The Battle of Shaker Heights

( 1 )

Overview

The end result of HBO's second Project Greenlight series, in which untested young filmmakers are given the opportunity -- and the studio backing -- to make a feature-length film, The Battle of Shaker Heights is introduced to DVD in this basic edition. Though the film's sound has been mastered in Dolby 5.1 Surround and its picture is presented in the optimal widescreen format (as originally intended), this disc contains no special features, which means that fans of the HBO show should be advised that none of ...
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Overview

The end result of HBO's second Project Greenlight series, in which untested young filmmakers are given the opportunity -- and the studio backing -- to make a feature-length film, The Battle of Shaker Heights is introduced to DVD in this basic edition. Though the film's sound has been mastered in Dolby 5.1 Surround and its picture is presented in the optimal widescreen format (as originally intended), this disc contains no special features, which means that fans of the HBO show should be advised that none of behind-the-scenes drama chronicled on Project Greenlight appears here.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound; Widescreen (1.85:1) enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
With an amiable mix of drama and comedy, this coming-of-age story has a reach that exceeds its grasp, but a winning combination of incisive scripting, economical direction, and pitch-perfect acting makes it a shelf-worthy addition to the family home video library. The second of Miramax's "Project Greenlight" movies -- the making of which are documented in an HBO series -- Battle features some of Hollywood's most talented young actors. Shia LaBeouf Holes stars as Kelly Ernswiler, a frighteningly smart but socially maladroit high school student with a king-size crush on Tabby Bowland Amy Smart, the beautiful older sister of his new friend Bart Elden Henson. Tabby loves having the adoring Kelly around, but it's Sarah Shiri Appleby, his co-worker at a local store, who really carries the torch for him. Like most teenage boys, Kelly prefers the seemingly unattainable to the eminently winnable, hence his single-minded pursuit of Tabby. Although this basic plot is hardly new, first-time directors Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin go out of their way to keep the film from becoming an assembly-line product; their characters have unusual traits and pastimes, for example, and their delineation of Kelly in particular is far more detailed than the plot demands. The supporting performances are uniformly excellent, with Smart rating kudos for her three-dimensional treatment of a character that could easily have been an unsympathetic caricature. Potelle and Rankin cram a little too much detail into their movie, and they're not accomplished enough to put everything over smoothly, so Battle occasionally seems jumbled and jagged. Rough edges notwithstanding, their debut effort is vastly superior to the general run of cookie-cutter teen pictures.
All Movie Guide
Those who watched the second season of Project Greenlight will view this coming-of-age dramedy with an eye for the changes wrought by producers Chris Moore and Jeff Balis, who cut out the more saccharine moments in an attempt to save it. Those who didn't watch will just get an overwhelming sense of something missing from the truncated 79-minute Battle of Shaker Heights, the prize awarded to screenwriter Erica Beeney and directors Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin in HBO's reality contest. What's onscreen can be funny and charming, due in large part to the talents of Shia LaBeouf, who gives an improvisational spark to Beeney's dialogue. But this can't cover up for the massive failure to complete character arcs or resolve plot threads, circumstances complicated by the directors' famous inability to stick to shooting schedules or grab enough usable footage during the brief periods their actors were available. Still, the film's most schizophrenic element was in the script all along -- LaBeouf's Kelly Ernswiler, a Character with a capital C, who's written as a mélange of quirky (and often contradictory) traits rather than a totally believable person. Although he seems the essence of a liberal free spirit, he reenacts famous military conflicts, fetishizes weapons, and drives an army jeep. He also spends too much time lamenting his participation in a harmless revenge plot against a bully who never showed him the same consideration. Without LaBeouf making him so likeable, Kelly's character deficiencies might have been even more apparent. Ultimately, The Battle of Shaker Heights shows more promise than the first Greenlight effort, Pete Jones's Stolen Summer, but also a greater sense of how amateurs can waste their opportunity.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/9/2003
  • UPC: 786936232820
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Miramax
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Time: 1:19:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Shia LaBeouf Kelly Ernswiler,
Elden Henson Bart Bowland, Lance
Amy Smart Tabby Bowland,
Billy Kay Lance
Kathleen Quinlan Eve Ernswiler,
Shiri Appleby Sarah,
William Sadler Abe Ernswiler,
Ray Wise Harrison Bowland
Philipp Karner Maurice, German Soldier
Anson Mount Miner Weber,
Technical Credits
Efram Potelle Director
Kyle Rankin Director
Thomas E. Ackerman Cinematographer
Ben Affleck Executive Producer
Jeff Balis Producer
Erica Beeney Screenwriter
Dennis Benatar Asst. Director
Matt Damon Executive Producer
Mike Florimbi Sound/Sound Designer
Stacie Goodman Casting
Joel Hatch Executive Producer
Marc Joubert Associate Producer
Alex Keledjian Associate Producer
Rick Marvin Score Composer
Bega Metzner Costumes/Costume Designer
Joseph Middleton Casting
Chris Moore Producer
Richard Nord Editor
Lisa Penaranda Set Decoration/Design
Rick Schwartz Executive Producer
Lisa K. Sessions Production Designer
Peter Soldinger Musical Direction/Supervision
Larry Tanz Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Battle of the Bulge [7:11]
2. Trying Times [5:38]
3. Ruby Baby [6:21]
4. "Older Than My Years" [6:02]
5. A New Mission [4:57]
6. Dinner Discussions [5:04]
7. Pupal Adolescence [6:05]
8. The Emotional Truth? [4:36]
9. Objective Accomplished [5:17]
10. "I Think You're Amazing" [3:20]
11. "Cue the Jeep" [6:24]
12. Uninvited [6:29]
13. Forgiving [6:40]
14. End Credits [3:23]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Scene Selection
   Play Movie
   Captions
      Captions: English for the Hearing Impaired
      Captions: None
   Sneak Peeks
      Stolen Summer
      Spy Kids 3D
      Miramax Golden Age
      Play All
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Customer Reviews

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