on 13 December 2000
A superb film in which the central character is a young man from a broken background who is an uncertified genius. A wonderfully unpredictable script and plot coupled with fine performances by all concerned combine to produce an enchanting, and often touching, story of a youth struggling to find himself and come to terms with his past.
It's one of those rare films that intelligently deals with the complex issues of relationships. None of the characters presented is there for window dressing, and each has depth, and plausibility.
Will (our main man) spends much of his time hanging out with his gang of friends, but with whom he can never share intellectual parity. Discovered by a world-renowned mathematician, who wants him to pursue a career in mathematics (what else?), he finds himself balking at the prospect. His emotional problems lead him to a therapist and the film spends much time exploring this relationship. Whilst in therapy he meets and falls for a college girl, but because of his emotional problems is unable to commit to her.
The whole film is a beautifully balanced mix of humour, pathos, and emotion. Certainly one of, if not the, best films of 1999. Don't miss it!
on 31 August 2010
There are plenty of good reviews regarding this film here on amazon so I won't go into the storyline. Just to add that I first saw this film by mistake when it was first released on a rainy day when I had nothing else to do, at the time I was a degree student. I was intrigued by the title, but almost put off when I saw that Robin Williams was in it, Williams at the time was just known for being an outrageous and very loud comedian. How glad I am that it poured with rain that day and I didn't walk to the train station to go home at my usual time. This film showed what a great serious actor Robin Williams could be, it was a breath of fresh air to see him play his role as a wise old professor. Matt Damon played a blinder as the main character in the film with some decent performances from the supporting cast notably Stellan Starsgard. Ben Affleck I find rather annoying at the best of times as does Minnie Driver has the same affect on me, but Affleck I find tolerable in this as at the very least he is playing a young character. The late author George Plimpton also has a small role as a shrink. The whole film has an understated but uplifting feel good factor to it, and the scene where Williams repeats to Will that "it's not your fault" referring to the upbringing Will had is very touching. "Afternoon delight" indeed.
I recommend this film to those of you who may doubt whether you will like it. I took the plunge all those years ago and am very glad I did. Buy it.
I'm stunned at how good this 1997 starter movie for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck looks on this 2012 American Miramax/Lionsgate BLU RAY (which is now less than six quid). It's beautifully clean and a revelation after all these years of so-so DVDs.
There's barely a hair on any scene - no glitches - no wobbles - the colour is beautiful - and as it's defaulted to 'Widescreen' so it fills the entire screen naturally (without bars top or bottom). There's English and German 5.1 DTS-HD Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital with English, English SDH - and English, Spanish, French and German subtitles.
It's also REGION A and 'B' - which means the States, the 'UK and Europe'. So British and European film fans can buy this great movie with confidence that it won't give them compatibility issues.
You also forget how good a film "Good Will Hunting" is and was (9 nominations) - a really great script by the boys full of life observations from the real Boston (won for best original screenplay), Stellan Skarsgard as the snotty obsessed Maths teacher and Robin Williams as the hurt but earthy shrink (both shining like diamonds - especially Williams who is a wow and rightly won his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) and the lovely Minnie Driver with such a lightness of touch. Younger brother Casey Affleck as one of the boys while Matt and Ben took the world by storm - so brilliant for such a young age.
The EXTRAS are also shockingly substantial:
A 4-Part Retrospective:
Reflecting On A Journey: Good Will Hunting 15 Years Later
The Era Of Good Will Hunting
Cast And Crew Spotlight
Academy Awards: A Winning Season
Life Goes On
Matt Damon Remembers Good Will Hunting
Audio Commentary by Director Gus Van Sant and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
11 Deleted Scenes with Audio Commentary
Academy Award: Best Picture Montage
Miss Misery Music Video
Intimate, funny and wise (in a good way) - "Good Will Hunting" still stands up. A great 'US' BLU RAY we can enjoy - and now at a dirt-cheap price. Dig in.
PS: 12 August 2014 Tuesday - cannot stand the news - Robin Williams lost to us - go the angels - you made me and my family laugh, cry and think...an appaling loss to humanity...
on 23 December 2007
A university professor seeks to help a mathematical genius who has had problems with the law and on his release, Will Hunting (Damon) must agree to see a psychologist.
Opening with a colourful slow moving montage of a long haired Matt Damon scribbling maths equations on his mirror, we are instantly engaged into a strong psychological drama that will make you laugh, cry and be enticed into a world of intelligence.
