Nowhere Boy (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-27-2011, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=198950&d=1295703447
The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373697

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373697

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

88






Studio and Year: Weinstein Company - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Biography/Drama/Music


Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff
Directed by: Sam Taylor-Wood
Music by: Will Gregory & Alison Goldfrap
Written by: Julia Baird (memoir), Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay)
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 25, 2011







"The untold story of John Lennon and the creation of The Beatles."



Film Synopsis:

Imagine...John Lennon's childhood. A smart and troubled fifteen-year-old is hungry for experience. In a family full of secrets, John escapes into the new and exciting world of rock 'n' roll where his fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney. Just as John begins his new life, tragedy strikes. But a resilient young man finds his voice - and an icon explodes into the world.




My Take:

'Nowhere Boy' is not the story of The Beatles. It is the story of a 15 year old boy from Liverpool, named John (Aaron Johnson). In fact, when asked the new name of his band, John tells his Aunt that she wouldn't care anyway-- intentionally brushing away any mention of The Beatles. However, we do meet Paul (Thomas Brodie Sangster) and George, and get as far as seeing the bond John and Paul form over tragedy and music.

The film opens with John getting his first musical instrument, a harmonica, from his uncle George. Right after that, George dies and John is left living with just his Aunt Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas). Mimi and George have raised John since he was a baby. At the funeral, John sees a woman watching from the distance. He comes to find out that was his Mother and she has been living only blocks away for years. As John builds a relationship with her, he learns more about life, music and art--opening up this boys mind to a new world. This causes a rift between John and Mimi, and he finally learns the truth about his upbringing. Through this plethora of emotional challenges, the only constant that John can rely on is his guitar...and he ends up escaping and pouring his soul into the music.

'Nowhere Boy' is not what I expected, but I did enjoy it none the less. I was thinking I would get more about the beginnings of the Beatles, but instead it was a coming of age drama about a broken family and the effects it had on the poor boy. Thankfully for him (and us) he turned into the musical genius that was John Lennon. I remember thinking Aaron Johnson was very good in 'Kick Ass', but here we see the beginning of a major talent. I was very impressed buy the small nuances he had in his facial expressions and body language in his portrayal of Lennon. The film was quite competent, well written and directed, just not as engaging as I thought it could have been. Just a wee bit more Beatles would have made the tragedy and emotional weight of this film an even more poignant reminder of where the music stemmed from within John Lennon.






Parental Guide:

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality.





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.**


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

Audio: 88



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373694

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373698

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373697

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373697


Video: 88



  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373697

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373698

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373698

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=121037369
'Nowhere Boy charges its way to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded
video that has an average bitrate of 26.3 mbps and DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround Sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 mbps.

Sony seems to have hit a nice stride, never tinkering with the releases and delivering us faithful renditions of its new titles. 'Nowhere Boy' is no exception, having the requisite detail on people, places and things. There were some moments where the resolution was not as strong, but on the most part, any faults I spotted were lighting or cinematography related. Colors and flesh were a bit on the under-saturated side, fitting the feel of working class Liverpool quite well. Blacks and shadow detail were strong just adding to the very nice video presentation.

The DTS-HD MA track was well above average, with articulate high end, from hi hat cymbals to vocal intonation. Nothing was ever lost on me, and the music was strong, as was the front sound-stage. Rears, however, were not as lively as they could have been, especially lacking in the party or musical performance scenes. There was no call for beefy low end or mind blowing dynamics, but this track had a well rounded sound and is sure not to disappoint.



Bonus Features:



  • The Making of Nowhere Boy

  • Nowhere Boy: The Untold Story of John Lennon and the Creation of The Beatles

  • Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) Trailers: Welcome to the Riley's, Inside Job, I Get Low, Justified

  • BD Live enabled



Final Thoughts:

'Nowhere Boy' is nowhere near what I was expecting. The tagline and cover made me think I was seeing the creation of the Beatles, not a coming of age drama. Being the latter, it did fare quite well, though I can see it disappointing Beatles fans wanting more Beatles. The acting was superb, as was the A/V presentation from Sony, but the extras were run of the mill and in standard definition. I give this an easy rental recommendation...put it in your queue and give it a spin.






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Lee Weber
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-28-2011, 02:56 AM
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Greetings,

Interesting..Thanks Lee.


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post #3 of 5 Old 01-28-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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While NOWHERE BOY may disappoint those hoping for more Beatles, the movie BACKBEAT (criminally not on BD, sadly) fills that option quite nicely. In fact, NOWHERE BOY ends around the time BACKBEAT begins. Watching them both back-to-back would be a fun way to see a good extended dramatization of the early years, even though they are totally different films in tone and execution.
I should also add that Kristen Thomas's performance is Oscar-worthy, IMHO.
(And I had no idea that Lennon was played by Kick-Ass!)
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-28-2011, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by film113 View Post

While it may disappoint those hoping for more Beatles, the movie BACKBEAT (criminally not on BD, sadly) fills that option quite nicely. In fact, NOWHERE BOY ends around the time BACKBEAT begins. Watching them both back-to-back would be a fun way to see a good extended dramatization of the early years, even though they are totally differenrt films in tone and execution.
I should also add that Kristen Thomas's performance is Oscar-worthy, IMHO.
(And I had no idea that Lennon was played by Kick-Ass!)

This and Backbeat are two pretty good films. Hopefully one of the studios or an independent will put together the story starting with the Cavern to Hamburg to Shea Stadium.
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-28-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post

This and Backbeat are two pretty good films. Hopefully one of the studios or an independent will put together the story starting with the Cavern to Hamburg to Shea Stadium.

Very unlikely...one of the reasons these two early-years pictures were able to get made is because they didn't need to pay for the rights to any Beatle songs! And they ain't cheap! Can you imagine how much it would cost to do so for all the music required for the later years? (Well, I guess Robert Zemeckis probably knows!)
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