Awake (2007) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Weinstein Company || R - 84 minutes - $28.95 || November 18, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-11-28


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Joby Harold
Writer(s): Joby Harold (written by)
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba, Terrence Howard, Lena Olin, Fisher Stevens, Christopher McDonald


Theatrical Release Date: November 30, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Writer/Director Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making of Awake
  • Storyboard to Film Comparison
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Awake is an interesting little film that grabbed me by surprise. I'm usually not a fan of these Direct-to-Video type films but Awake has an intriguing plot and a decent cast of characters who help bring the story alive. Clay (Hayden Christiansen) is a rich young lad who strives to be like his long-dead father. Along with his mother he appears to have billions and could do and be with whomever he wants. We learn early on that Clay has a secret girlfriend, Sam (Jessica Alba) who (I think) is his motherís assistant. Sam eagerly wants to marry Clay, but he is afraid to tell his mother because of the reaction she may have.

Eventually through the course of a rather boring thirty minutes it becomes known that Clay has a heart problem and is on a donor list waiting for a new one. His mother objects to the doctor he has picked to replace his heart (being a friend) and after a secret wedding to Sam, Clay gets word his heart is in and he is needed right away. Soon after Clay goes under the knife we learn of the plot to kill him for his inheritance. How do we learn this compelling (yet very obvious) information? Clay is actually awake during the surgery and is able to hear everything that is going on as well as leave his body and travel around the hospital. Through the help of flashbacks, Clay is able to put together the mystery and figure out exactly who wants him dead.

For some of the flack DTV's get, this film was actually enjoyable. Solid acting all around and an interesting plot. If not for the first thirty minutes or so being rather boring and trying to build up certain characters that are not all that important I would have given this a better score.

I was waiting for Clay's father to actually play an important role in the film....but nothing. We eventual learn how he dies after several flashbacks but the whole point of it seems like a way just to make his "dream world" last an extra twenty minutes. Without ruining the ending of the film, I can see how far a motherís love can go for their child, but it seems like a complete cop-out to force an ending like that on us. While I'm on the subject of the ending I got to say I'm not very happy with it. There was no satisfying conclusion at all. We didn't see the aftermath of what happened and we certainly didn't get much closure.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Writer/Director Joby Harold

Deleted Scenes (9 Minutes) - Most of these were trimmed for time and nothing all that exciting. I did like the alternate take where Caly introduces Sam to his mother though.

Making of Awake (12 Minutes) - A very basic making of that spends too much time with the stars talking about how great the film is.

Also included are storyboard comparisons and a theatrical trailer.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Awake is presented 2.40:1 (VC-1) on a 25GB Disc. A fairly nice presentation with strong blacks and vibrant colors (when actually shown). Since most of the film takes place in the hospital or in Clay's memories colors often feel a bit hazy but overall itís a clean transfer with no scratches.

Genius has included an English 5.1 TrueHD track as well as French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Since the film is very dialog driven don't expect a whole lot from the TrueHD track. Besides a few instances of Clay's voice traveling through the rear speakers they were empty.



.::OVERALL::.

Awake