Labor Day DVD Blu-ray combo pack review

Labor Day is a romantic drama with a generous amount of suspense and tension thrown in. It’s told through the eyes of Henry (Gattlin Griffith), a 13-year-old boy with a severely depressed mother named Adele (Kate Winslet). Although his father invites Henry to come live with him and his new family, complete with a new baby and a surly stepbrother, Henry opts to stay with his mother and try to make her happy.

It’s hard on the boy, because he wants to fill his father’s shoes, but he can’t. The house is falling apart, they have little money and his mother starts shaking when she has to go out in public. When it turns out Henry has outgrown his jeans, they have to go to the local discount store to pick up new clothing, as well as food and other necessities.

While there, a man (Josh Brolin) asks Henry if he and Adele can give him a lift. When Henry sees the man is bleeding, he’s reluctant but takes him to Adele, who turns him down. The man, named Frank, puts his hand on Henry’s shoulder in an aggressive way, and makes it clear that “no” is not an option.

When she asks where he wants to go, Frank asks her to take him to her home—just for a few hours so he can rest and stop the bleeding before he heads out after dark. It turns out Frank has just has had his appendix removed, and right after his operation, jumped through a window to escape. Henry and Adele watch TV and find out Frank is an escaped convict.

Frank isn’t aggressive, but considering he’s in a tough spot, he is assertive, and the audience is kept guessing as we wait to see if Frank is truly a danger to Henry and Adele or if he’s going to leave them unharmed until it’s safe for him to leave.

There are multiple surprises in the story, which kept me entertained from beginning to end. My only problem at first was with the flashbacks, which at first are difficult to understand, but soon it becomes clear that they are recounting Frank’s life story – about his marriage, his child and what happened that led to him being incarcerated.

Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin are perfectly cast and do justice to their roles, but it’s Gattlin Griffith who steals the show. His wide-eyed innocence in the role of Henry is appealing, and we feel empathy for this tender hearted and sad boy who wants his mother to get healthy, while at the same time feel his frustration at being unable to provide her with the happiness and security she needs to get better.

Director Jason Reitman (Juno, Up In the Air) provides us with another beautifully directed film. He allows the audience to get acquainted with these characters slowly, in a believable way. Each scene gives us more insight into their lives and characters. As an added bonus, the scenery of the small town where Adele and Henry live is absolutely gorgeous.

The DVD offers a widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TVs; French (and Spanish or Portuguese) 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Audio Description and optional subtitles in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. The Blu-ray offers deleted scenes, a featurette titled End of Summer: Making Labor Day and a commentary by the filmmaker. It’s presented in 1080p High Definition, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French (and Spanish or Portuguese) 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Audio Description and optional subtitles in English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

If you would like to win a copy of this DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, please tell us below what it is about the film that intrigues you most after reading the review. Or if you’ve seen the movie, tell us what you enjoyed most about it. We have two copies of the Combo Pack to give away, and we’ll contact the winners by email on Monday morning (May 5).

Other films coming out on home release today include: Devil’s Due, Escape From Tomorrow, The Legend of Hercules, Gimme Shelter and The Selfish Giant. ~Alexandra Heilbron

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Kingsley • April 29, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

    I tell you why I want to win this.
    I saw this movie at TIFF and it made a grown man teary eyed! God damn! I tried to hold it in but the end just got me! I want to win this so i can re live that moment and let it all out in the comfort of my own home! lol!
    Aside from that, this was a fantastic movie with raw performances by all actors. Also, something different from Jason Reitman. It was one of my favourite movies of 2013..plus that pie scene..and Josh Brolin of course. He’s the man! Hope i win 🙂
    Thanks for this opportunity Tribute!

  2. Amy Heffernan • April 29, 2014 @ 10:14 AM

    I would love to win. Watch this movie the other day and my husband and I can SO relate. 🙂 We would love to be able to watch it over and over!! Thanks!

  3. Willy • April 29, 2014 @ 10:15 AM

    Quite a touching movie & hope to win this because I haven’t watch that yet.

  4. Angela • April 29, 2014 @ 10:18 AM

    After reading the review, I have more desire to watch this movie. A great kid trying to care for his single mom, wow…it will be absolutely a warm movie to watch. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. Bonnie • April 29, 2014 @ 10:28 AM

    I saw an advance screening of Labour Day a few months ago. I hadn’t heard much about the movie or book that it was based on prior to seeing the screening, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

    I really enjoyed Labour Day because it was a movie that really drew me in with interesting characters and a well developed story. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin brought Adele and Frank’s unique story to life with their outstanding performances.

    I enjoyed the movie so much that I saw it twice. And I was so intrigued by the movie that I decided to read the book Labour Day, written by Joyce Maynard. One of my favourite movies of all time. A refreshing change from the usual movies that are produced. An amazing film. Loved Labour Day.

