Mean Creek

Mean Creek

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Trash Fletcher

Read Steve Harwood's film review of Mean Creek

Mean Creek offers little in the way of extras. There are no outtakes, nor deleted scenes, for our enjoyment. The director's interview casts some light on various aspects of the film - informative, but a little boring. Jacob Aaron Estes doesn't appear too confident in front of the camera, which is a bit frustrating, because the interview doesn't flow as well as it should.

Estes originally set out to write a film about kids and their complicated lives. The area he grew up in was apparently quite dull and there was nothing to do, which, according to him, meant water-skiing. When I have nothing to do, I make a cup of tea.

Copy picture

The commentary offers insight from a variety of people involved in the film (writer/director, cinematographer, editor and some actors). It's the sort of thing that inspires would-be filmmakers to actually go out and pick up a camera. It's full of useful information for keeping a budget low, the sort of thing that big blockbusters lack in their commentary.

Many times there are mentions of scenes that never made it onto the final edit. Estes tells us about one involving a ranger that appears after George's death, which was cut from the film for a variety of reasons. It sounded like a good scene. I wonder why that, or any of the others, aren't available on this disc.

An extra of George's video camera shots would also have been interesting, but it turns out that most of the footage was lost somewhere along the line.

The commentary makes you appreciate the work that went into the boat scenes. Controlling a camera on board sounds difficult enough, but when you have to have additional boats for sound and make-up, convoying together, it must have been a little tricky. Sharon Meir is the most interesting of the commentators and reveals the painstaking attention to detail that is required for a cinematographer.

The remaining extras are extremely thin on the ground. The storyboards are well drawn and a pleasure to look at, but there are too few to merit inclusion.

The trailers for further Tartan Video releases are vaguely interesting, but I severely dislike having to press the play button to watch each one. That's just lazy DVD making.

Reviewed on: 02 Oct 2005
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Mean Creek packshot
Teenagers plot revenge on a school bully.
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Region: 2

Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Sound: DTS Digital Surround 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, Dolby 2.0 Stereo

Extras: Commentary by writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes, cinematographer Sharon Meir, editor Madeleine Gavin and actors Josh Peck, Trevor Morgan, Ryan Kelley and Carly Schroeder; storyboard; trailers; director's interview.

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