The award-winning drama "Good Will Hunting" releases on a 15th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray disc courtesy of Lionsgate. This 1997 picture revisits the film that became Matt Damon's launch pad toward Hollywood superstardom. He, along with his upstart co-actor Ben Affleck who is another hot newcomer in the industry during the said time, penned this story, struggled to have it produced, and eventually garnered the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for it. Robin Williams won the Oscar Best Supporting Actor in the film as well. This inspirational offering also received seven other nominations including the most coveted accolades for Best Picture and Best Director for Gus Van Sant.
Set in South Boston, the story follows the life of a reckless and orphaned working class genius who works as a janitor in a prestigious American college. He lives a directionless life, which is largely due to his rocky upbringing. Amidst being an underprivileged man with no big plans for his future, he is gifted with a brilliant mind that can rival that of the school's smartest student. This leads him to a psychologist who attempts to help him put his squandered potential to good use.
"Good Will Hunting" may not be as polished as the big-budgeted Oscar contenders of its time, but it is still a fairly good-looking piece. The disc showcases a pleasing Blu-ray treatment to complement the film's naturally beautiful cinematography. Its reserved palette marks a less mainstream bearing, which mainly favors a low-light presentation and a generally less glamorous ambience. Yet, it maintains a very filmic quality with a distinctly warm golden tone. Some occasional bits of noise and other visual imperfections appear in random frequency, but they turn out not overly annoying by any means.
This dialogue-driven material sports a five-channel lossless track that boasts an immersive, artful, and subtly effective sound mix. There is enough depth and dimension to the well-prioritized speaking lines. As expected, most scenes don't require that much of a surround sound feel. Surround activity is often limited to the film's Oscar-nominated musical score and some boisterous sequences set in streets and crowded bars.
The package highlights the two brand new retrospective features "Reflecting on a Journey: Good Will Hunting 15 Years Later" and "Matt Damon Remembers Good Will Hunting." The rest of the supplements are extras ported over from the prior disc release. These include the audio commentary with Gus Van Sant, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck, a reel of deleted scenes with optional commentaries from these same production artists, production and behind-the-scene featurettes, the music video for "Miss Misery," the special feature entitled "Academy Awards Best Picture Montage," and the film's theatrical trailer. Subtitle options are available in English, English SDH, Spanish, French, and German.
Ironically, "Good Will Hunting" is a rare kind of familiar movie. It lives by the formula, then it ultimately thrives through it. On the front, it is a tale that revolves around embracing one's inner genius. Deep down, it is a story of a troubled man hindered to achieve his potential because of his rough past.
This film is an impeccably directed, well-written, and finely acted piece. Its rich characters and naturally flowing conversations effectively go beyond the conventions of its plot. It allows its generic and predictable storyline to transcend as a sincere and worthwhile patchwork of drama and intellect.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Matt Damon
- Ben Affleck
- Gus Van Sant