12/20/2014  
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 on DVD Dec 16Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray Director's Cut Dec 16Kelly & Cal on DVD Dec 30The Facts Of Life: The Complete Series on DVD Jan 13Keep on Keepin' On on DVD Jan 13Stonehearst Asylum on DVD & Blu-ray Dec 16Moveable Feast With Fine Cooking - Season 1 on DVD Dec 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Stephen Colbert sings with every celebrity you can thin...
The Colbert Report Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert!...
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2...
Lord Of Illusions (Collector's Edition) 2-Disc Blu-ray ...
A Salute to 'The Colbert Report' ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
JACK REACHER...
LIZ & DICK...
CHINA BEACH: THE COMPLETE SERIES...

CA Chuck Aliaga

THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
THE LADY (BLU-RAY)...
SWAMP THING (BLU-RAY)...
AROUSED...
THE SWEENEY (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

Take Part in a Film Restoration...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...
LOST KEATON...
BLACK NARCISSUS (BLU-RAY)...
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY (BLU-...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...
BASEBALL'S GREATEST GAMES: 1986 WORLD SERIES GAME 6...

JS Jesse Shanks

KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...
NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN...
I Don't Know How She Does It on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 3...
The Liam Neeson Film Collection on DVD Nov 1...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Nov 12-14...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...
THE TROUBLE WITH TOLSTOY...
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS...
ANATOMY OF A MURDER...
BASIL DEARDEN'S LONDON UNDERGROUND (ECLIPSE SERIES 25)...

JC Joel Cunningham

WINGS OF DESIRE...
A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS...
MONSOON WEDDING...
PIERROT LE FOU...
SMALLVILLE: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...
STEPFATHER II...

DH Dan Heaton

NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RR Rich Rosell

WE FEED THE WORLD...
THE BUCKET LIST...
CRUDE IMPACT...
THE MAGIC OF FLIGHT (BLU-RAY)...
JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES (BLU-RAY)...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Miramax Pictures presents
Neverwas (2004)

"Every fairy tale needs its hero."
- Tagline

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: July 12, 2007

Stars: Aaron Eckhart, Ian McKellen
Other Stars: Brittany Murphy, William Hurt, Nick Nolte, Alan Cumming, Jessica Lange
Director: Joshua Michael Stern

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic issues
Run Time: 01h:48m:00s
Release Date: July 03, 2007
UPC: 786936737110
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B C+A-B D-

DVD Review

Just as the real-life Christopher Robin was none to happy about appearing in his father's popular stories about a silly old bear, Zach Riley (Aaron Eckhart) has spent much of his life ignoring the legacy left to him by his late father (Nick Nolte), the author of a bestselling Harry Potter-esque children's fantasy about a kingdom known as Neverwas, who committed suicide when Zach was a young boy.

Decades later, Zach, now a respected psychiatrist, leaves a cushy university job to work at an under funded, dilapidated hospital in his hometown—the same hospital where his father was treated years before writing Neverwas. While delving into old files and forgotten memories of his strained relationship with his dad, Zach meets a patient named Gabriel (Ian McKellen) who recognizes him from the Neverwas stories⏼not as a character in a book, but as a real hero who is destined to free the kingdom from the grip of an evil sorcerer.

Neverwas wants us to question whether Gabriel really isn't crazy, metering out the backstory of how Zach's father came to write the Neverwas book in flashbacks (flashbacks which give the surprisingly affecting Nick Nolte sadly little to do), but it muddies up the works with a lot of dull peripheral characters. Jessica Lange is overwrought in a few brief scenes as Zach's mother, Alan Cumming and Vera Farmiga appear as patients in the hospital and get a few meaningless story threads that go nowhere, and Brittany Murphy plays Zach love interest, who has all the substance of a stock film cliché, despite her weird obsession with the Neverwas book. All the wasted energy seriously detracts from a few strong therapy sessions between the bland Eckhart and McKellen, who manages to create a truly sympathetic character with very little to go on.

Another casualty of the Miramax acquisition engine, writer/director Joshua Michael Stern's film, which is very pretty to look at, drenched in golden tones and overblown lighting, played only a few festivals in 2004 and never saw a proper theatrical release, despite a host of recognizable stars. It's easy to see the qualities that attracted the studio—the magical and psychological elements of The Fisher King coupled with the sentimentality of the hit Finding Neverland—but it's easier still to see why the movie ultimately sat on the shelf for a few years before sneaking out on DVD. Though occasionally affecting, particularly the bittersweet ending, and undeniably well produced (save another blast of garish aural wallpaper from mysteriously beloved film composer Phillip Glass), it never quite gets around to crafting compelling characters or fully fleshing out the father/son relationship at its core. Tonally, it at times seems like it wants to be a family film, but includes some dark elements of mental illness and drug abuse that push it into rather dark territory, despite the fantastical overtones.

There is a good movie in here somewhere, but I sort of think Terry Gilliam already made it. Nevertheless, if the concept intrigues you, you probably won't feel like you wasted your time.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Cinematography is the film's strong suit, and Neverwas looks pretty sharp on DVD, with a color palette rich in golden hues and strong detail.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 surround mix is pretty subdued, but not inappropriately so. The front channels do most of the work, but the rears do provide support for the overwrought score and atmospheric effects like rain.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in French, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Aside from some nicely-rendered animated menus, Neverwas is sans extras.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

It's not hard to see why Neverwas skipped theaters on its way to DVD—despite a cast full of familiar names, the story is a tough sell and the movie suffers from a wandering screenplay and uneven tone. Still, it's well-acted and lovingly shot, and not a bad candidate for a rental.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, stephen colbert, final show, kareem abdul-jabar, jj abrams, alan alda, christiane amanpour, many more, the colbert report, last show, santa, unicorn, abraham lincoln, alex trebek, documentary, horror, comedy channel, stephen t. colbert, colbert report, movie, the interview, united states, north korea, soney, hector monsegur, china, sony pictures entertainment, cyber attack, kim jong-un, seth rogen, james franco, drama, the hobbit: the baattle of the five armies, peter jackson, j.r.r. tolkien marathon, comedy, barbara walters, 10 most fascinating people of 2014, amal clooney, taylor swift, george clooney, thriller, chris rock, top five, the late show, david letterman, movies, golden globes 2015, reality, romantic comedy, western, music, 57th grammy awards, iggy azalea, beck, pharrell williams, miranda lambert, sia, cooking, spectre, daniel craig, sam mendes, christoph waltz, lea seydoux, naomie harris, ben whishaw, ralph fiennes, celebrity, loni anderson, burt reynolds, pearl earrings, necklace, nude portrait, lady gaga, howard sten, south by southwest, millie brown, swine, mark geragos, kesha, lukasz sebastian gottwald, world aids day, bono, bruce springsteen, chris martin, espn, monday night football

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store