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The Boy (Blu-ray Review)

BoyNamed one of the best under the radar films of 2015 by Indiewire and Hitfix, the enigmatic thriller The Boy makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut on March 1st, 2016 from Scream Factory.  From Elijah Wood’s SpectreVision and Chiller Films comes a disturbing new vision exploring the birth of evil. On March 1st, Chiller Film’s enigmatic psychological thriller The Boy makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut courtesy of Scream Factory. Starring Jared Breeze,Rainn Wilson (Cooties, The Office) and David Morse, the release also includes a behind the scenes featurette as a bonus feature. Fans of this creepily suspenseful film can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com.

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Film Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5Dexter-0Dexter-0

An intimate portrait of a 9-year-old sociopath’s growing fascination with death.  Set in a motel around the middle of absolute no-where, the boy and his father share a disconnected relationship.  A strange man wrecks his car and enters the boy’s life, bringing him some new intrigue.

The Boy is a beautifully shot and well performed film in both its performances and direction.  Every shot seems to be have been driven with some sort of importance and precision.  In other words, its one of those films that is really fun to just look at.  Actor David Morse puts in great work as always.  Rainn Wilson puts in some really deep, layered dramatic work to class this film up too.

A problem the film has is that it takes too much time in trying to take its time.  Every scene is very long and follows the boy just wandering.  There is not much dialogue in the film, too, making it even more of a chore to try and get through.  This only really becomes an issue because the film is ten minutes shy of being a full two hours in length.  It really doesn’t need that sort of time to tell the story its telling.

I really like the idea that The Boy is trying to get across.  Watching the bonus material and listening to Elijah Wood talk about it made me appreciate the film a little more.  However, while in discussion is sounds really cool, I still remember being intrigued, then bored, then impatient then reeled back in.  The film has highs but it also tries your patience which is a big low for me.

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Video Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-_5

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Clarity/Detail:  Scream Factory delivers another IFC Midnight title with a gorgeous picture.  The film has a setting that allows for such a beautiful image.  Details on terrain as well as surfaces in the motel and clothing are impressive in this good sharp image.

Depth:  Spacing between people and environment is very good.  There are some breathtaking shots that translate very well.  Movements are cinematic and smooth.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and rich.  Shadows and nighttime scenes particularly are impressive.

Color Reproduction:  This isn’t a particularly colorful film, very desert-like in nature, but its still has many good tones and tints displayed with a bold image.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural with a hint of warmth.  Facial features are outstanding, with stubble, lip texture, cracks and wrinkles all looking like you are seeing the people through a window.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Boy 2

Audio Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics:  There are moments in this film where this is an impactful track, but its not a film that demands a whole lot from the sound department.  That said, this sounds really terrific and is effective when it has to be.  You don’t blame the mix for anything, its just the nature of this film is sort of quiet.

Low Frequency Extension:  The sub is given some minimal use here with mainly cosmetic work.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Front speakers carry sound back and forth with placing characters and volume levels with good accuracy.  Rear speakers mainly provide ambiance.

Dialogue Reproduction:  The minimal dialogue all comes through crisp and clear.

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Extras Dex-1Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0Dexter-0

Behind The Scenes (HD, 15:12) – A rather basic look at the film with interviews from the cast as well as Elijah Wood and his team.  They talk about the film as being the first part of 3 acts or the first in a trilogy and maybe hope to revisit the character one day.

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Summary Dex-1Dex-1Dex-1Dexter-0Dexter-0

There’s a lot I respected here with The Boy, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t sitting quite bored during it.  Not quite waiting for the paint to dry, but not too engaged.  Nothing is really happening for a lot of it, and its a loooong movie to get to the payoff.  Scream Factory’s Blu-ray has a terrific presentation of the film in both its audio and video.  The Behind The Scenes featurette is no slouch either.  Definitely check the film out as a rental first, but with the price-point on it right now, its a pretty good deal.

Boy-Blu-ray

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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