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Good Will Hunting
review by Zach B.
Starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver,
Written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Retail Price: $29.99
Features: Theatrical Trailer, "Miss Misery" Music
Specs: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1
Dolby Digital, English Captions, Chapter Search (21
The movie which literally made Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
overnight stars, "Good Will Hunting" is a very entertaining
and moving character study which the duo also wrote. The
film gave them Oscars® for Best Original Screenplay,
while Robin Williams won for Best Supporting Actor (in a
very good and dramatic performance). It was also nominated
for seven other awards, which included Best Picture and Best
Director for Gus Van Sant.
Will Hunting is a tempermental janitor, scrubbing and
washing the floors of M.I.T. He hangs out with his pals,
gets drunk, and gets in one too many run-ins with the law.
Yet one thing makes Will different from everything around
him. He can solve any math problem with ease that frusturate
many and he can use his photographic memories to recall just
about anything. Simply, Will is a genius.
An M.I.T. professor (an outstanding Stellan Skarsgard)
leaves a very complex on the board outside his room, hoping
a student can solve it. Will solves it, and keeps solving
more and more of them, and no one knows who is getting them
correct. Until the professor catches will, accusing him of
ruining someone else's work. Yet the professor soon realizes
that Will solved them all. Will is also in trouble with the
law for a big fight, among other things. The professor
offers Will a deal, instead of a jail sentence (which the
judge said was okay). He works with him and sees a
psychologist. Will, at first, is reluctant, but soon joins
in this deal. However, he seems to be scaring away every
psychologist who meets with him. Yet he soon meets his match
with Sean, an old friend of the professor. As Sean and Will
talk about anything and everything, Will is soon
deconstructed and must realize what he has, and what he can
do, while conquering his inner demons of the past.
"Good Will Hunting" is one of my favorite films ever, all
because it's an incredibly strong movie. The script by Damon
and Affleck is very impressive and solid. There is never a
dull piece of dialogue, and it's all true to the bone and
core. They capture the whole Boston feel perfectly. They
really develop the characters, their thoughts and
insecurities. They set up great situations for them to deal
with, and while you laugh, your also tugs. It's a great
premise and the way the story unfolds and how characters
come to terms is simply remarkable.
The direction from Gus Van Sant is lean and perfect. Van
Sant hacks into the script and really sets it up with a
great pace and great visual shots of Boston. The editing is
good, and the way he shoots it you won't miss a beat or any
of the action. It has a very natural feel to it and I think
it's Van Sant's best directing outing.
What also really makes the movie is how every performance
is so true and believable. Williams is incredibly strong as
the widowed psychologist, and Damon is perfectly tense and
angry as young Will Hunting. They play off one another so,
so well. The supporting cast, which includes Skarsgard,
Affleck and Minnie Driver all hold their own and also play
well against Damon. They get a great feel and handle on the
characters too. Top it off with a great score from Danny
Elfman and great songs, and you have yourself a wonderful
"Good Will Hunting" is a film that I could watch again
and again. It has a lot of depth, and there are many lessons
which can be learned from it. It's a fine effort, and
deserves every acclaim and award it got - perhaps even more.
Don't miss it. They don't make them like this anymore. Like
Will himself, it's brilliant.
Though it is not anamorphic, Good Will Hunting is
presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, and looks quite nice. Colors
are unsaturated now and then, and dirt, grain and artifacts
are visible. Still, detail is good and colors are strong. A
good, though flawed, transfer.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is well done. Though the
movie is really dialogue driven, when music plays it brings
a lot more life to the film, and there are some action
packed moments which make good use of rear channels and the
If you don't like extras, this is your boat. You have the
original (and nicely done) Theatrical Trailer and the
Miss Misery Music Video by Elliot Smith. The song was
nominated for an Oscar®, and it's an excellent song.
Still, for ten bucks more, you get a whole mountain of
stuff, so if I were you, I'd go for that. Hell, if you can,
try to get the Canadian Alliance edition. It has even more.
"Good Will Hutning" is an excellent movie, but this
standard edition isn't that great compared to the
Series. For ten bucks more, you'll get a whole load of
extras that are definently worth it. Or shop around on the
web for the Alliance Canadian version. It'll be the same
price as this standard version, you'll get more extras that
in the American Collector's Edition plus it'll be
anamorphic. But if you couldn't care less about that, this
standard edition will please you.
(5/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)