About a Boy

About a Boy

4.2 22
Director: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz

Cast: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult

     
 

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The critic and audience hit of 2002, this bright and insightful film comes to DVD after a short delay. The picture, framed at 2.35:1 (a cut up pan-and-scan version is also available on a separate disc) looks very good. Colors are nicely reproduced, but detail isn't particularly strong. This doesn't hamper a awfully good transfer though, as there are no signs of wear… See more details below

Overview

The critic and audience hit of 2002, this bright and insightful film comes to DVD after a short delay. The picture, framed at 2.35:1 (a cut up pan-and-scan version is also available on a separate disc) looks very good. Colors are nicely reproduced, but detail isn't particularly strong. This doesn't hamper a awfully good transfer though, as there are no signs of wear nor any distracting elements. The 5.1 English and French Dolby Digital tracks don't have a lot of life, but are certainly adequate for this type of small film. It's not the kind of production where a wide dynamic sound field would be expected, therefore the clear, distortion free sound emanating from the front speakers is perfectly in line. As for extras, a nice variety has been included. To begin with, a scene-specific commentary from directors Paul and Chris Weitz is included that perfectly suites the film. As with many Universal DVD releases, this one includes the short "spotlight on location" with interviews from the directors, Hugh Grant, author Nick Hornby, and others. With some interesting moments, it still doesn't add up to a lot beyond a studio fluff piece. Seven deleted scenes, with optional directors' commentary are also included, as well as a humorous, though all-too-brief "English to English" dictionary, explaining British slang terms. Badly Drawn Boy, who wrote the songs for the film provide two entertaining music videos for the songs, "Something to Talk About" and "Silent Sigh," and a 21-minute interview with Damon Gough, (who is Badly Drawn Boy) discussing his career. Finishing things off (if that wasn't enough) are the lyrics for the song "Santa's Super Sleigh," the trailer for this film and other Universal titles such as Notting Hill, Meet the Parents, and Johnny English, plus standard filmographies and productions notes. Those who saw About a Boy know just how good it is; those that didn't now have their chance.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
A thoroughly pleasant but decidedly un-romantic comedy boasting another witty star turn from Hugh Grant, this Nick Hornby adaptation belongs to the increasingly common subgenre of hybrid British-American comedy-dramas that are easy enough going down, but may leave viewers with a few naggingly unresolved character arcs and motivations. As a funny, involving tale of redemption for a lazy, spoiled lad edging toward middle age, About a Boy succeeds. Hugh Grant is one of the few actors since Cary Grant who can remain likeable even as he's committing near-despicable acts of dishonesty, and directors Chris and Paul Weitz have found a perfect foil for him in the disarmingly guileless Nicholas Hoult. They've also managed to make their first genuinely stylish film, shot with grainy aplomb by Remi Adefarasin (less successful are editor Nick Moore's showy jump cuts and wipe transitions). But their script, written with Peter Hedges, leaves something to be desired in its romantic half. By the time About a Boy reveals the charming but ineffectual love interest Rachel Weisz, audiences may be long past the point of caring if, when, or with whom its cad of a protagonist is going to settle down. It doesn't help that the luminous Toni Collette, though saddled with a frump of a role, walks off with every scene she's in, and has unlimited depth and chemistry with Grant. Though the Weitz brothers have proven that they have heart to spare when it comes to their lovelorn heroes -- American Pie proved as much -- ultimately, they're not as democratic when it comes to some of their supporting characters, and engaging as it is, About a Boy can't help but suffer as a result.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
Hilarious, touching and wonderfully dyspeptic.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
1/2 Hugh Grant, who has a good line in charm, has never been more charming than in About a Boy.
Hollywood Reporter
Beautifully written and directed and packed with excellent performances.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/14/2003
UPC:
0025192197925
Original Release:
2002
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:42:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Hilarious deleted scenes; Feature commentary with directors Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz; Exciting music videos by Badly Drawn Boy; "Santa's Super Sleigh" lyrics to the entire song; Spotlight on location: the making of About a Boy; English to English dictionary; DVD-ROM features

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hugh Grant Will Freeman
Nicholas Hoult Marcus
Toni Collette Fiona
Rachel Weisz Rachel
Isabel Brooke Angie
Victoria Smurfit Susie,Suzie
Sharon Small Christine

Technical Credits
Chris Weitz Director,Screenwriter
Paul Weitz Director,Screenwriter
Remi Adefarasin Cinematographer
Tim Bevan Producer
Jim Clay Production Designer
Tony Dawe Sound/Sound Designer
Robert De Niro Producer
Eric Fellner Producer
Garry Freeman Art Director
Lynn Harris Executive Producer
Peter Hedges Screenwriter
Nick Hornby Executive Producer
Priscilla John Casting
Joanna Johnston Costumes/Costume Designer
Bill Meadows Sound/Sound Designer
Nick Moore Editor
Christopher Newman Asst. Director
Jane Rosenthal Producer
Patrick Seymour Musical Arrangement

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Two Boys (Main Titles) [6:49]
2. Fabulous Single Mums [4:09]
3. Bad Times [2:25]
4. S.P.A.T. [4:27]
5. The Weird Kid [3:10]
6. Duck Killer [2:18]
7. Emergency [6:27]
8. Cool Uncle Will [5:21]
9. Will's New Friend [8:52]
10. Cool New Shoes [3:30]
11. Marcus in the Middle [4:49]
12. Christmas [5:49]
13. Rachel [4:26]
14. My Son Marcus [6:33]
15. Truth & Consequences [4:39]
16. Something for Mum [4:21]
17. Worried About Marcus [1:23]
18. The School Concert [6:11]
19. No Man Is an Island [8:03]
20. End Titles [2:23]

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