Son of Rambow (2008)

Genre(s): Comedy
Paramount Vantage || PG13 - 96 minutes - $19.99 || August 26, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-08-27


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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: Garth Jennings
Writer(s): Garth Jennings (written by)
Cast: Neil Dudgeon, Bill Milner, Jessica Hynes, Will Poulter


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • The Making of Son of Rambow
  • Winner of the Rambow Website Contest
  • Short Movie


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

With all the positive reviews surround this film I was eager to watch it and when my copy of Rambow came, I quickly rushed it into my DVD player. My expectations were not only met, they far exceeded what I had read online. This is simply an amazing film that brings everything together in a nice tidy package. How this film did not get a bigger theatrical release is beyond me.

Son of Rambow is the story of two young boys that appear to be from two different worlds. The first boy we meet, Lee Carter (Will Poulter) is a mischievous boy who is constantly getting himself into trouble at school or the local grocery store he is always finding himself new ways to seek attention. Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) is the exact opposite - he comes from a very religious family that does not allow him to watch TV or listen to music. Will, being forced to leave class everyday because they are watching a documentary, meets Lee and the two forge an unlikely friendship where they decide to remake Will's favorite film - the only one he has ever seen - First Blood.

Will and Lee Carter quickly seek out to make their own version of First Blood so Lee can submit it into a contest to hopefully win an award. The two boys create some pretty intricate, handmade "special effects" like trampolining Will into the air, or tying a dog statue to a kite and flying it into the sky. While some of these effects are obviously done via CGI for the film, they still prove to be real and fit in with the kidsí imagination.

The third act tends to lose a bit of its spark when we are seemingly forced to include several other secondary characters like the cool flamboyant kid from France that everyone wants to hang out with and his ever growing gang of followers. But when all seems lost, Will and Lee finally figure out what it takes to make the perfect movie.

While the film has a cast of unknowns, the main cast does an amazing job. This is Bill and Will's first movie and both do an amazing job - you would think they have done this before. The secondary cast does an alright job, though I was not too impressed with the French kid. The only actor in this film that the American audience will recognize is Ed Westick (Gossip Girl) who plays Lee's older brother and temporary father. While he did a great job acting, his character was poorly written.

What Son of Rambow did was remind me of how much fun Be Kind Rewind was when Jack Black and Mos Def were re-making the classic 80's films. While Son of Rambow does not set out to remake First Blood like Be Kind did - they take the general idea of First Blood and throw two young kids into the mix with a great imagination to "remake" the film.

Worth noting that at this time, the film is only available for purchase at Best Buy.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Commentary with Director, Producer, and our Two Young Stars - A delightful track where both young stars go into great detail on their experience making the film as well as Garth speaking of its history.

The Making of Son of Rambow (~30 Minutes) - A rather long making of that barely goes into how the film was made. Disappointing as this could have been great if done properly.

Winner of the Rambow Website Contest (~5 Minutes) - Ugh. This is bad, bad, bad. Itís so bad, itís not even list on the back of the box but instead included in the "And More" when this is the only "more'.

Also included is a Short that Inspired Rambow (~5 Minutes).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Son of Rambow is presented in Anamorphic 2.35:1 Ratio. While not a bad presentation, I wasn't floored by it. Colors look vibrant, but blacks are very washed out. The film has numerous animated scenes mixed in with footage and those look great.

Paramount Vantage has included a Dolby Digital 5.1 track in both English and Spanish. Not a very active mix considering the film is heavily dialog centered but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Dialog comes across very clear and for the few 'action' scenes they sounded just fine. Subtitles are also included in English, French and Spanish.



.::OVERALL::.

Son of Rambow is a pleasant surprise in the long list of films that get limited Theatrical releases. While I've had to suffer through some poor direct to DVD films, this is not one of them. Simply an amazing movie for the entire audience that will enjoy a spot in my DVD collection. I absolutely recommend a purchase of this DVD.