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Wrong on all counts 2 Stars

Universal brings the musical Dear Evan Hansen to Blu-ray with an excellent transfer, but the movie has so many things wrong with it that it is a chore to get through.

Dear Evan Hansen (2021)
Released: 24 Sep 2021
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 137 min
Director: Stephen Chbosky
Genre: Drama, Musical
Cast: Ben Platt, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever
Writer(s): Steven Levenson, Justin Paul, Benj Pasek
Plot: Film adaptation of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical about Evan Hansen, a high school senior with Social Anxiety disorder and his journey of self-discovery and acceptance following the suicide of a fellow classmate.
IMDB rating: 6.1
MetaScore: 39

Disc Information
Studio: Universal
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.39.1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 7.1 DD+:Spanish 7.1 DD+, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 2 Hr. 17 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD keepcase with slipcover
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: A
Release Date: 12/07/2021
MSRP: $34.98

The Production: 1.5/5

Nothing has been as painful as watching Dear Evan Hansen, a movie that was destroyed by critics and rightfully so. Evan Hansen is a troubled and socially awkward high school senior (played by then-27 year old Ben Platt) battling mental health issues, and as part of his therapy, has been assigned to write letters to himself regarding his feelings and thoughts. One day, while in the library, he prints one of those letters, only to have it taken by school bully Connor (Colton Ryan) shortly after he signs Evan’s cast in large print letters. When Connor takes his own life, the only thing his parents (Danny Pino and Amy Adams) find on him is the self-addressed letter by Evan, thinking that Connor wrote the letter to Evan and assuming that Evan and Connor were friends. Evan’s awkwardness allows him to go along with that assumption, and even prompts Evan to enlist his one true friend, Jared (Nik Dodani), to create post-dated fake e-mails and text messages between Connor and Evan. Everything spirals out of control (of course), including Student Body President Alanna (Amandla Stenberg) throwing an assembly in honor of Connor, inviting Evan to speak about their loneliness and “friendship,” with the video of the speech going viral, leading to Alanna and Evan launching a crowdfunding project to reopen an apple orchard where he and Connor supposedly hung out together, but in reality where Evan fell out of a tree and broke his arm.

There are so many things wrong with Dear Evan Hansen, from the ridiculous plot devices, the odd casting choices (Platt looks way too old for the part), the unintentionally humorous vocal performances, the manipulative direction by Stephen Chbosky, I could go on and on.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

Dear Evan Hansen was captured in 8k resolution on Red Monstro 8K cameras and completed as a 4K digital intermediate in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Likely due to its poor box office and critical reception, Universal has opted to release the film on physical media on Blu-ray but forego a UHD physical media release (the movie is available on UHD digitally). This is a very solid 1080p AVC-encoded transfer, with rich detail (fabric textures, hair, beard stubble), vibrant colors, and excellent contrast with deep blacks.

Audio: 4.5/5

The default Dolby Atmos track lends itself well to the film’s musical numbers, providing a wide soundstage for the instrumentals. Dialogue and lyrics are clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 2/5

Songs to be Seen (1080p; 43:17): The thematic importance of each song in the film.

Looking Through the Lens: The Making of “Dear Evan Hansen” (1080p; 8:36): Typical EPK behind the scenes featurette.

Sincerely, Ben Platt (1080p; 4:57): The cast and crew (including Platt himself) gush over his performance.

Stars In Our Eyes (1080p; 3:06): Shooting a movie during COVID-19.

DVD Copy

Digital Copy: An insert contains a code to redeem a digital copy on Movies Anywhere.

Overall: 2.5/5

Watching Dear Evan Hansen was a painful and dreary experience. Avoid at all costs.

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Published by

Todd Erwin


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