The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Starz/Anchor Bay - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Drama, Romance
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Starring: Kat Dennings, Reece Thompson, Andie MacDowell and Josh Lucas
Directed by: Michael Goldbach
Music by: Aaron L. Gilbert
Written by: Michael Goldbach
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 17, 2011
"Juno as reimagined by David Lynch, or a funnier, sunnier Donnie Darko."
Seventeen-year-old Caroline Wexler is facing a teenager's nightmare: her widowed father has moved them from the big city to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. When Caroline realizes she has nothing in common with the burnout losers in her new school she pursues the one person with who excites her interest - her handsome young teacher, Mr Anderson. A bizarre love triange ensues between Caroline, Mr Anderson, and a sweet, but troubled classmate. Featuring a hit indie soundtrack in this mash-up of the bizarre and the beautiful, DAYDREAM NATION is a coming-of-age story for the 21st century.
It's a strange feeling to 'kind of enjoy' a film like 'Daydream Nation'. On one hand not much of the plot is fully realized, things happen that are not explained and where it looks like it is heading (and would have been better if it did), it just brushes opportunity aside and takes the safe route. On the other hand, the cast and characters were engaging and fleshed out enough to keep me into this indie-drama hip fest wanna-be.
When Seventeen-year-old Caroline Wexler (Kat Dennings) arrives in a new town, away from the city life she seems more accustomed to, her boredom inspires her to takes matters into her own hands. She Seduces her teacher (Josh Lucas), dates and messes with the head of a guy her own age (Reece Thompson) and enjoys being labeled a floozy by the rest of the school. If that was the extent of the story, and it kept mopping along its cute and slightly edgy little love triangle plot, and didn't throw in elements that made no sense, then 'Daydream Nation' might have had a chance. Seriously, there is a subplot of a serial killer that goes absolutely nowhere, another of a chemical fire creating smog and characters randomly wearing gas masks to avoid it. These plot-lines are hardly used or resolved. I couldn't understand why, all I can gather is the writer/director wanted to try to be weird to be cool...he failed.
If 'Daydream Nation' kept its linear plot of Caroline being new to town, the love triangle between her, her teacher and her high school boyfriend, and didn't try to be weird for the sake of it, it might have been a better than average flick. I enjoyed my viewing, until I realized it would never resolve these sub-plots, which I was hoing would have a major impact towards the films climax. It is watchable, but on cable, when you really have no other options. The little charm its cast had took it from junk to passable. When it was over all I thought was -- who threw the rock through the window and at the car?? Does ANYONE know??
Rated R for drug and alcohol use, sexual content, language and some violent images - all involving teens.
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:
Anchor Bay delivers a worthy transfer with its release of 'Daydream Nation'. Black Levels are where it excels, looking nice any inky with definition in details that can be easily lost in the darkness. Details are resolved with ease and colors seem right in line with what I perceive to be natural. However, at times, the film can look a bit stale, never having the pop that takes it over the edge. I didn't notice any grain structure and artifacts were not present. The Dolby TrueHD audio track is a perfect counterpart for the video presentation. It is crisp and well defined, having a nice front sound-stage that blends to the surround channels with ease, creating precise imaging. Its shortcoming of not being the most dynamic or sonically assaulting are not of major detriment, but a little more beefing up would have made it stand-out.
- Behind the Scenes of 'Daydream Nation'
'Daydream Nation' is a rental at best. It's a great looking Blu-ray from Anchor Bay, and if only the film had the attention the A/V presentation had, we would have had a winner. To many dropped plot-points and missed opportunities made an other-wise enjoyable flick a frustration. Kat Denning fans will enjoy some nice shots of the up-and-coming actress, and the cast was generally strong. The best word I could come up with to describe this one is 'blah'.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-X3 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Marantz AV7005 Pre/Pro
Emotiva UPA7 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Trio On-Wall (5.1)
Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Solitaire 10"