The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Starz/Anchor Bay - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Hilary Duff, Ellen Burstyn, Evan Ross, Michael Murphy
Directed by: Nancy Bardawil
Music by: John E. Nordstrom
Written by: Michael Gilvary
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 19, 2010
"She's a trip. But she's no vacation."
She’s seventeen, bright, beautiful and seriously rebellious, full of sarcastic wit that barely disguises the hurt inside. Pushed aside by her mother, Karen, who is on her third marriage and counting, Greta is shipped off to her grandparents for the summer, and she’s not happy about it.
This is not your typical teen fluff. I can’t figure out who this movie was targeted to, but it's not really the teen crowd who usually are Hilary Duff ‘s demographic. ‘According to Greta’ starts off as a clichéd and frankly, quite annoying teen angst story; thankfully it eventually morphs into a decent character study of a family with a history of unresolved issues. Greta is shipped off to her grandparents in Jersey for the summer and instantly meets them with resistance. In the car ride from the train station it is apparent Greta is starving for attention as she tells her grandparents about her ‘to-do’ list and that suicide is the last thing on it. Hilary Duff took me from hating to caring about Greta, and she was surprisingly convincing in the role. Her grandparents, played by Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist, Requiem for a Dream) and one of my favorite character actor’s, Michael Murphy (Manhattan, MASH), also went through a similar metamorphose by the end of the film. The films best moments are when Greta is at her new job as a waitress in a seafood restaurant. The feisty waitress is rude and tells the customers what to order and when, giving a bit of comic relief (she has never even tried fish). This is where she meets her love interest, a line cook played by Diana Ross’s son, Evan Ross. The love affair was a bit contrived and ultimately didn’t seem to connect, providing the films weakest link. ‘According to Greta’ had strong performances, good production values and a better than average spin on teen rebellion and coming of age. Unfortunately it didn’t fully resonate with me as an adult and might be a bitter pill for the teen crowd.
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, some sexual content and drug references.
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
According to Greta comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound.
Greta looked good. No, I am not just talking about Hillary Duff; the cinematography by Michael Lohmann (Boston Legal) felt like a window in to real life. Anchor Bay's transfer was sharp and rich with a slight but intentional over-saturation of colors. Even with the over-saturation, the film looked amazingly real and the flesh-tones were like looking a person next to you. Most impressive was the clarity of fine detail that added a level of pop that made 'According to Greta' jump into reference quality. The audio, being a decent transfer suffered from a lack of dynamics that gave it a slightly flat feeling. Dialogue was easy to follow and nothing was swallowed into the mix nor would I expect it to be as these was not much going on. Effect channels were used sparsely and I only noticed them when I was paying attention. Considering the film, this is a completely adequate sound presentation that doesn’t enhance or detract.
- (HD) Greta: Behind the Scenes (19 min)
- (HD) Deleted and alternate scenes
- (HD) Alternate Ending
‘According to Greta’ is a movie that is floating in limbo; it appears as a teen ‘boohoohoo memem’ drama-fest and ends up being a cross generational story of a family finding its place together. Will you really enjoy it or think its just OK is the question. I don't see many people disliking it and I was in-between the two. Anchor Bay’s release offers nothing thrilling on the extra feature and audio front, but on the other-hand, the video quality is superb. For that alone I say give Greta a spin.
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Reference Review System:
Anthem LTX 500 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Prismasonic HE1500R Anamorphic Lens
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC07 Receiver
Pioneer BDP-320 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer