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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 53:31)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian - Hearing Impaired, Turkish, Icelandic, Croatian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - by Mimi Leder
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Awards/Nominations

Pay It Forward

Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 119 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

A down on his luck journalist is given a new Jaguar after his car is wrecked while he is chasing a story at a hostage situation. The sceptical journalist pursues his generous benefactor determined to know the motivations of the man. The man simply says "Pay it forward. Three big favours for someone else." The journalist is intrigued by the idea and is determined to find the source of this movement and so he begins to investigate.

Cut to a small boy, Trevor, living in a not so nice part of Los Vegas. His mother is struggling to break her drinking habit and is forced to work two jobs to provide for her family. His father is an alcoholic who drifts in an out of their lives due to his unstable behaviour and drinking.

We follow Trevor as he makes his way to school and his first class. He arrives to discover that he has a new social studies teacher whose name is Eugene Simonet. Mr. Simonet gives the class their first homework for the year. The assignment is to "Think of an idea to change the world and put it into action!". Mr. Simonet has sparked something in Trevor. He is attracted by the idea and on his way home from school begins to develop his project. The kids present their ideas to Mr. Simonet the following week. One kid is going to set-up a website, in Chinese, telling all of the kids in China to jump up and down at the same time in an attempt to knock the Earth of its axis?!? Another is going to put recycling flyers into a couple of supermarkets.

Then it's Trevors turn. His idea is pay it forward. You do something that really helps someone and instead of them paying you back, they pay it forward. You've got to help three people and they in turn must help three people and so on.

"Trevor: What did you ever do to change the world? Eugene: Well I eat a hearty breakfast, I show up, on time and then I pass the buck to you!"

Will the journalist track down the source of his story? Who are the three people that Trevor is going to help, what is he going to help them with and what happens after that? Watch this movie and find out for yourselves.

  Video
Contract

I did a rough measurement and the aspect ratio for this transfer is approximately 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

This transfer is a beaut! The sharpness and details levels revealed by this transfer are very good. The colours of Los Vegas are wonderfully bold and bright but are never false looking or overly saturated. The skin tones of the cast are on the warm side but remain natural looking and are consistent throughout. Shadow detail is excellent and the black level is spot on.

Film artefacts are not a problem as I only spotted a handful despite watching this movie twice. There are some moiré effects, some examples of edge enhancement and some aliasing at various points throughout the movie but these are all very minor in nature and likely missed during normal viewing.

This is an RSDL disc with the layer change taking place at 53:31. It is placed on a shot change and is negotiated quickly. It is minimally disruptive and may even be missed during normal viewing.

  Audio
Contract

As this is a mainly dialogue driven film, there wasn't much of an opportunity for the sound engineers on this movie to give your system a work out. It is however, still a good Dolby Digital 5.1 audio transfer offering clear sound delineation and good fidelity. The front 3 channels do 99% of the work and do a good job of creating an effective soundscape. The actors dialogue was always clear and remained in sync throughout. The surrounds are used to carry ambient sounds but their level is quite low and so they only make a minor contribution. Overall I'd say that surround use was disappointing. The subwoofer was used to support the score but was only called upon occasionally and so spent most of the movie asleep.

  Extras
Contract

The following extras are available on this disc:

Cast and Crew Listing

This is a single page that lists the main cast and crew members. Hardly worth including really but better than a poke in the eye with a stick!

Theatrical Trailer

This trailer is framed at 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. It runs for 2:23 and features Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound. The quality is of this trailer is good.

The Making Of Pay It Forward

Running for 13:25 this is your standard promotional feature that includes interview segments cut together with footage from the film and some footage taken behind the scenes. The interview footage includes director Mimi Leder, actor Kevin Spacey, actor Helen Hunt, actor Haley Joel Osment, writer Catherine Ryan Hyde as well as other members of the cast. Overall not a bad inclusion but not one that you'll watch more than once.

Commentary By Director Mimi Leder

In this commentary Mimi Leder covers a wide range of topics such as casting, the film stock used, makeup, framing decisions and why certain scenes were played a particular way. There are frequent short pauses but enough information is revealed to keep you listening.

  Overall  
Contract

Reading the back cover of the DVD could lead you into thinking that this movie is a schmaltz festival. You know, wrapped in marshmallow and fairy floss but it isn't. Bad stuff happens, things don't turn out as planned and so on. Sure it's drama, sure there's sad stuff and lovey dovey stuff but the script is strong, the cast excellent and the film well made and so it avoids becoming overly "nice". Certainly worth a look.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=835
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      And I quote...
    "A movie about how a simple idea and some determination can profoundly change your life and the life of those around you."
    - Michael Chappell
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Loewe Xenix 5006DD
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 105(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          RealMagic Hollywood Plus
    • TV:
          Grundig MW82-50/8 IDTV 16:9
    • Receiver:
          Denon AVR-2801
    • Speakers:
          Tannoy Mercury M4
    • Centre Speaker:
          Tannoy Mercury MC
    • Surrounds:
          Tannoy Mercury M1
    • Subwoofer:
          Aaron SUB-120
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster Lightspeed 100
    • Video Cables:
          ConCord SCART
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