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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • Dual Layer ( 77:39)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Arabic, Turkish, Icelandic, Croatian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi, Bulgarian
  Extras
  • 2 Deleted scenes - Deleted Choir Scenes
  • 2 Teaser trailer - All The Pretty Horses, First Knight
  • Theatrical trailer - Finding Forrester
  • Animated menus
  • 2 Behind the scenes footage - HBO Making-of, Found: Rob Brown
  • Filmographies

Finding Forrester

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 131 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Finding Forrester is a touching story from the director of Good Will Hunting. I really didn’t like Good Will Hunting, and went against the critics opinions. Then with this film I did the same. They all said that it wasn’t as good as Good Will Hunting but I would disagree. But anyway, why do critics compare films from a director to their previous films. Take Steven Spielburg for example who has made a range of films from dinosaur flicks to anti-war dramas to futuristic tales. Try comparing those! What I am trying to say is that critics shouldn’t compare these two films as they are obviously not going to be the same, as they are different films altogether.

But anyway, Finding Forrester, Sean Connery’s latest film is a touching and heartfelt film that tells the story of Jamal Wallace (newcomer Rob Brown) who was dared to go into Connery’s apartment. But first you need to know that Connery doesn’t leave his apartment, he just looks out of his window. Legends start to fly amongst Jamal’s friends and so he is dared to go up there. But while up there, he is ambushed by Connery’s character and Jamal drops his bag. The next day, his bag is dropped from the sky (really), and all his possessions are there. Except, all his personal note books have been written in, as a teacher would mark a students work. Jamal returns to the apartment on the third floor and here starts the relationship between the two. A 16-year-old black basketball player from the Bronx and a much older reclusive retired author.

  Video
Contract

On a whole, the video transfer is very nice but suffers from some reoccurring problems. Primarily it is to do with the darker scenes of the movie where there is often little definition between the different shapes. It often just appears like a blob of black shapes. This can first be seen in Chapter 4 and it repeats itself throughout the feature.

There is very slight grain apparent, which is more obvious in the darker scenes. There are also some very minor film artefacts, mainly in the Columbia Tristar logo at the beginning. After that point, the film artefacts become nearly non-existent. Generally the picture is sharp, but it does sometimes slip into a blur or softer definitions of the actors.

The 2.35:1 transfer is 16x9 enhanced and is a dual layered disc. The layer change occurs at 77:39, and it is very neat as it occurs in a scene change. But it is still slightly noticeable, unlike the layer change on Innocence, which is the neatest and most discreet I have seen.

The colours are also troublesome as they keep playing games. At one point in a scene they appear very bright and vibrant, but then the next cut in the scene makes them appear very hazy and muted. This occurs many times throughout the film, with the bright colours being a rare occurrence. The transfer also suffers from a large amount of glare from off-screen lighting, which can become irritating and distracting. An Audio Commentary would be incredibly useful for this film as it would probably explain the glare and hazy appearance of the picture.

  Audio
Contract

There is only one audio track offered, and that is Dolby Digital 5.1 English. It may as well have been a Dolby Surround or Stereo track as there was barely any action in the surrounds apart from occasionally taking up the score and very minor sound effects. The subwoofer pumped away slightly every now and then, but what is to be expected from this genre of film?

The sound pretty much comes from the centre speaker the entire time, apart from occasional 5.1 bursts of action. The dialogue is generally clear, but the scenes involving Jamal and his friends do become hard to understand due to their language.

The score is simply amazing. At one point in the film, remnants of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ can be heard and then the film closes with a synergy of that song and ‘What A Wonderful World.’ The score throughout the rest of the film is suitable for the action on screen, and adds so much atmosphere by the gentle and melodic tunes.

  Extras
Contract

The extras are fairly stock-standard for a disc nowadays, but are still fairly interesting:
HBO Making-of - This runs for 15 minutes and is presented in the aspect of 4:3 with Dolby Digital 2.0. This covers some behind-the-scenes footage but also shows the trailer spread over 15 minutes. There is little new footage from behind the scenes, but what is there is good to watch.
Found: Rob Brown - This runs for 12 minutes and is presented in the aspect of 4:3 with Dolby Digital 2.0. This covers the talent search for Rob Brown, but also repeats scenes seen in the HBO Making-of.
Deleted Choir Scenes - There are two of these, that run for 3:00 and 4:30 minutes respectively. The first one is a song called Lacrymosa and the second Lean On Me. Both of these are presented in a widescreen aspect of 2.35:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. They are performed by school choir and feature some amazing solos. But one question remains – what is the relevance of them?
Filmographies - these are selected filmographies for Sean Connery, Anna Paquin, F. Murray Abraham and Gus Van Sant. They are only filmographies and give no other information regarding these people.
Trailers - There are three on this disc, All The Pretty Horses, Finding Forrester and First Knight. Nothing overly thrilling, just trailers of other Columbia discs.

The menus are animated and have background music that is part of the score from the film. They are very easy to navigate through and are good to look at too!

  Overall  
Contract

The film is touching and humourous, and the transfer is fairly good. The video transfer has some slight problems, and the audio transfer is clean, yet far from reference quality 5.1 tracks. The extras are limited, yet fairly interesting. Overall, this is a must have for fans of Connery or Van Sant, and is a must-watch for everyone. Watch it first before you decide to buy.


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      And I quote...
    "I am not going to say to you "watch this if you liked Good Will Hunting," because they are different films. But still watch it anyway, just for entertainment purposes. "
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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