. Early on, I found the unfolding plot to be completely absorbing. As it progressed, I began to see cracks in the plausibility of critical narrative elements, one of which led me to jokingly guess the mystery’s outcome. Be that as it may, Searching worked at keeping you on the hook, unsure of exactly how things would end up, keeping the audience connected to the plight of a desperate father, whose hopes were pinned to only what he could find via use of the internet/technology. I think the effective use of the “technological” aspect combined with the story’s social media spin, integrated with the elements of drama/mystery, were creatively used and aided the films thematic tone. John Cho and Debra Messing gave strong performances which elevated the enjoyment of the film.

Searching is a refreshing and well-executed mystery thriller that makes effective and engaging use of the cyber spin to underscore its themes.


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic content, some drug and sexual references, and for language.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA



Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Searching comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.

The visual style of this film is less traditional and appeared to be digitally sourced. Images are lucid, with crisp definition, gratifying levels of color, stable contrast and punchy blacks. The simulated lower resolution camera footage was noticeably softer but, was certainly clear enough to get the job done. I had no real complaints with the video quality and on a whole thought that this presentation looked quite good.

The lossless audio presentation had no trouble conveying the predominantly front loaded elements present in the soundtrack recording. Dialogue reproduction was strong with clear intonation and fair room penetration. The mix did a nice job of handling the various directional cues associated with the simulation of the video chats and computer’s sounds etc. There is some minor off camera and atmosphere creating sounds mixed to various points in the sound field and the effect is neatly blended. Dynamic range, clarity and bass definition is excellent.

Bonus Features:
  • • “Changing The Language Of Cinema”
    • “Update Username: Cast and Characters”
    • “Searching For Easter Eggs”
    • “Audio Commentary with Aneesh Chaganty & Sev Ohanian”
  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Searching is the feature film debut for writer-director Aneesh Chaganty, and writer-producer Sev Ohanian and, is a refreshing and well-executed mystery thriller that makes effective and engaging use of the cyber spin to underscore its themes. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring gratifying high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound and a fair supplemental offering. Searching isn’t a wholly rewarding film but, it’s relevant themes and solid performances make for an engaging evening when you’re up for something thought provoking.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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post #2 of 16 Old 11-28-2018, 01:13 PM
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Well that sucks. I thought there was a new improved method to search for reviews of movies I had interest in.

To anyone interested in a Google Chromebox or Chromebook..
Be aware that these boxes run a variant of Linux and DO NOT support HDCP!!!
This means no support for HD on most streaming services. I wish I would have known this beforehand....

Blu-rays & DVD's
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post #3 of 16 Old 11-29-2018, 01:03 AM
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Thanks for the review!


In my rental queue!


Cheers,
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post #4 of 16 Old 11-29-2018, 01:52 AM
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Great debut and a name to remember Aneesh Chaganty. Most original movie in years give me movies like this instead of marvel films any day.
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post #5 of 16 Old 11-29-2018, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post
Well that sucks. I thought there was a new improved method to search for reviews of movies I had interest in.
Greetings,

Sorry about that. There is the AVS Forum Blu-ray Review Database which makes finding specific reviews easy enough. If you're looking to search by genre etc. then that isn't as simple.


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post #6 of 16 Old 11-29-2018, 06:00 AM
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I enjoyed Searching a lot, thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #7 of 16 Old 11-29-2018, 07:27 AM
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I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the ludicrously implausible plot elements near the end of the film so as a "suspense" film, I found it somewhat lacking. However, as a daddy-daughter drama, it made me feel like The Grinch when his heart starts to melt.
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post #8 of 16 Old 11-29-2018, 02:16 PM
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Ralph, first of all, another great review. I do not know how you do it. If I did as many as you, every review that I produced would sound the same, exactly.

I have never heard of Searching but after your review, I just got back from Redbox with it for tonight.

I'm trying to rent quickly before my mind takes over and wants to buy. I feel a fellow with 1600 movies, has too many and has a habit that has to be toned down.



.
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post #9 of 16 Old 11-29-2018, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimShaw View Post
Ralph, first of all, another great review. I do not know how you do it. If I did as many as you, every review that I produced would sound the same, exactly.

I have never heard of Searching but after your review, I just got back from Redbox with it for tonight.

I'm trying to rent quickly before my mind takes over and wants to buy. I feel a fellow with 1600 movies, has too many and has a habit that has to be toned down.



.
Greetings,

Thanks Jim. I hope you enjoy it..


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post #10 of 16 Old 11-30-2018, 03:05 AM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. I have seen this and I pretty much agree with you. It's nice to see this format evolve beyond the Unfriended type of films. (Not that anything was wrong with Unfriended...)
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post #11 of 16 Old 11-30-2018, 11:17 AM
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Watch it last night and took the disc back to Red Box this morning.

Both my wife and myself enjoyed the movie and how it was presented.

Good movie.



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post #12 of 16 Old 11-30-2018, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgrise View Post
I enjoyed Searching a lot, thanks for the review Ralph!





I do agree this was a enjoyable and entertaining movie!



I did have my young Social media princess (15 yrs old) watch it to make her realize what realities could be for a young girl in this crazy society we live in today.
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post #13 of 16 Old 11-30-2018, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by YetiMike View Post
I do agree this was a enjoyable and entertaining movie!

I did have my young Social media princess (15 yrs old) watch it to make her realize what realities could be for a young girl in this crazy society we live in today.
Excellent idea


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post #14 of 16 Old 12-05-2018, 11:57 AM
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I admittedly have missed out on a lot of great movies so far this year, but back when I saw this in August I called it my favorite film this year.

We'll see if a second viewing maintains such a remark when I hopefully get this for Christmas, especially since I will have seen many more Oscar contenders from now till then.

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post #15 of 16 Old 12-09-2018, 09:28 AM
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I watched Searching last night and I think Ralph's review is spot on. Hope others enjoy it as well.
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post #16 of 16 Old 12-29-2018, 05:00 PM
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Rented this from Netflix and was thoroughly entertained. Thought it was funny how the movie started with a Windows computer and transitioned to Mac OS with all the files transferred over. While the MacBook Air was already in use the user switching screen looked very Windows like. The computer also seemed lightening quick. I liked how this movie kept me guessing until the end. After watching the Easter Eggs special feature I felt more in tune with the movie. I plan on adding this to my blu-ray collection. Debra Messing also played a great role, it was different then seeing her as Grace Adler.
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