Movie Review: THE CIRCLE (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

THE CIRCLE is based on the international best-seller by Dave Eggers. The movie was directed and co-written for the screen by James Ponsoldt and Dave Eggers and stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt, Glenne Headly and Bill Paxton in his final role.

When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech and social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and ultimately, her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family, and all of humanity.

The movie takes place in the not so distant future and focuses on this bright young woman who is hired on at this tech and social media giant where everything appears to be close to perfect. Eamon Bailey sees a lot of potential in her and she quickly goes from the new girl on the team to the standout coming up with new ideas to take The Circle to the next level. The goal for The Circle is to be as connected to the rest of the world as possible and things get way out of control as the story plays out. It all sounds good but what about everyone’s privacy? As great and convenient as it seems at first, being connected to the rest of the world isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be and the young woman has to deal with some serious blowback. This is where she rethinks things and recruits the help of an insider to help her take on the people running the show who might not be as nice as they appear on the outside and this giant that has ultimately grown way too powerful.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork and the DVD disc has a flat grey finish with the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Circle is a bit of an eerie watch because when you think about it, we’re already in the mid-stages of what this movie is all about – technology and social media. Alot of us already use Facebook to not only connect and communicate with our friends and family around the world but we’re already using it to log into many other websites and devices. Sure, it’s easy and convenient but it’s also kind of creepy when you think about it, especially after watching this movie. What about invasion of privacy? There’s always going to be consequences if you take something too far. Remember what happened with Skynet! James Ponsoldt did a good job telling this thought-provoking story and bringing this world to life on screen but the movie itself did have a few problems. There were some pacing issues and it got a little boring at times. Back to the good stuff, as interesting as the story is, it’s the impressive cast that’s easily the standout of the movie and helps it out. Emma Watson is pretty much likable in any role she’s in and this time around Tom Hanks kind of takes on a little bit of a different character as this shady tech giant. There’s also the great Bill Paxton who stars in his final role. The Circle releases on a Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD Combo Pack on August 1st.

Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Run Time: 110 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

DVD Video: 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include three featurettes chronicling the making of the film, a look at the future of technology, an interview with Tom Hanks and James Ponsdolt reminiscing about their work with Bill Paxton and  a digital copy of the movie.

  • “No More Secrets: Completing The Circle — A Four-Part Series” Featurette (30:56)
  • “The Future Won’t Wait: Design and Technology” Featurette (10:55)
  • “A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton” Featurette (13:53)
  • Trailers
  • Digital HD Copy

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