Palo Alto, CA (2009)

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama
Image Entertainment || R - 100 minutes - $27.98 || February 17, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-02-17


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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: Brad Leong
Writer(s): Brad Leong & Tony Vallone (story), Tony Vallone (screenplay)
Cast: Tom Arnold, Aaron Ashmore, Eve Brent, Autumn Reeser, Ben Savage


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Cast & Crew Interviews


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

(Synopsis Review)

On Thanksgiving break, four friends gather for one last hang together before they once again go their separate ways back to College. Once they depart, each one goes on a journey where they figure out what and who they are supposed to be. Nolan (Johnny Lewis) finds a new love, Ryan (Justin Mentell) appreciates what he has, Patrick (Ben Savage) loses his love and Alec (Ashmore) decides what he wanted is not all that special.

Filmed with a show-string budget and written/directed by 20 Brian Leong, itís interesting to see what he could do with such a tight script and real-life experiences. The characters are all very fleshed out - giving us just enough back stories to where we can appreciate what each character wants to do in life.

My favorite story would be that of Nolan - a tall, geeky guy who you can just tell is not a big success with the ladies (as proven with his talk with the 'mentor' bus driver played by Tom Arnold). Nolan quickly starts up a relationship with a young girl named Jaimie (Autumn Reeser) and the two begin a journey together where they discover a bit about themselves they never knew and form a relationship that may last forever.

Surprisingly, there a ton of actors and actresses in this film that you will probably recognize. Not only do we get the return of Ben Savage ("Boy Meets World"), but two alums from "The O.C." (Reeser and Lewis) and two from "Veronica Mars" (Ryan Hansen and Aaron Ashmore). Oddly enough, both of these groups share screen time together so itís almost like a mini-reunion. All have been in acting for some time so they handle the script fairly well.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Writer and Director

Interviews with Cast Members - We get a few small interviews with three cast members - the most notable being Reeser. Nothing really that great, mostly talking about how awesome the experience was.

Alternate Scene/Deleted Scene and Alternate Opening - A big meh here as well. Running only about 5 minutes, we get a slightly different opening that focuses on each person and a deleted scene that was rightfully sliced.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Palo Alto, CA is presented in 1.85:1. Itís no shock to me to see the film looks pretty bad. Numerous bits of dirt, dust and hair are present and it has an overall soft look to it.

Image has included a Dolby Digital 5.1 track with Subtitles in English and Spanish. Besides a few pop numbers, rears are non-existent. Dialog came across fine though.



.::OVERALL::.

Worth a rental... but I couldn't recommend a purchase simply because it lacks any real replay value. Hopefully we see more from Leong in the future because for such a young guy he did a decent job.