It's Kind of A Funny Story DVD Review
Teen movies tend to face the same pitfalls as the generation gap in general. Whether conceived by adults, or sprung from the creative minds of adolescents themselves, the end product is likely to appeal to one of those groups, and underwhelm the other.
And It's Kind Of A Funny Story, a partly autobiographical misadventure of a lonely and depressed teen encountering a rude awakening of everything the mental health system is not when checking himself into a psycho ward for a little TLC, is like its protagonist a not so funny story that seems to fall into the cracks somewhere in between. That is, like the adolescent world that can be so frustrating and inaccessible to the fretting adults around them, the movie gropes for an emotional connection to teen alienation that it sometimes grasps, and just as often doesn't. Which means falling into that other gap of an idea of the emotional canvas of youth that exists mostly inside the heads of grownups.
And his unpleasantly unpredictable circumstances turn even worse when Craig is assigned to the adult ward because the adolescent wing is currently under renovation. Where he encounters buffoonish intermittent lifer Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), a goofy grownup and occasional shrink impersonator when he can get away with it, who may have more to impart to Craig about navigating the perplexing outside world, than any doctor with multiple degrees on duty.
Based on the 2006 in part confessional novel of the same name by Ned Vizzini and directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson, Sugar), It's Kind Of A Funny Story strives for a sensitively crafted story as conveyed through the prism of adolescent angst, and often gets its right. Then layering that despair with imagination-laden graphics and the bittersweet vibe of a raucous inmates taking over the asylum periodic detour - when not engaging in lunatic breakfast burrito wars - that is not so bad either.
Where the film falls short, is sustaining that wild momentum, and instead just settling for trivial teen clichés about sex and school rivalries. And like the array of prescribed meds routinely dispensed to the cranky patients, promises lots more than it is equipped to deliver.
DVD Features: Deleted scenes; Featurettes: It's Kind Of A Funny Story Premiere In New York City; A Look Inside It's Kind Of A Funny Story.
BD-LIVE: Access the BD-Live Center through your Internet-connected player; Pocket BLU: USHE's pocket BLU app uses iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, Nokia Smartphone, Android, PC and Macintosh to work with a network-connected Blu-ray player. Also available on the iPad, new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU .
Advanced Remote Control: A new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions; Video Timeline: Users can bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them.
Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray Hi-Def. View free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock.
Keyboard: intuitive keyboard.
My Scenes: Bookmark your favorite scenes from the film.
uHear: Innovative feature that instantly skips back a few seconds on your Blu-ray disc and turns on the subtitles to highlight what you missed.
Focus Features Rated PG-13 2 1/2 [out of 4] stars
Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact her through NewsBlaze.
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