Here on Earth

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Kelley Morse (Chris Klein) is a spoiled rich kid who has it all, he can buy whatever he wants and pretty much does whatever he pleases. He attends a posh private school near a small town, but he would never even think of socializing with the working class folks who populate the town. But when he needs to show off his glitzy new Mercedes he decides to pay the residents a visit, a decision that will serve to change his life forever. He drives his new car into town and quickly makes an enemy in the form of Jasper (Josh Hartnett), a local boy with a quick temper. After some words the two decide to engage in a dangerous car race which results in the destruction of a diner owned by the mother of Jasper’s longtime girlfriend. In order to pay their restitution the two are ordered to rebuild the diner and Kelley is forced to move in with Jasper’s family. Soon Kelley becomes friends with Jasper’s girlfriend Sam (Leelee Sobieski), which angers the hot tempered Jasper. As the summer unfolds the three young people learn about love, loss, and themselves.

I am a sucker for teen aimed films, I admit it. I don’t only mean classics like Sixteen Candles or Better Off Dead either, I mean modern teen flicks like Drive Me Crazy and Down To You. Maybe I am trapped in high school or have some mental issues, but I love these movies and find myself owning almost all of them. So when Here On Earth arrived on my doorstep, I popped it into the player right away and wished for another solid teen picture to add to my collection. I was put off by the fact the world’s worst actor Chris Klein had a lead, but I pushed ahead and hoped for the best. I mean with a talented girl like Leelee Sobieski involved it had to be at least decent, right? I had no idea just how wrong I was in assuming that. This is without a doubt one of the worst movies I have ever seen and this comes from someone who owns She’s All That. I wanted to like this film very much, but the miserable storyline and attempts to make this a legitimate love story fell short and left me disappointed. I might love some of the worst teen flicks out there, but this one was just too bad even for me. I recommend this release as a rental to those die-hard teen flick fans, but whatever you do don’t purchase this disc sight unseen because you will regret it.

This film was directed by Mark Piznarski, who has very limited directing experience and it shows in this movie. I like the visual choice of soft colors and such, but visuals aren’t the sole charge of a director. I am unsure of who to blame for the poor performances in this movie, the director or the actors. I know Chris Klein couldn’t turn in a decent performance no matter who directs him, but Leelee is an excellent actor and seems wasted in this movie. Perhaps if Piznarski could have tried to push them in a different direction this film might have turned out better, but as it stands the movie reeks. I hope Piznarski has better luck in the future and I won’t count him out just yet. As I mentioned above I was disappointed with the acting in this film, which was surprising for the most part. Leelee Sobieski (Joan Of Arc, Eyes Wide Shut) is an amazing talent and she gets the shaft in this film, whether due to poor directing or just plain bad material, I am unsure. Hands down the worst actor I have ever seen, Chris Klein (American Pie, Election) once again stinks the place up with his wooden delivery and rocky mannerisms. Can he play a dumb jock? Sure, but make sure he stays there please. The best acting in the film comes from Josh Hartnett (Halloween: H20, The Faculty) who seems at home in his role and veteran Michael Rooker (Days Of Thunder, Brown’s Requiem) who turns in his usual solid performance.

Video: How does it look?

Here On Earth is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This film has a very soft and lush visual style, so while the image appears blurred slightly this is intentional. The colors look bright and bold, especially the pastel shades and I never saw even a hint of bleeding or smearing. The flesh tones seem normal and warm and also show no distortion of any kind. The darker shades are softened on purpose for visual effect, so the contrast is correct even though it seems a little soft. I didn’t see any instances of compression artifacts either, this is another solid transfer from Fox.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is a teen romance film so of course the main audio power comes from the ultra hip soundtrack, which kicks in many a time and overshadows the other elements. This is my main complaint with this disc, as the music obscures all other audio details and you have turn the volume down when it appears, only to have to turn it back up when it stop so you can hear the vocals. That is the main flaw in the mix, but it causes some distraction to be sure. The effects and dialogue come through clear and all, you just have to fiddle with the remote to keep a proper volume.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release contains a nice selection of theatrical trailers, including this film’s trailer and trailers for several other Fox Flicks, as the disc calls them. If you’re a sucker for television spots like me, you’ll be pleased to find a total of five included on this release. A music video by Jessica Simpson is also found on this disc along with a very brief soundtrack featurette. This isn’t a lot of bonus materials, but for a standard release is more than adequate.

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