Boys Don’t Cry

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Boys Don’t Cry is not an easy movie to watch. Really. I would hardly call it an upbeat movie, but sometimes good movies don’t always have you smiling at the end of them. Such is the case with Boys Don’t Cry. Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank (for this role) plays Brandon Teena (Teena Brandon), a gender-confused man/woman who finds true love in her/his otherwise mixed up life. Brandon (that’s what I’ll call Swank from now on, as that’s what she goes by in the movie) has been in and out of trouble with the law, stolen a few cars and is mostly trying to save up money to get a sex change operation. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Brandon Teena is actually Teena Brandon…a girl. Brandon does everything in his power to look and act the part of a male. The short hair, the flannel shirts, the drinking and smoking…it’s almost obscene what he goes through every morning just to look like what half the world looks like naturally. The story takes place in a small Nebraska town set in 1993. Brandon ends up there and finds a few of the guys to hang around with and call “friends”. After trying to prove himself, he is loosely accepted as “one of them” but still considered kind of a wuss. Brandon meets and starts to fall for Lana (Chole Sevingy), but her overprotective boyfriend immediately gets jealous. It’s not long after Brandon and Lana spend time together that they know they’re right for each other. We see Lana, in her very unproductive life, searching for a way to escape the small-town atmosphere and Brandon is her way out. Now don’t get me wrong, she likes Brandon for what he is (even after she finds out that “he” is a “she”). Lana’s mom is an alcoholic, her ex-boyfriend and friend John and Tom hang out at the house all the time, drinking cases upon cases of beer and have no direction…the only way for Lana to make something of herself is to leave this town! Now the hard part…John and Tom are local hoods. Through ways of their own, they find out about Brandon’s secret and feel betrayed. This is Nebraska, things like this aren’t taken lightly. John has emotional problems to start with (a quick temper) and Tom isn’t the perfect role model either. I won’t (and don’t want to) explain what happens at the end, but I’ll say that’s it’s based on a true story. Boys Don’t Cry is a sad movie, the ending is what happend to the real person. The subject matter is hard to handle and I would only watch this movie again to see the brilliant performances of Hilary Swank and Chole Sevingy. Those alone make it worthwhile, not that the movie isn’t well made, though. All in all, if you’re the least bit curious as to why these two actresses were nominated and what the buzz is over the film, you should watch it. But it’s not for the weak of heart.

Video: How does it look?

It looks as if Fox is finally starting to come around. They have issued this disc with a 1.85 anamorphic widescreen transfer and it looks pretty darn good. I have seen better, and noticed a few shimmering moments, but on the whole it’s not that bad. A majority of the scenes take place at night, and the disc handles the black levels very nicely. All other colors are right on, no bleeding and the images are sharp and clear. Could be better, could be worse.

Audio: How does it sound?

Boys Don’t Cry won’t exactly rock the house, but it’s a fairly decent mix of sound. There are a few songs that radiate through all channels, but for the most part it’s a good 2.0 surround mix. Dialogue, as expected, is clear and comes through the center channel only. Very few split surround effects, but then again…none were needed.

Supplements: What are the extras?

A lot more than the usual Fox offering with the highlight being a commentary track by the director. I found it to be most interesting, and it offers a lot of insight (as most tracks do) to the making of the movie. Fox has also inscluded a featurette, a smattering of T.V. spots and a few trailers. Not bad considering what Fox usually puts out. Overall, not a bad disc. If you’re a fan of the movie, then this disc is one to own.

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