The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Weinstein Company - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
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."
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.
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
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.
- 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
'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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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Marantz AV7005 Pre/Pro
Emotiva UPA7 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer