Articles

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX

"Good Will Hunting" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-september-2011-good-will-hunting

Synopsis

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) twenty year old living in the same part of Boston that he grew up in who spends his time hangout out with his friends, picking fights, and often finding trouble with the law.  During his job as a janitor at MIT he also enjoys solving complex linear algebra equations since he is also a natural, self-educated genius.

After getting into trouble yet again, he’s offered a deal by an MIT professor: Work with him to cultivate his obvious mental gifts and see a therapist and he can avoid jail.  After running off a wide variety of therapists, he is sent to meet with Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) who comes from the same background as Will and might have a better chance to connect with him and help him discover what he can make of his life.

Specifications

  • Lionsgate
  • 1998, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 6 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: AVC
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver
  • Directed by Gus Van Sant
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

Good Will Hunting was released during a great year for films (Titanic, LA Confidential, Boogie Nights, The Sweet Hereafter) but it managed to stand out above many of those others, picking up Oscars for Robin Williams, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck.  Thankfully after all these years the film has held up remarkably well.  While a couple bits could be seen as a bit cheesy to some, the greatness of the rest of the picture makes them feel natural and like part of the film instead of pulling you out of it.  A wonderful film then, and wonderful now, I’m happy to have Good Will Hunting on Blu-ray finally.

Technical

Looking at the transfer for Good Will Hunting, the Blu-ray brings out everything that was on the film.  There’s a very fine layer of grain over the whole image, more than you might see but perhaps indicative of the budget for the film, or shooting with more natural and low light than other films.  Beyond that grain there is a fantastic level of detail present.  A close up of Robin Williams shows all the hairs of his bears, as well as the fine texture of his sweater in the scene.  In a couple of scenes you can see that the image is just slightly out of focus as well, which is a testament to how much detail the Blu-ray is revealing.  A very natural, detailed, film-like image that is far better than I expected.

The soundtrack comes across very nicely as well.  While very dialogue driven, surrounds are utilized well, especially for the wonderful soundtrack that features a collection of touching, heartbreaking songs from Elliott Smith.  When Will makes a phone call in a rainstorm, the surrounds do a good job of putting you inside the phone booth with the sound of rain surrounding you.  Overall Good Will Hunting looks and sounds fantastic on Blu-ray.

Extras

Extras include the commentary track that was on the DVD version (a fantastic listen, as it always reminds me just how smart Matt Damon and Ben Affleck really are), Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, a music video and the original trailer.  Also included is a DVD with a digital copy for your portable device.