“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is a faithful adaption of the modern classic written by the film’s director Stephen Chbosky that is reinforced by great performances from the lead trio.
The film follows Charlie Kelmeckis (Logan Lerman), during his freshman year in high school where he is taken under the wing of two free-spirited seniors, Sam (Emma Watson) and her stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) as he goes through new experiences of teenage life.
Author Chbosky was hired by producers John Malkovich, Lianne Halfon, and Russell Smith (of Mr. Mudd Productions) to write the adapted screenplay and to direct the film. His directorial debut was the independent comedy film, “The Four Corners of Nowhere” which was featured on the Sundance Channel.
Since then, he has been known for his writing with the 2005 film “Rent”, the television series “Jericho”, and of course his epistolary novel, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. These credits appeared to have benefited the production as it looks like it was directed by a veteran in its ability to trigger the appropriate emotions.
However, the benefits to the production can also be attributed to the terrific cast attached to the lead characters’ roles. Logan Lerman, who plays Charlie, does a great job of playing this awkward, vulnerable kid without going too far into full-blown wimp, and portrays his character’s history perfectly. He is supported by more effective performances from Ezra Miller and Emma Watson, who play Patrick and Sam, respectively, who play the misfit seniors without being the typical weirdos that are usually seen in these movies when discussing outsiders. The supporting cast also includes names such as Paul Rudd, Mae Whitman, Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott, Joan Cusack, and more. There’s even a cameo by Tom Savini of horror fame.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” does a good job with the teenage outsider film while having something different, still having some of the same, but ends on a positive note that will have the right audience leaving happy.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has a run time of approximately 102 minutes, and is rated PG-13 for some mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content including references, and a fight – all involving teens.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray, the Blu-ray features a 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The film was shot in Super 35, but looks more like 16mm with its soft look throughout. The graininess isn’t as bad, but this is not the sharpest looking release in recent history. However, this doesn’t mean the film looks terrible, but it does fit the film’s style. Also, well-lit scenes look great and pop like a normal modern film.
The Blu-ray comes with lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound which sounds better than the film looks. Most of the film is heard though the front channels, including scenes that would usually be heard in the rear channels. Enthusiasts won’t want to use this to show off their systems but, again it fits the film enough to where fans of this film will enjoy it.
There are two commentary tracks but no Blu-ray exclusives in the extras. The bonus features include:
Commentary with Screenwriter/Director Stephen Chbosky
Commentary with Director Stephen Chbosky, and actors Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Johnny Simmons, Emma Watson, Mae Whitman and Erin Willhelmi
Deleted Scenes with optional audio commentary with Director Stephen Chbosky
Best Summer Ever
Overall, this is not the most typical teenage coming-of-age film out there and has enough different from the rest, including great performances from the trio of lead actors, that it is worth checking out. For fans of these types of films – it’s worth buying.
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