The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 83 minutes
Genre: Teen Romance/Drama
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Emma Roberts, Freddie Highmore, Blair Underwood, Michael Angarano, Sasha Spielberg, Elizabeth Reaser, Rita Wilson, Sam Robards, Alicia Silverstone
Written & Directed by: Gavin Wiesen
Music by: Alec Puro
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 29, 2011
"The toughest lesson is love"
George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who’s made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.
Fatalistic teenager George Zingavoy (Freddy Highmore) is a master at doing less than the bare minimum. In fact, he's practically turned it into an art form - making it through the entire school year without doing a shred of work. But when George meets the beautiful and complicated Sally (Emma Roberts), she ignites a fire within him that turns his slacker world upside-down. Their quirky relationship may just inspire George to do the unthinkable - chase his dreams and follow his heart.
The art of getting by was surprisingly good thanks to well a rounded script and solid performances from leads Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore. The coming of age story about two teens on the cusp of adulthood resonates with the complications associated with introversion, first love, and the painfully awkward stages of adolescence. Writer/director Gavin Wiesen drew upon a bit of personal experience in the creation of these characters. Some of George’s exploits in school push the boundaries of plausibility but strictly in an attempt to establish his foundational eccentricities. Where the film shines is in the odd but effective development of the relationship between George and Sally. Early on the jury was out on Freddie Highmore’s seemingly vapid portrayal. As the story develops I found George to be sympathetic and empathetic as he struggled to deal with his emotions. Clichés abound in the final act but by that time I was well invested and had high hopes for the quirky, awkward and “different” kid who learned his first true life lesson. The art of getting by isn’t original or lofty in scope but it has a bit of heart, a bit of charm and speaks to a time when we all felt a little “different”.
The rating is for thematic elements including sexual content, language, teen drinking and partying.
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:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The art of getting by comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.
This is a predominantly good video presentation that offers appreciable refinement and varying degrees of delineation that can be scene dependent. Resolution is discerning most of the time but softer definition leaves some mid level and wide angle views appearing less resolvable in terms of depth and detail. The color range is perfectly suited to the source material with rendering that is clean with a pleasing level of saturation. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and appear natural enough. Spot on contrast yields crisp, bright whites and blacks are stable but slightly elevated which leaves them appearing less dynamic and sometimes flat. Grain is evident and primarily appears in even layers that are naturally rendered throughout.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack is primarily front focused with minimal but effective use of the surround platform to extend the soundstage. The presentation is satisfying and competently conveys the elements present in the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue is intelligible but could have mixed a bit higher as there were times where I had to increase the volume to make out softer spoken passages. The front three channels delivered the bulk of the sound and did so with good clarity and imaging. The surrounds and sub see occasional use and support the soundtrack’s elements with light spatial dimension and bass response that accompanies the film’s club atmosphere/ music.
- Audio commentary with writer/director Gavin Wisen
- (HD) New York side of life – 2 minute featurette
- (HD) On young love – 2 minute featurette
- Fox Movie Channel Presents: In character with Freddie Highmore – 4 minutes
- (HD) HBO First Look: The making of The art of getting by – 12 minutes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
The art of getting by is a trite but charming teen romance drama that resonates with the complications associated with introversion, first love, and the painfully awkward stages of adolescence. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring satisfying high definition audio/video and a middling supplemental package that is highlighted by a making of documentary and filmmaker commentary. The art of getting by isn’t original or lofty entertainment but it has a bit of heart, a bit of charm and makes for a decent rental on movie night.
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Missing however are deleted scenes,with possibly an option for the "Sundance" edit which was titled Homework and was rated R.
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