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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Boys Don't Cry
Boys Don't Cry
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List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 18, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

The story of Teena Brandon, a girl who became a boy named Brandon Teena, "Boys Don't Cry" tells the true story of this young woman who wanted to be something different than she was - and the tragic results that ultimately happened. The performances are excellent, and while Swank won the Oscar, Sevigny was also nominated as well.

The story begins with Teena as Brandon coming into a small town where she soon begins to make friends with the locals, who, while seemingly nice people at first, are realistically locked in a town where their future is bleak at best. Brandon feels like he belongs though, and he begins to fall in love with Lana(Sevigny). The ominous, dark edge of the life that these people lead soon becomes apparent though, and it only becomes a matter of time before Brandon's real identity is revealed.

The way that everything comes together with "Boys Don't Cry" is really impressive. The performances from the entire cast are excellent, and feel very real to the sort of environment and emotions. Swank's performance is especially stunning, and it's really unfortunate that her only major film role before this one was in the last "Karate Kid" movie. As good as her performance is, Sevigny is equally impressive, opening up further as the film progresses.

"Boys Don't Cry" is a powerful, saddening, sometimes disturbing movie that may not be for everyone, but I found the performances to be extremely strong, and director Kimberly Pierce has done fine work bringing this tale to the screen.


The DVD

VIDEO: While not a perfect transfer, this is a very pleasing one from Fox. Images remain sharp and clear, with strong colors. Colors are very clear and natural throughout, with some of the colors looking occasionally vibrant. Most of the movie takes place at night, and detail remains consistently very good. Flesh tones are fine and natural, as well.

The only flaw that I really noticed was a little bit of grain here and there - other than that, there really isn't much to complain about with this transfer. No shimmering or pixelation, the print used has some flaws, but they're not distracting.

SOUND: The sound in "Boys Don't Cry", actually provides a very strong highlight - the music full of rock songs wraps around the viewer nicely, and sounds pleasingly dynamic and clean. There really isn't anything else too agressive or intense about it, but I was pleased and suprised - the film certainly sounds very good for an independent, small production.

MENUS:: The menus are not animated in any way, nor do they need to be for this film. Images from the film make up the backgrounds, and menus are easily navigated.

EXTRAS::

Commentary: This is a commentary from Director Kimberly Pierce. She is extremely good at providing details behind the making of the movie, as well as the story, speaking energetically and sharing concepts, ideas and thoughts about almost every scene. Although there are some pauses here and there, when the director is talking, she talks very rapidly, packing in a rather impressive amount of information in each sentence.

She talks about a number of different subjects, including the casting of Hillary Swank in the lead role, as well as how the supporting roles fit into the story. Frequently, story details come up, and I found the way that Pierce was able to analyze the characters and intentions behind the actions impressive and fascinating.

Her comments really open up many scenes, and provide a great detail for how to work on an independent production like this one. She discusses how many of the scenes from the film were shot, and the problems behind the setups or lack of time to shoot some of the sequences. Beyond that, she also goes into the roles that the rest of the crew contributed to the film, such as her cinematographer and editor. At various points during the commentary she also goes into her thoughts on the role of music in a film such as this one.

It's a very good commentary, giving detail to every element of what it took to bring this picture to the screen, from the technical standpoint to the acting to the story itself.

Trailers/TV Spots: The trailer, teaser and 3 TV Spots from the movie.

Featurette: A short featurette on the film, there are plenty of interviews with the cast and crew of the film, with Swank talking about the role and director Pierce giving further insights.

Final Thoughts: "Boys Don't Cry" is an excellent film, and Fox has produced a fine DVD, even if their prices for new releases remain at $34.98 retail.

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