Top positive review
One of the best films of 2014 with good AV quality and virtually no extras.
19 February 2015
Boyhood is an unique experiment. It is movie shot over the period of 12 years with the same actors. It is easy to call it a gimmick and dismiss it as an 'awards bait', although it released well before the awards season in summer of 2014. But atleast for me, it was a brilliant cinematic experience. 12 years pass over 165 minutes and yet nothing extraordinary happens. There is no story as such, its daily life. There are no heroes, just characters. There are moments of happiness, sadness, angst, fun, boredom and other emotions we face in our lives. There are people who felt it is long and boring at times, but isn't our life also like that? But I was never bored, I could relate to the lead character Mason and it invoked a feeling of nostalgia. There is no information given about the year, but there are numerous pop-culture references from which you can easily guess which year is going on. The acting by the 4 lead characters is very good and you can see them transforming over the years. Richard Linklater has once again done a superb job. And I like Boyhood more than Birdman and I hope it wins the Oscar for Best Picture.
The disc by Universal is good on the technical front. It presents the film in the correct aspect ratio of 1:85:1 (the US release by Paramount was 1:78:1). The video quality is good and I didn't notice any problems in it. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 is also good. Its mostly a dialogue-driven movie and only the excellent soundtrack of the movie makes use of the surrounds. Coming to the one area where this disc lacks - the special features. It only contains a 2-minute behind the scene feature. Its like a short trailer. The US release has a 19 minute 'making of' feature and a 53 minute interview with the cast. For a film shot over such a long period, it required a long documentary and directors commentary. The editing of the film could have posed numerous challenges, so the editor's interview also should have been there. Its very disappointing. There was a rumoured Criterion release, which may or may not come. So I decided not to wait for it. There are plenty of interviews and a 10 minute video on the making of the film on youtube, which one could watch to know more about the making of the film.
Considering everything, I would still recommended this release on the basis of the technical merits of the disc and the film itself.