PG Dir: Rob Reiner | Warner | 90 min.
Review By: Matt Brighton | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
There are only a handful of directors who have such a diverse resume as that of Rob Reiner. Reiner first made his mark as an actor back in the early 70’s in the television show “All in the Family” but later turned to directing which is where he really made his mark. His films are memorable (though some more than others) that run the gamut in terms of style and theme. Take, for example, two of his “cult classics” with “This is Spinal Tap” and “The Princess Bride.” Then you’ve got a romantic comedy with “When Harry Met Sally.” Still not enough? Ok, take “A Few Good Men” which was nominated for Best Picture (it lost to “Unforgiven”). The movie that most closely resembles his newest effort is “Stand By Me”, a coming of age story about four teens who find a dead body and discover themselves along the way. While “Flipped” steers away from dead bodies, it does embody the spirit of “Stand By Me.” Maybe that’s what makes it so likeable.
Juli (Madeline Carroll) is a free spirit. She loves sitting atop the neighborhood sycamore tree and watching the sun rise and set. Her father (Aidan Quinn) is a painter who uses ever spare cent to care for his mentally retarded brother (Kevin Weisman). When Juli sees that she has new neighbors, she runs over to meet them. Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) doesn’t know what to think of Juli at first and his father (Anthony Edwards) seems to look down on anyone and everyone. As the years pass, Juli is still infatuated with Bryce though it lessens as time goes by. Bryce has never really made the effort to get to know her, he avoids her in school and even asks out other girls out of spite. However, as the title suggests, something happens and his feelings change towards Juli. But is it too late? Human nature suggests that you always want something that you can’t have. How frustrating for Bryce that he now covets what could have been his all along.
“Flipped” was based on a novel that set the story in the early part of the 21st century, however Rob Reiner has set the story in the early 60’s (like that of “Stand By Me”) and while that may be irrelevant, it also gives the movie some of its charm. The casting is excellent though I felt like it came right out of the early 90’s with Penelope Ann Miller, Rebecca DeMornay, Aidan Quinn, John Mahoney and Anthony Edwards leading the way. The two stars of the film, however, take charge and I believe both will have bright futures as actors. “Flipped” doesn’t try and change the world or even make a statement. It’s just an all-around enjoyable movie that families will enjoy. There are even some life lessons to be learned as well. I hope that this title finds an audience on Blu-ray/DVD and I’m sure it will as it’s quite a treat to see a movie like this every once in a while. Highly recommended.
Video: How does it look?
The movie is presented in a 1.85:1 AVC HD transfer (this surprised me as most Warner titles use the VC-1 codec) and it looks nothing short of amazing. The transfer has a very film-like look and feel to it and with the sun-kissed scenes, it really gives a sense of warmth to the entire film. The majority of the movie takes place during daytime and I was hard-pressed to find much, if anything, wrong. Contrast is right on the mark, detail is amazing (take the CGI background when Juli looks out from the sycamore tree). For a low budget film, this looks as good as anything that cost in the tens of millions to produce, so that’s a great thing.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is really nothing to write home about, then again it’s not supposed to be. This is a dialogue-driven track, to say the least. There’s a smattering of 60’s songs (again, just like “Stand By Me”) that add to the mood a bit. The surrounds are hardly a factor and the meat of the mix is in the front stage. There’s not a whole lot else to say here, it sounds just fine and that’s what it’s supposed to do.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There aren’t too many supplements on this two disc set, mainly all we get are a few featurettes. I’d have liked to hear a track by Rob Reiner as he usually gives some pretty informative tracks. Alas, there is none to be found. We start off with “The Differences Between a boy and a girl” in which stars Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe take turns complimenting each other. To be fair, they did have chemistry and it’s why they got their respective parts. Next up we find “Embarrassing Egg-scuses” in which Madeline teaches us to raise chickens and how they hatch the perfect egg. Not exactly mind-blowing, but I suppose it’s nice to have this included. Next up Callan McAuliffe (looking noticeably older, I might add) dons a white coat and teaches us “How to Make the Best Volcano.” Finally we get “Flipped: Anatomy of a Near Kiss” in which the two stars reflect on their fist on screen kiss. Say it with me now…awww.
- (1.85:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: AVC
- Audio: DTS HD Master
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 2 Disc Set