Dear John (2010)

Genre(s): Drama / Romance
Sony || PG13 - 108 minutes - $28.95 || May 25, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-05-21


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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: Lasse Hallstrom
Writer(s): Nicholas Sparks (novel); Jamie Linden (screenplay)
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Channing Tatum, Richard Jenkins, Henry Thomas


Theatrical Release Date: February 5, 2010


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 5 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Alternate Ending
  • Outtakes


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

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.::THE FILM::.

In case you are unaware of the following knowledge, Iím going to share it with you. Dear John will at some point in your life be a trivia answer to a question you will be asked and odds are will win you a million bucks. The movie set a record by being the film to knock off Avatar from the #1 spot after 6 consecutive weeks of being there. The movie went on to gross much more than anyone expected, including me, and has set Amanda Seyfriedís career on fire since sheís in literally every movie Iíve seen recently. The flick is a heartfelt, touching experience that left me a little bit bored and wondering when the parade of novels turned into movies will end.

John Tyree (Channing Tatum) is watching Savannah (Amanda Seyfried) from afar when her purse accidentally falls into the ocean after being pushed in by Tim (Henry Thomas). John dives into the ocean and retrieves it for her and the two begin bonding right away. Savannah invites him out with her friends for a night of partying and a beer, and after a few tries, he grudgingly accepts. He meets a few of her friends, including Alan (Braeden Reed) who has autism, and gets along with them great. John walks home and gets a ride from Savannahís friend who warns him not to ever mistreat him or else heíll regret it, although he says it in somewhat of a joking fashion.

The new couple starts hanging out more and more and eventually begins to date but they both know their time here isnít forever. John has to leave at the end of the week to go back to the military and Savannah has to go back home as though she was only here on spring break. The two spend all their time together and decide to write one another while they are gone to hopefully ease the heartache of being away from someone you met 13 days ago and fell in love with. Sorry, I hate the whole falling for someone so fast thing, my bad. However, as time passes, they love one another more and more and eventually meet again but the circumstances are much different. Can love conquer all and let these two lovebirds be together or will the army and college keep them away from each other forever?

I must say that while I may be one to quickly bash the movie, there are some decent moments here which made me think otherwise. The film has a touching message (autism) and also one about love (love) that made me think thereís more to this one than meets the eye. The problem I have with the movie is that the story moves rather slowly and the ending isnít that unpredictable and left me wondering what the point of the whole dang flick was in retrospect. Thereís not a lot here that you wouldnít expect from a romance type of movie: love, loss, predictable plot turn, and an ending that you can probably see coming.

No I wonít ruin the ending for you, although I am kind of tempted to. Sorry, look elsewhere. The characters of the movie do their job portraying the respective characters from the novel, but from friends Iíve talked to about the movie and book comparisons the book is by far better. Seyfried has a tendency to overact her lines and Tatum couldnít act his way out of a paper bag. Sure they put on a decent performance and had me believing they were the characters but after about ten minutes that was all I could take from these two. Plus, Seyfried is in too many movies where she plays (and will be playing) the same freaking character each time. We get it, sheís attractive, go put her in a horror movie that doesnít suck next time.

Dear John is a romance flick that odds are will only be appealing to the female audience. Sorry guys but you may want to pass out early or fake asleep to get out of watching this one.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Deleted/Alternate Scenes (10 minutes): There are a total of twelve deleted or alternate scenes available if you so choose to watch them. I didnít find any of them to have anything relevant to the story or entertainment value, so in my opinion these can be skipped.

Alternate Ending (4 minutes): Obviously Iím not going to divulge whatís different about the ending for those who choose to read what the extras are about, but I will say the original ending is much better.

A Conversation with Seyfield, Tatum, and Lasse (5 minutes): The three talk about the movie and basically give one another compliments for a job well done.

Transforming Charleston (15 minutes): The crew discusses how they made Charleston more real to the viewing public. You also learn some brief history on what a designer is supposed to do. Needless to say I wasnít too interesting with this extra and found the fading scenes and splitting screen to be quite annoying.

Military in Movies (11 minutes): Tatum and the military director talk about their experiences with the film and the training involved for the crew. There are also a few interviews with other marines and how they came to be in the movie.

Mr. Tyree, the Mule, and Benny Dietz (5 minutes): The coin is the subject along with the actor for this useless extra that shouldnít even be bothered being viewed. Thereís no entertainment or real value here to be found.

The Story of Braeden Reed (25 minutes): Reed is the subject of the longest extra available on the disc, which is a shocker for some reason as though I was expecting a commentary or behind-the-scenes extra. The story behind Reed is examined and Sparks talks about another meaning of the movie that you may have missed out on.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The film is set in a beautiful location and Iíve always hated it when flicks are set in these amazing areas and you can never tell because of a bad transfer. Thankfully though, thatís not the case here and this is an outstanding looking movie. Colors are all bright, colorful, and excellent in terms of the color palette. No color outshines one another and not once did I notice any color being overblown. There were however a few scenes encased with grain, mainly the nighttime ones, but other than that grain wasnít too much of an issue. This is in all honesty how new release movies should look and I commend Sony on another job well done.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track gets the job done but the track isnít anything that I can really praise. The dialogue is on-key and presents nothing wrong with it, as though I didnít have to adjust the track at any point during the film due to low dialogue or levels being out of control. Levels were also perfect the entire movie and not once did I need to adjust the sound after a brief action scene or anything of that nature. The problem I have is that surround sound is basically non-existent here except when the music from the soundtrack is playing, which is sparingly. I swear if I hear that Taylor Swift song one more time Iím going to take the radio out of my car.



.::OVERALL::.

Dear John is a complete chick-flick that didnít click with me like it will everyone else. The story I found to be rather ho-hum and something Iíve seen before and the onslaught of novels turned into movies needs to be stopped. The special features are decent and the technical package is a plus for those wondering if this is worth a purchase or a rental. Iíd suggest a rental though for the men looking for an easy date night flick, as though I doubt youíll want to watch this again. For the ladies, this is one youíll want to keep in your collection.