Click on an image to view the Blu-ray screenshot with 1080p resolution
It's been several years since writer/director Taika Waititi's Boy debuted to audiences with great results at film-festivals such as Sundance and others and with a lot of love passed on to it with indie-film fans discovering the effort to some degree of fandom, even within the United States (where the film was not available with a Region 1 DVD edition). Kino Lorber is now bringing North Americans audiences (who hadn't discovered the New Zealand indie favorite yet) a cool opportunity to see the film on either Blu-ray or DVD for the first time, and this comedic drama painting its portrait as a coming-of-age tale and as a story of undelivered expectations will find an even wider audience of fans.
The story of the film takes place in 1984 and it all occurs in New Zealand's Waihau Bay region, which feels surprisingly similar to a lot of small-town areas of America in spirit, both with the way the environmental landscapes look (which are reminiscent of Texas town's) to the natural child-like wonderment the main young characters display. Boy (James Rolleston) is the lead character; he's a creative, smart, and good-natured kid but he doesn't do perfectly in school. Teachers and those around him see his potential, though. He also has a kind young brother, Rocky (Te Aho Aho Eketone-Whitu), who is always drawing illustrations and imaging an increasingly strong ability to move things and have an impact on others with his "powers", something which represents his own over-active imagination.
Boy and Rocky lost their mother when they were quite
young, and an early scene in the film shows a visit they make to their
grave, who died in her early twenties. As this storyline progresses, we
their father Alamein (Taika Waititi, who wrote and directed) , someone
been distant and largely uninvolved in their lives following his
doesn't take long for Alamein to begin searching for stolen money and
for drugs; unfortunately, he doesn't seem to spend as much time with
Rocky as they should absolutely receive. Boy spends most of his time
fantasizing or idolizing his father in an incredibly spectacular
(drawing upon Boy's giant fandom of Michael Jackson). Meanwhile, Rocky
most of his time alone at the beach and with his sketches.
As the film begins to explore the characters, we see that Boy's father is something of an immature boy on his own. He tries to bond and spend time with his kids but his places a significantly greater importance on finding stolen money, smoking weed, and being in an unsuccessful three-person gang called the "Crazy Horses" more than he does connecting emotionally with his children; children who grew up for years without their dad or mom (because of her death and his absence in prison). Yet Boy looks up to his dad and wants somehow to be like him with his idyllic vision of a father with dance moves rivaling his superstar idol Michael Jackson with total synchronicity.
Perhaps, however, Boy will eventually be able to grasp and understand his own place in his world and how he doesn't necessarily want to be the same person that his father is: and that, actually, Boy's got his own pool of potential. It's a main theme explored within this strange, interesting, and original coming-of-age story and family drama from Waititi (Eagle Versus Shark, episodes of Flight of the Conchords).
One of the things that is wholly original and enjoyable about this story is found within the deadpan humor and offbeat style that film exudes from beginning to end. This isn't quite a ordinary comedy or drama. It's absolutely a unique voice that is being heard through these journeys of storytelling explored. The characters are interesting and the lead character Boy provides audiences with an interesting and relatable character that is dealing with issues of family that are probably somewhat relatable for a lot of people, if not necessarily in exactly similar ways or degrees. This is a story that should connect to a lot of people because it's a universal story about growing up and coming to terms with difficult family issues -- this is something that makes the film stand out as a successful venture because not a lot of films actually even attempt to delve into these realms in the way Boy does.
film wasn't exactly what I was anticipating or expecting as an audience
it's largely because I was so delighted from Waititi's debut feature
romanticism and comedic charm and that I was surprised with how darkly
and sad his follow-up feature is overall. Boy
doesn't simply aim to make you laugh and smile. It's a pretty dark
one which will raise some interesting points in life along the way. The
(which was largely comprised of young children) did a great job
entire film, and I was impressed by how well it worked on the whole.
did a good job stylistically and emotionally, and this is a good reason
check out the film. It didn't win me over as much as I was
for an entirely inventive and different comedic-drama this is one
effort that succeeds
more than anything else. Fans of quirky indie movies should most
consider giving it a go: something tells me many people will wind up
Boy arrives on Blu-ray with a 1.85:1 1080p transfer. It's actually not that impressive of a high definition debut though. The colors aren't that impressive, the image is somewhat soft, and it doesn't have the kind of depth or clarity that would make it a better transfer overall. Most of these imperfections are likely source-related. The image isn't terrible but it's underwhelming. Even the amount of film grain present is a bit disappointing. While it means the image isn't suffering from unnecessary DNR it also didn't exactly add to the overall presentation.
The back of the case only mentions a stereo audio track but the release actually includes a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation. It isn't one of the best sound presentations I've heard. It does a better job than expected for a low-budget indie, though. Music is clean and clear and dialogue is easy to understand. Some surround usage is impressive, but this was still mostly front-heavy as a sound mix.
Click on an image to view the Blu-ray screenshot with 1080p resolution
This release contains a couple of worthwhile supplements. First of all, it includes the Academy Award nominated short film by Taika Waititi "Two Cars, One Night", which tells a story of a couple of children connecting across from each other in separate cars while their parents are inside of a bar drinking. It's a strange, goofy, and comedic short film piece with some nice dramatic elements. It is presented in 1080p High Definition.
disc also contains Interviews and B-Roll Footage, Kickstarter Update Videos, and the Theatrical
Trailer for Boy.
Boy is a charming indie movie that is both funny and emotionally challenging. I wasn't really thrilled with it to the same degree many audience members have been (this IS a festival and audience award winning favorite) but I thought it was an original, worthwhile, and smartly crafted effort nonetheless. It's worth checking out for anyone who enjoys genuine original storytelling. The Blu-ray PQ/AQ is merely average but there are some good supplements. Overall, this is a better release than the DVD and it's a worthy purchase for fans.