This splendid picture, almost 13 years old now, has lost none of its relevance in real world story telling. Written by Damon and Ben Affleck, the two dive deep into the world of a man with personal problems whilst being mathematically gifted, much to his disappointment. The two friends picked up an Oscar for their best original screenplay and over the course of 1997 it seems this was the most refreshing and hit the drama harder than most. Had it not been for a bravado OCD suffering portrayal by Jack Nicholson then Damon would surely have been a certain for the best actor.
Robin Williams managed to scoop best actor in a supporting role and his power of intelligence to read people in his role is staggering. His ability to conform to the form and thoughts of a psychologist is a brilliant execution of using his job and his own personal experience to associate with the troublesome Will. Certain improvisations such as the little secrets about his wife and the story about the baseball game are all little revelations, all sweet real life stories that we as viewers are able to associate with and because of these inclusions we can sit and enjoy the high power of the drama but chill and laugh along in some of the light hearted sequences.
This film's ability to conform to the comedy and drama genre is excellent whilst throwing in the odd romance ideology and scientific lexis. Minnie Driver adds a subtle intelligence to the film with her protagonist's enthusiasm but also youthful vulnerability in the face of her feelings. And again these performances by all members are so real and identifiable you feel enticed right into their personal stories and believe me this is no exaggeration. Whilst the film revolves around complex concepts such as mathematical equations, the power of labour and conditional love this can be viewed by any person and be appreciated on any level as there are great comedy sequences, the "How do you like them apples?!" to the dramatic "Its not your fault".
Gus Van Sant is able to further establish his authority through basic real worldly settings, such as the sequence on the bench by the pond and the rough neighbourhood which is very good at establishing character development.
My words will do this film an injustice because it is so breathtakingly forward in its approach to real world issues such as youthful violence and naivety and taking life for granted but should you watch it, you will not have your time wasted.
on 20 November 2011
What a beautiful movie. Robin Williams steals the show with his warmth and sees a counsellor shown in a truer light. The transfer is just right for this movie- still holds some grain but adds depth and clarity; it shows off the colour palette and keeps the grittiness of Southie. I thought this would be a film that wouldn't be worth a blu ray showing; I was wrong.
on 29 September 2012
Ok, I'm assuming you know the plot etc and want to know what extra you're getting by buying the Blu-Ray version. Well, as said in other reviews, the picture looks loads better and the sound is clearer (Excellent soundtrack to this movie). The extras are - Audio commentary by Ben, Matt & Gus (it's a good commentary too, as most multiple actor/director/writers ones are) - Deleted scenes (20 minutes of them & with optional commentary) - Production Featurette - Behind the scenes thing - 'Miss Misery' Music video - Oscar montage (basically a trailer) - Theatrical Trailer. In short .. well worth the upgrade (and it's a great flick).. "How'd ya like them apples?".
on 6 February 2012
This film is somewhat a masterpiece like Rocky. It's about an underdog, who has special abilities, amazing gifts. Yet he is an average, poor young man with a troubled past. He is a mathematical genius, and he works at constructions, drinks beer with his undereducated, dumb but infinitely loyal friends and he tries to find himself in present day Boston.
This is one of the most perfectly written, acted and directed films I have ever come across in my life. It has stayed with me for years now and I can't seem to and don't want to let it go any time soon. I am Will, you know. And I'm quite sure that many people around the world feel the same way. I too try desperately to find my way in society, make real friends, a girl who really loves me and I can love her back, a decent enough job no matter how hard it is. And if we feel that we possess some special skills which nobody understands, we feel isolated, alone, lonely. And sometimes angry.
I can't emphasize enough how brilliant Matt Damon is in the role his lifetime. He is even better than in Bourne, and I assume, he will never have an acting opportunity again that can live up to this role. He is mean, disturbed, feisty, yet vulnerable, loveable, sad. The dialogues are like polished diamond. The direction is quiet, suttle, beautifully balanced, simple and realistic. All the supporting cast deserves high praise, and certainly the best of them all is Robin Williams, who is simply amazing.
