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AUGUST RUSH

Although the film is not particularly original, features a premise outside the realm of believability, and proves itself a bit sappy at times, I did walk away from AUGUST RUSH ($36) with a positive, entertained feeling. AUGUST RUSH is a cinematic fable that borrows fairly liberally from Charles Dickens Oliver Twist to tell its tale of an orphaned, modern day Mozart trying to find his parents through his unique gift of music. Telling basically two stories, AUGUST RUSH moves back and forth between the boyís quest to find his parents, as well as the parents search for themselves, and ultimately, their search for a child they never knew they had.

Freddie Highmore is a charmer as the orphaned Evan Taylor, who believes he can hear his long missing parents through musical gift that they have imparted to him. Also able to hear music everywhere he goes, Evan leaves the torment of the orphanage behind and begins an odyssey in New York City, where he believes he will find his parents. However, instead of his parents, Evan encounters a band of homeless, adolescent street musicians, along with their Fagin-esque leader, who goes by the moniker of Wizard (Robin Williams).

Although Evan has never played an instrument in his life, he proves himself to be a musical progeny beyond all reckoning, picking up a guitar and teaching himself to play in a matter of hours. Although Wizard tries to profit Evanís talent and even gives him the stage name of "August Rush," our boy progenyís talents magically transport him to Julliard, where he begins a more formal musical education and continues his search. AUGUST RUSH also stars Keri Russell as the classically trained cellist and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the rock musician from whose love and talent young Evan sprang. The supporting cast also features Terrence Howard, William Sadler, Marian Seldes, Leon G. Thomas III, Mykelti Williamson, Aaron Staton, Alex O'Loughlin, Jamia Simone Nash and Ronald Guttman.

Warner Home Video has made AUGUST RUSH available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. While not a demo disc, this is another impressive looking 1080p presentation from Warner, which displays how good even simple movies, can look in high definition. Image sharpness and fine details are very, very good, plus the picture produces nice sense of dimensionality. Colors tend to be vibrant and appealing, with many of the hues appearing deeply saturated. Flesh tones come across very realistically. Blacks are deep, whites are clean and contrast is just fine. The elements from which AUGUST RUSH appear just about perfect, with nary a blemish or fault to be seen. As AUGUST RUSH originated on film, there is some mild grain that enhances the texture and nuance of the presentation.

AUGUST RUSH is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. This is an enveloping track that allows the filmís music wash over the viewer and carries them along on the central characterís musical journey. It is during these musical moments that the sound design and the soundtrack really comes to life. When the movie isnít in music mode, the track is far more subdued, taking on the characteristics of standard talky drama. As the scenario doesnít lend itself to those gee whiz moments of an action movie, sound effects are convincingly rendered, but are used sparingly, except where the sound effects become part of the musical compositions inside the main characterís head. Musical fidelity is quite good and the bass channel keeps it all full bodied. Dialogue is cleanly rendered and easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as seven Deleted Scenes.

AUGUST RUSH isnít a perfect movie, but it has a lot of entertaining and satisfying qualities. The Blu-ray presentation is a winner. If you like movies with a lot of musical heart and soul, then youíll want to check out AUGUST RUSH.

 

AUGUST RUSH 


August Rush [Blu-ray] (2007)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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