  6. Teresa Graham • April 29, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

    I was very sorry that I had missed the movie when it was playing in theatres. I just love the story line, it plays to my heart. I know people who struggle emotionally and physically. They do not always get story book endings. I do not know the ending but hope it is a happy one! Though I love to have a good cry!
    Both actors are favourites of mine and I am sure they act their parts beautifully.
    So thoughts of a good emotional story make me want to see it so badly.
    Hope I have a chance thanks to you guys.
    Thank you.

  7. Teresa Graham • April 29, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

    I was very sorry that I had missed the movie when it was playing in theatres. I just love the story line, it plays to my heart. I know people who struggle emotionally and physically. They do not always get story book endings. I do not know the ending but hope it is a happy one! Though I love to have a good cry!
    Both actors are favourites of mine and I am sure they act their parts beautifully.
    So thoughts of a good emotional story make me want to see it so badly.
    Hope I have a chance thanks to you guys.
    Thank you.

  8. Francis • April 29, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

    Oh! wow… DVD giveaway, that’s great, I always don’t have time to go to the movie theatre, so this is a great chance that I can watch the DVD at home if I won it. An interesting story base which I really interested in watching this movie.

  9. Lily • April 29, 2014 @ 10:48 AM

    Definitely a worth watching movie!! Hope to win this DVD and watch it again with my hubby coz he missed it in the theatre.

  10. Nyuk • April 29, 2014 @ 10:50 AM

    I personally hates to watch those movie that makes people cry but why not give a try if I could watch it alone at home that nobody is going to see me cry.

  11. G.Smith • April 29, 2014 @ 11:26 AM

    I haven’t seen this movie yet but reading this review makes me want to. Plus I’m a huge Josh Brolin fan.

  12. Andrea Lee • April 29, 2014 @ 11:40 AM

    I missed this movie when it was out! I’m really interested in the storyline and how Jason Reitman tells his stories. He does it in a way that always seem to work. And the cast, with Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet, I think the story really speaks to our human need to connect, to attach, and to feel safe and secure with each other. I’m really curious about the surprises in the movie after reading your review! Thanks for this great giveaway! Fingers crossed, I’ll get to see it soon 😉

  13. Vijay • April 29, 2014 @ 11:49 AM

    I’d like to win this cos Kate is one of the great actors of our time. As an actor myself, I learn a lot from watching hers and others’ amazing performances.

  14. Soulita • April 29, 2014 @ 12:04 PM

    Such a sad and touching story line. Kate is an amazing actress and this film had great reviews. I unfortunately missed viewing this film and would love the opportunity to see it. Thanks for the opportunity to allow us readers to enter our names on this give-a-way.

  15. Julie B • April 29, 2014 @ 1:56 PM

    I would like to see this movie, it seems a strange story, with good actors!

  16. Tracy Morin • April 29, 2014 @ 2:37 PM

    I think this would be a great story to share with my daughter to expose her to some of the trials and tribulations of life as a single parent and that in love. Thank you for sharing Tribute

  17. Wayne Lecoy • April 29, 2014 @ 3:29 PM

    I am entering your giveaway.
    I want to win a Labor Day DVD/Blu-ray combo pack
    because i want to watch this movie.
    I have watched the trailer
    and it looks like a movie i would enjoy.
    I tried to win tickets to this movie when you were giving them away from your website but i didn’t win.
    This would be a great movie to watch with my mother.
    I know she would enjoy it
    and i am a fan of Kate Winslet.
    Thank you for having this giveaway!!!!!!!!!

  18. Lorraine Johannson • April 29, 2014 @ 4:03 PM

    I am intrigued to find out what happens to all 3 of the main characters. I am really wanting to see how Henry steals the show. After reading your review I really am so excited to see this film!

  19. Angela Mitchell • April 29, 2014 @ 4:09 PM

    I haven’t seen this movie yet but I really want to. I’ve been a huge fan of Kate Winslet for years and I like the combination of romance with some genuine suspense and drama.

  20. Courtney • April 29, 2014 @ 6:41 PM

    I love movies! But my budget disagrees at the moment, and my husband thinks he is Batman so needless to say I see more super hero movies than romantic dramas… hook me up with a nice free copy of Labor Day please Tribute Friends!

  21. Toby • April 30, 2014 @ 12:07 AM

    I loved, loved, loved this movie! There were so many great scenes and Gattlin is truly a wonderful actor! SPOILER ALERT, stop here! 🙂 I loved that the pie making had such an impact on him that he opened his own shop! Just goes to show you that role models are soooo important!

  22. Stacy M • April 30, 2014 @ 8:39 AM

    I want to see this because I love how Kate Winslet isn’t afraid to do a film because of stigmas. I saw her in “The Reader” and she was excellent.

  23. Linda Benson • April 30, 2014 @ 3:57 PM

    Intriguing for sure. It sounds like an interesting story performed by wonderfully tallented people. I can’t wait to see it! Thank You!

  24. Maurice • April 30, 2014 @ 11:04 PM

    I have not seen a bad kate winslet movie always good and entertaining

  25. Alexandra Heilbron • May 7, 2014 @ 12:15 PM

    Congrats to our winners Lorraine and Kingsley – your DVD/Blu-ray combo packs will be sent by mail this week!

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