Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 2nd, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: France/USA, 2007
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen, Jake Miller, Lauren McKinney, Winfield Jackson, Joe Schweitzer, Grace Carter
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen/1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby TrueHD English
BluRay Release: Tartan Films
Region Coding: Region 0 (UK)
Retail Price: £24.99
Synopsis: A skateboarder named Alex life is turned upside down after he accidentally kills a security guard near a place called Paranoid Park.
Gus Van Sant’s latest film Paranoid Park is not a film that most viewers will have a hard time digesting with its abstract nonlinear storyline. The story is told from the point of view of a skater named Alex and the events leading up to and following the death of man because of Alex. The story and its lead character are not as engaging as the protagonists in previous Gus Van Sant films like Drug Store Cowboy, My Private Idaho and Good Will Hunting. Visually and substance wise Paranoid Park resembles Gus Van Sant’s most recent films like Gerry, Last Days and Elephant. The best part of Paranoid Park is its numerous languid shots of skateboarding.
The soundtrack is also very strong with selections from Nino Rota and Ludwig van Beethoven offset with moody alternative music. At the core of Paranoid Park is story about a young man named Alex and his loneliness! The most powerful moment in the film occurs when Alex stays behind after a train splits in half the security guard he pushes into the oncoming train. The security guards final moments are depicted in this scene only further magnify Alex’s guilt. One minor complaint is that all the characters outside Alex are too one dimensional. Ultimately Paranoid Park is power piece of filmmaking about morality and coming of age.
Paranoid Park is given a solid looking 1080 progressive transfer which retains the film’s original aspect ratio. The image is looks natural and razor sharp throughout. Overall the transfer takes full advantage of the Hi-Def format.
Three audio options have been included for this release DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby True-HD. All three audio options are in English and the differences between the three audio mixes in minimal. All the audio mixes sound evenly balanced, clear and dynamic.
Extras for this release include the original theatrical trailer, future shorts secret cinema event featurette and a making of “Paranoid Park” documentary. The extras are insightful and entertaining. Tartan latest BluRay release Paranoid Park is another superb Hi-Def release that is on par with their pervious Hi-Def releases.