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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Finding Forrester [Blu-ray]

 

(Gus Van Sant, 2000)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Eureka

 

Disc:

Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:16:10.120

Disc Size: 48,597,554,712 bytes

Feature Size: 40,496,109,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.30 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: February 27th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3832 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3832 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Isolated Score:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

HBO Making of featurette (15:03)
Found: Rob Brown featurette (11:59)
Deleted Scenes (7:43)
Original theatrical trailer (2:30)

DVD included

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) comes Finding Forrester, the acclaimed and heart-warming film about the unique relationship between an eccentric reclusive novelist, William Forrester (Academy Award winner Sean Connery, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) and a gifted athlete, Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown, Coach Carter, Treme) who has writing aspirations of his own.

As their friendship develops, Forrester takes the young man on as his protege, giving Jamal a fantastic opportunity to learn all he can from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. But hes not the only person who has something to learn from the experience

With a star studded cast, including Academy Award Winners F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus, All The Presidents Men, The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood) as well as Michael Pitt (TVs Boardwalk Empire and Hannibal) and Busta Rhymes, Finding Forrester is a wonderfully life-affirming film, Eureka Entertainment presents the film for the first time on Blu-ray in the UK, in a special Dual-Format edition.

 

 

The Film:

A movie about being a writer offers us an interesting perspective into the mind of its author. Finding Forrester, a film about a young man whose talent brings him in contact with an unlikely mentor in the most unlikely of places, is the first feature film screenplay written by Mike Rich, an Oregon radio news director who obviously has some literary aspirations of his own. It is directed by Gus Van Sant, who received a Best Director Oscar nomination for 1997's Good Will Hunting. Rich's text and Van Sant's direction mesh very well together, bringing the author's commentary about race relations and true creativity onto the screen with an important sense of integrity in a field known for empty glittering, featuring a nice turn by Sean Connery and a surprisingly natural performance by young newcomer Robert Brown.

In a story with some similarities to Hunting (including a surprise cameo by Matt Damon) but which bears an even stronger resemblance to Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys, a 16-year-old Bronx school kid named Jamal Wallace (Brown), who happens to be known for his talent on the basketball court, is recruited by an exclusive private prep school after he receives exceptionally high scores on a standardized test. However, Jamal soon learns the school administration's true motive: after losing several players to graduation, they are looking to restock the basketball team. Although he is a voracious reader and shows great talent in his writing, Jamal is not taken very seriously by his arrogant professor, failed novelist Henry Crawford (F. Murray Abraham).

Excerpt from FilmQuipsOnline located HERE

Playing William Forrester, a literary legend and fictional Scottish-American variant of J. D. Salinger, Mr. Connery is more of a stern, cranky boss than the empathetic mush pot Mr. Williams would have made him. The star's hawklike eyes glaring under Mephistophelean brows cast look so imperious they threaten to turn into lightning bolts. Had anyone else played the role, this dubious character would probably have come off as clinically insane. But such is Mr. Connery's skill at projecting manly authority that he fosters the illusion that Forrester is actually a repository of some truth and wisdom.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Finding Forrester looks solid on Blu-ray from Eureka out of the UK. Cinematographer Harris Savides' (Zodiac, Milk, Whatever Works) 2.35:1 framed visuals are exported well in 1080P finally showcasing some of the DoP's subtleties not picked-up in SD. The image quality is consistent and very clean. This is dual-layered with a high bitrate. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows some depth and film-like heaviness. It looks excellent in-motion without noise or artifacts.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio gives the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround track or a linear PCM 2.0 channel. The film has few effects but there is minor depth and separations that you can notice. While there is no credited score there is music in Finding Forrester with a couple of pieces by Wayne Shorter, some Miles Davis, Bill Frisell, some may recognize Hanson and Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

 

Extras :

Nothing new but there are some vintage featurettes; a 1/4 hour HBO Making of piece and a dozen minutes of Found: Rob Brown with Van Sant discussing casting - calling Spike Lee, and other cast and crew talking about putting Robert Brown in the film's lead. We also get some deleted scenes, an original theatrical trailer and the package contains a second disc DVD.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Finding Forrester is a very good film - it has many excellent components including the subject set in an alt-Academia fringe existence ala Van Sant's excellent Good Will Hunting, the film is well written, strong performances from both Connery and, less-experienced, Brown and the director adeptly pieces together the narrative providing excellent pacing. Finding Forrester also has a timeless quality dealing with maturity and communication. The Eureka Blu-ray presentation is excellent and it's a film that seems to have been forgotten and is worthy of a revisitation in 1080P. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

February 26th, 2017


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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