This is a very moving film, so much so that there are plenty occasion when we feel the urge to cry. I encourage each and everyone to do so bravely, because in the world of Good Will Hunting there's no such thing as outer nobility and dignity. These qualities come from within. A true measure of a man is how he can live day by day doing what he truly believes in. And most of all, by believing in himself. And finding love is never too late or too much trouble. And remember, what Williams's character suggests: one can't get to know life by reading books about it. You have to get out and live life while you still can. It's never too late. That was one important lesson this great film tought me. I recommend it to everyone whole heartedly.
on 3 September 2003
Most famously known as the movie which launched the big screen careers of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Good Will Hunting is a quietly beautiful, character driven piece. Damon is eminently watchable as the title character, portraying the mood swings and self destruction required with an engaging charm. Considering its associations with his fame, Affleck is actually little more than an extra - while he is entertaining as best friend Chucky, decked out in a Boston-ghetto uniform of tracksuits and bad hairstyles, he isn't really given much to do.
The thrust of the film is in Damon's struggle with his own genius, and his relationships with the people trying to make him see it and use it. First discovered by College Professor Skellan Skargard, he is bounced from prison by Skarsgard, who hopes to join forces with the wunderkind in order to leave his mark more indellibly on the Mathematical world. As part of the deal Damon enters into therapy with blue-collar shrink Robin Williams, who holsters his manic tendencies to move Will down the road to recovery with warmth and a much gentler good humour. The growing relationship between the two provides the best scenes in the film, from a lovely moment in which they ruminate on love and regret over memories of a baseball game, to the famous payoff of 'It's not your fault.'
William's performances so far outstrips the sap-fests of 'Patch Adams' and 'Jack', and here is almost unrecognisable as the childish Peter Pan character he has been so associated with in other films. Both impossibly wise and disarmingly humble, Williams marshalls the role with working class grit and great intelligence - its a shame he hasn't really been this good since, although he does play against type brilliantly in his recent work (see Insomnia, or One Hour Photo).
The dramatic drive behind Will's change, however, comes from his relationship with Minnie Driver's Skyla. Their growing bond is shown tremendously, managing to be touchingly sweet while also managing to be realistic in its awkwardness and uncertainty - a first kiss is arranged early as a way of getting the pressure off at the end of the evening. The depth of the bond between the two does grow a little too quickly and without explanation - their initial fumblings turn almost without warning into love, with Skyla asking Will to follow her across the country to pursue their relationship. Having said that, the on-screen chemistry between the two is palpable (possibly due the relationship blossoming between the two off it), and they do make for one of the better pairings in recent film.
It could be said that Good Will Hunting is little more than clever series of audience manipulations, and it is true that it is indeed often sentimental. However, it never slips into the kind of cloying sappiness that you might expect from this, and the result is simply pure, mainly unchallenging but extremely well-crafted drama.
This is the kind of film that could have been a best picture contender if it had come after it's stars breakouts, remaining at the same time intelligent and literary while also balancing mass appeal. With uniformly excellent performances, Williams' breakthrough as a proper actor and a script that gave its writers both the fame and the Oscar they deserved, this a film that deserves to be in everyone's collection, if only to remember a time before its stars went about the humdrum business of being regular movie stars. Top notch.
I've been a little sceptical when it comes to HighDefin' movies such as Good Will. On the face of it, I'd be saying that HD can't offer anything to it. It's such a staggeringly brilliant movie that relies solely on it's story. The only outstanding performance is from Robin Williams (deservedly getting his Oscar) really but the rest of the cast don't do a half bad job either. As I said, true star, is the story and it will provoke many thoughts for you once the movie is over. What would you do if you were Will, What would you do if you were Will's friends?...
Back to the HD scepticism. I didn't think it would have any effect on my enjoyment and during my viewing I was saying to myself things like , 'picture looks good, nothing fantastic though'; 'I haven't really noticed anything special about the sound'. Now, given that I hadn't seen the movie in a few years, especially not on the size TV I have now, I thought I'd pop the old DVD in to have a quick compare. To catchphrase Janice from Friends: Oh My God. If you have the DVD, upgrade now. If you don't have the DVD, buy the Blu-Ray. I will go to the extreme of saying that I couldn't even watch the DVD now. Silk purse out of a sows ear is what Lionsgate have done again.
Languages: English on on DTS-HD master, sorry, that's all folks.
Subs: English and English
on 25 July 2006
I would love to sit here for hours waxing lyrical about the plot of this fantastic film and why it is by far and away my favourite film of all time but I won't. Suffice it to say there is not one single wasted word in this film. The script is immaculate and the performances too. If you haven't seen this film, please please do. An inspiration.