AVS Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

Blu-ray Reviewer
15,483 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Miramax - 1997
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 126 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver, Cole Hauser, Casey Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard
Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Music by: Danny Elfman
Written by: Matt Damon & Ben Affleck
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 30, 2011

"Some people can never believe in themselves, until someone believes in them"

Film Synopsis:

A true motion picture phenomenon, this triumphant story was nominated for 9 Academy Awards(R) -- winning Oscars for Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor) and hot newcomers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (Best Original Screenplay). The most brilliant mind at America's top university isn't a student ... he's the kid who cleans the floors! Will Hunting (Damon) is a headstrong, working-class genius who's failing the lessons of life. After one too many run-ins with the law, Will's last chance is a psychology professor (Williams), who might be the only man who can reach him!

My Take:

Will Hunting (Damon), is just a blue-collar worker at one of the world's most prestigious schools, MIT. But what the rest of the university doesn't know is that their janitor is gifted in math and science and often spends his evenings figuring out the most difficult of equations unsolved by others. Hunting doesn't recognize his potential until three people enter his life, and with their encouragement, change it forever. At its center Good will Hunting is a juxtaposition of two worlds and two men both struggling to come to terms with the cards life dealt to them. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) is a psychologist brought on board to help get to the heart of prodigy Will Hunting's seemingly destructive behavior. It isn't long before Will forces Sean to look in the mirror and face his own feelings of loss/guilt/remorse that stem from events buried in his past. The two men develop a mutual bond of respect as they help one another to understand the true nature of their inner pain, the path to healing and in Will's case the path to trust and love.

This was one of those films that seemed to come out of nowhere in 1997. It was the talk of the Oscars and was an incredible shot in the arm for actors/co-writers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. I didn't catch it until it made its way to home video but was immediately struck by its infectious charm, touching drama and pitch perfect romance. It has been a number of years since I have seen it and I thoroughly enjoyed this revisit. Damon and Affleck did an amazing job on this script which is filled with rewarding moments both overt and subtle. The characters are wonderfully nuanced and the established relationships both old and new are actualized. The cast does a marvelous job across the board. I could watch Minnie Driver all day. Casey Affleck makes the absolute most of his few moments onscreen and shines in the in the role of Morgan. Williams and Damon share an amazing chemistry that brings an air of legitimacy to the story. Good Will Hunting is a special film and I am thrilled that it has found its way to Blu-ray Disc. Thanks Lionsgate!

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong language, including some sex-related dialogue.

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: 80

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 86

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Good Will Hunting comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.

This is a great looking catalog title that has a rewarding and film like quality. Images onscreen exhibit plenty of fine rendering and crisp definition that on occasion rises to higher levels especially during close ups which can be very revealing. Long range shots appear resolute with good dimensional depth and notable object detail. The geographic locations and scenic views of Boston look great in high definition. Bright exterior segments are punchy with crisp dynamic whites and appreciable texture. Colors aren't overly engaging as the palette is limited to sepia tones and drab secondary hues that don't offer much to catch the eye. Rendering is excellent though and the balance is kept in proper focus which mates well with the films overall visual perspective. Fleshtones are tonally divergent and appear lifelike in depiction. Blacks are respectable for the most part but appear a bit inconsistent as depth can be scene dependent. Shadow detail is quite good and reveals plenty of visible delineation in dark backgrounds and low lighting. I didn't detect any deleterious artifacts or other video related anomalies.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack rendered clear, well articulated dialogue that maintained a discerning position of prominence within the front soundstage. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere from time to time. The mix excelled at reproducing sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field's acoustic environment. Detail was rendered with aplomb which attenuated slight environmental cues and augmented the subtle texture of voices and sound effects.

Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary with director Gun Van Zant and actors/writers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

  • 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary with director Gus Van Zant & co-writers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

  • Production featurette - 6 minutes

  • Miss Misery Music video - 3 minutes

  • Behind the scenes footage - 3 minutes

  • Academy Award best picture montage - 1 minute

  • Theatrical trailer

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc

Final Thoughts:

Good Will Hunting, the brainchild of co-writers/actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck is a wonderfully balanced drama that eschews the use of broad strokes but engages with well drawn characters, rewarding interplay and marvelous performances from a strong ensemble cast. Winner of two Academy Awards it is one of the most beloved films of the 1990's. It makes its debut on Blu-ray Disc featuring excellent high definition video quality, crystal clear lossless sound and the same bonus material found on the Collector's Series DVD release. This Blu-ray Disc offering from Lionsgate presents Good Will Hunting in its finest light and comes highly recommended.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

6,658 Posts

Have you seen the previously released Canadian Blu-ray of this?

I finally gave up a while back and imported this last year... so of course they finally release it in the US now!

But it looked pretty good to me, so I was wondering if you had done a comparison between the two to know if this new US release is a better transfer?

Blu-ray Reviewer
15,483 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Originally Posted by HDMe2 /forum/post/20858580


Have you seen the previously released Canadian Blu-ray of this?

I finally gave up a while back and imported this last year... so of course they finally release it in the US now!

But it looked pretty good to me, so I was wondering if you had done a comparison between the two to know if this new US release is a better transfer?


Sorry, I haven't seen the Canadian Blu-ray release.

1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.