The Perks of Being a Wallflower [Blu-ray]
Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope-and the unforgettable friends that help us through life. -- (C) Summit
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is presented on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. It's actually a little shocking to see that this was a Super 35 shot film, for large swaths of Wallflower look incredibly soft and undefined, almost to 16mm levels. While there isn't the graininess that 16mm usually offers, this is really one of the least sharp looking contemporary (as opposed to catalog) releases I personally can remember. Adding a bit of insult to injury is wildly inconsistent contrast, which varies from being pushed to the point of murkiness to underperforming in several dimly lit interior scenes to the point where nothing other than general visual information can be discerned. This may sound like The Perks of Being a Wallflower looks horrible, but that's actually not the case. In the brightly lit school scenes (the cafeteria sequences, for example), things pop quite nicely and when we get close-ups in those scenes, fine detail is commendable. But this is overall a weirdly soft and murky looking release.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower features an ingratiating if not overly aggressive lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that springs to life when the source cues are played and in several crowded sequences, where we get a really good recreation of aural depth of field and discrete channelization. The huge majority of the film plays pretty resolutely in the front channels, though, especially with regard to Charlie's narration (which is understandable), but also generally even in sequences where one might expect more "rear guard" action with regard to at least some ambient environmental effects. That said, fidelity is fine and dynamic range has a bit of elasticity due especially to some noisier scenes like the dance and the party.
I absolutely loved this film - specifically the acting, music and even at times the cinematography. Ezra and Logan give exceptional performances that deserve major credit. Emma gives a strong performance as Sam - you can tell that she really understands the character, however she does struggle a bit with the American accent. She does a great job of finding her ground and portraying a troubled yet lovable and wonderful teen, at times her actions speak much louder than her words. Logan is phenomenal at every aspect of Charlie - awkward, unsure, emotional, and honest - he gives an amazing performance. Ezra is hilarious but not gimmicky, and can flip to a somber tone at a moment's notice and have everyone spellbound. The young cast is truly the heart of the film and are all really great. There is a lot of humor, emotion and honesty. A very underrated film that I would highly recommend as a must see. Enjoy.
Posted by Ryan Gibbs, March 14, 2013 7:24 AM