Hick (Blu-ray) (2011)
|Category||Drama||Main Menu Audio|
|Year Of Production||2011|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Derick Martini|
ChloŽ Grace Moretz
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (1920Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
"One Shot At A New Life"
†††† Hick, based on the novel by Andrea Portes, opens on the 13th birthday of Luli (ChloŽ Moretz) where her loser parents Tammy (Juliette Lewis) and Nick (Anson Mount) are celebrating with fellow white-trash guests in their run-down bar in a nondescript Nebraska town. Luli's birthday presents include a .45 Smith & Wesson pistol and a lesson in domestic dysfunction from mum and dad. Luli's dull life is accentuated by the images on her bedroom walls of Clint Eastwood and James Dean and the pleasure she gets from acting out famous movie scenes by her favourite actors. When mum runs off with a sugar-daddy, and dad also disappears, Luli decides it's time to pack her gun and take to the road to find her own sugar-daddy.
†††† On the road Luli first makes acquaintance with former rodeo cowboy Eddie (Eddie Redmayne) who has a semi-crippled leg and also a broken spirit. Eddie drives trucks but is more of a drifter than gainfully employed. The two however strike up a relationship of convenience although it is soon clear that Eddie has developed feelings for Luli which can only end in trouble. On the road Luli falls in with Glenda (Blake Lively) who also knows Eddie, and who is also not an ideal role model for the young girl. After experimentation with drugs and petty crime events take a sinister turn for Luli and it is clear that Luli will either be dragged down into the mayhem or emerge out of it as a stronger person.
†††† As directed by Derick Martini of Lymelife, Hick starts off promisingly however ultimately descends into a disengaging coming of age "road movie". The plot is somewhat controversial in that it engages a young girl in the distasteful world of rape, violence, criminality, drugs, and neglect. Moretz however manages to carry off her role with conviction Ė retaining the little girl innocence whilst dealing with adult issues. Luli is desperate for fulfilment and acceptance, and Moretz brings those desires to the screen so well that when the inevitable disappointment occurs we can't help but share her heartbreak. The plot however frequently breaks from Luli and focuses on the strangely broken Eddie and wasted Glenda. This character development is necessary but as handled by Martini makes the overall flow of the movie disjointed. As the film gets darker and more twisted the relationships just doesn't develop enough, and the introduction of Alec Baldwin as Beau towards the end was, to me, just unnecessary. Ultimately Hick disconnects from its audience, and although the acting is first rate, the fate of its characters become less important.
†††† Hick is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect 1080p AVC mpeg-4 encoded Blu-ray disc. Cinematographer Frank Godwin has created a beautiful looking film which depicts the grimy back-water Nebraskan life with its dusty plains and towns in contrast with a backdrop of clear blue sky and rolling green hills. The heat of the day is evident from the clearly distinct air ripples rising from the road and the sticky atmosphere. Skin tones are excellent with Moretz in particular glowing in most of her scenes. There is a bit of noise and grain evident but you really have to look for it.
†††† The sole DTS-HD MA 5.1 track makes adequate use of surrounds to emphasise the surroundings especially in the rural scenes. The sound track includes a number of songs, many from Bob Dylan, which also make use of the rear channels to accompany the on screen events. The LFE track is not required much as Hick is very much a dialogue driven movie. Voices are clear at all times and the musical score blends in well with the on screen action and sound mix.
†††† This audio track is very good.
|Surround Channel Use|
††† The menu featured looping audio with pictorial background.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
††††Hick does not appear to be available in Region A Blu-ray and the DVD seems to be as bare-boned as this Region B disc.
†††† Hick started off well but ultimately left me wondering what the point of the exercise was. We had a young girlís abandonment, loss of innocence, stumble off the straight and narrow, and possible redemption. The performances were effective but cold-hearted, apart from Moretz. The script had some witty passages but too much of it was confused between humour and seriousness. The impression I finished with was that a lot of good ideas were thrown together without a clear map of how it would all fall in place. Despite this Hick is still worth a look - if only as a rental.
†††† The video quality is very good.
†††† The audio quality is very good.
†††† Extras are non-existent.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||denon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp|
|Speakers||B&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub|