Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - November, 2010


"Charlie St. Cloud" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Tyler Stripko



Charlie St. Cloud (Zac Efron) is a high school senior with a bright future ahead of him.  His sailing prowess has earned him a scholarship to Stanford University and Charlie has a wonderful relationship with his younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan).  Shortly after high school graduation, an automobile accident takes Sam’s life and nearly kills Charlie.   Upon recovery, Charlie learns that he can see the spirit of his brother.   He makes a promise to meet the ghost of Sam in the woods every day at sunset for a game of catch.   Unable to let go of his little brother, Charlie abandons his future plans to remain nearby to the woods where he can be with Sam every evening.  Once Charlie meets a daring young woman, he is forced to rethink the promise he made to his younger brother.


  • Universal Studios
  • 2010, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 40 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Starring Annette Benning, Zac Efron, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, Ray Liotta, Kim Basinger
  • Directed by Burr Steers
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Suggestive
  • Language: Mild


This movie simply fell short of its potential in my opinion.   The plot was very intriguing, but just wasn’t fully fleshed out.  There is little explanation given for Charlie’s ability to see the dead (and almost-dead), nor do any of the ghosts do much to explain things either.  Character development is surprisingly thin for a movie designed to make an emotional connection with the viewer.  On the flip side, Zac Efron does a fairly good acting job, making you care about his character despite the poor script and lines.  Efron is certainly starting to branch out from the teeny-bopper movies that made him famous and I look forward to seeing what he can do with a better script.  Ray Liotta has a few supporting moments as the paramedic who revives Charlie at the crash scene, but his presence in the film seems like little more than an afterthought.  With a better screenplay this film could have been really powerful.


There is little to complain about here.  The picture quality is good, with the stunning outdoor scenery (Vancouver???) taking the starring role.  Colors are fairly accurate, with good depth to the image and solid contrast.  The image is sharp, yet still retains a film-like quality.  The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack suits the movie well.  Dialogue is clear and intelligible.  The soundtrack is very light on surround and LFE usage, with only the sailing scenes offering much in the way of surround effects.  These scenes also tended to be a bit loud, so you may find yourself jockeying with the volume control throughout this film.


Key extras on this disc are a director’s commentary, some deleted scenes (with optional director commentary), an “on location” featurette, and a featurette on Zac Efron. The disc is also BD-Live and pocket BLU enabled.