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HTF DVD Review: Harold



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#1 of 1 Todd Erwin

Todd Erwin

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Posted October 05 2008 - 05:20 PM

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Studio: City Lights Home Entertainment
Year: 2008
Rated: PG-13
Film Length: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic (2.40:1)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: Spanish


US DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008


Movie: 3 out of 5
I can sort of empathize with Harold, as I began going bald in my senior year of high school. Spencer Breslin plays the 13-year old title character, who began going bald at age 5, and has just moved to a new town with his older sister after his mother (Ally Sheedy) accepts a new job. Harold could have easily been a one-joke comedy, but co-writer and first-time director T. Sean Shannon, a former Saturday Night Live alum, is able to create some humorous and interesting situations for Harold. The film’s one weak point is the plot, which is more or less a by the numbers story of an outsider becoming triumphant. The big standout is Spencer Breslin’s performance, an actor that has a reputation of playing characters more mature than their years in films such as The Kid and The Santa Clause 2. Breslin’s portrayal of Harold is inspired; he walks like an old man, keeps the neighbor kids’ balls when they land in his yard, and likes liver and onions. Also along for the ride are Cuba Gooding, Jr. as the high school janitor and Nikki Blonsky (2007’s Hairspray) as Harold’s friend, Rhonda. Harold is not an ROTFLOL comedy, but is more of what I would call a chuckles comedy. The jokes don’t fall flat, but instead elicit smiles and mild laughter.

Video: 3 out of 5
The anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 picture is a bit soft, but not bothersome, attributed more to the film’s low budget. Contrast is somewhat blown out at times, particularly in the gym class scenes, but again is not bothersome. Befitting a new release, the image is free of dirt or blemishes.

Audio: 3 out of 5
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, encoded at 384 kbps, is adequate for a comedy. It is front-heavy, with occasional music bleeding to the surrounds.

Special Features: 3 out of 5
The disc begins with the following trailers, which can be skipped by pressing the MENU button on your remote:

The Ten (non-anamorphic 1.85:1)
The Year My Parents Went On Vacation (anamorphic 1.78:1)
Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years (1.33:1)
Brooklyn Rules (2.40 non-anamorphic)

Red Carpet Premiere consists of a series of interviews conducted before and after the premiere screening of the film. The cast and crew are self-congratulatory prior to the screening. After the screening, the documentarian fishes for comments on the film as the audience leaves the theater, getting polite responses, but nothing glowing. This featurette is presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

We also get the Theatrical Trailer in 2.40:1 anamorphic.


Overall: 3 out of 5 (not an average)
Harold is an amusing independent comedy, definitely worth a look for Spencer Breslin’s performance.

This DVD was reviewed on the following home theater gear:
Toshiba 56HM66 DLP HDTV
Sony Playstation 3
Yamaha HTR-5940 Home Theater Receiver (in 5.1 configuration)
Yamaha NS-AP2600 Home Cinema Speaker Package
Yamaha YST-SW010 subwoofer







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