Ralph Potts reviews this refreshing, and entertaining film from writer/director John Carney, about a boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s, that escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay – 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 105 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor, Kelly Thornton, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo
Written & Directed by: John Carney
Original Music by: Gary Clark & John Carney
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 26, 2016
“It’s all about the Girl”
Sing Street takes us back to 1980s Dublin seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who is looking for a break from a home strained by his parents’ relationship and money troubles, while trying to adjust to his new inner-city public school where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, über-cool and beautiful Raphina (Lucy Boynton), and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. There’s only one problem: he’s not part of a band…yet. She agrees, and now Conor must deliver what he’s promised – calling himself “Cosmo” and immersing himself in the vibrant rock music trends of the decade, he forms a band with a few lads, and the group pours their heart into writing lyrics and shooting videos.
Inspired by writer/director John Carney’s life and love for music, Sing Street shows us a world where music has the power to take us away from the turmoil of everyday life and transform us into something greater. I really enjoyed Sing Street! It’s a light, spirted, coming of age period drama/romance with a feel good essence that left a smile on my face. For writer/director John Carney, it’s a personal and explorative story that tells of Conor’s transformative experience after finding a means of expression through music.
Filled with subtlety, some purposeful, some natural, and a wonderfully balanced story that speaks to the meaningful relationship between Conor and Raphina, while not giving way to the oft used romance melodrama that we see between characters in a genre piece like this. What I enjoyed most about the film is its ability to derive its emotion from the musical art form not only through the performances (The young members of the band do an awesome job) but conceptually via its expression. There are a number of poignant scenes in the film the majority of which involve musical set pieces that are captivating. “The Rhythm of the Model” perfectly captures the 80’s vibe, while “Drive it like you stole it” stands as the film’s centerpiece, bringing all of its elements together.
Writer/director John Carney paints in even strokes with respect to setting the thematic tone of the film, the rendering of its characters and their interpersonal relationships and conflict. He builds upon them well, via engaging interplay and the aforementioned interwoven music which is quite entertaining. I found Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Lucy Boynton to have excellent chemistry. The remaining members of the young cast are solid in their respective supporting roles.
It would be fair to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Sing Street. I appreciated its musical authenticity, charming performances and fresh essence all of which adds up to a memorable, nostalgic and feel good film that is invigorating and fun.
In addition to the original songs performed by the cast in the film, Sing Street marches to the beat of an eighties drummer with the music and influence of The Clash, A-Ha, The Cure, Duran, Genesis, Spandau Ballet, The Jam, Motorhead and more. Also included in the film is an original emotional ballad “Go Now” penned by Maroon 5’s frontman Adam Levine.
The rating is for thematic elements including strong language and some bullying behavior, a suggestive image, drug material and teen smoking.
AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
Low frequency effects:
Surround Sound presentation:
DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
Black Level/Shadow Detail:
Sing Street comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.
This is a great looking high definition video presentation from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Images are resolved with appreciable detail that reveals plenty of discernible texture during close up camera shots. The exterior pans of various shooting locations are clearly rendered while offering lucid long range visual acuity that allows the physical structure of buildings, streets and objects in backgrounds to be discernible. The film doesn’t utilize an extensive chromatic palette but tonal balance is on the money which leaves colors looking quite natural and pleasing. Fleshtones appear lifelike in depiction. White and black levels are appropriately balanced which provides punchy whites and stable blacks.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack is above average for a dialog driven film like this and features lively dynamics, clearly articulated dialogue, in an open sounding and airy presentation. The film’s music is spread over the entire system with primary instrumental focus being delivered by the front three channels with ambient extension bled to the surround speakers. I thought this surround mix was perfectly suited for the film and sounded wonderful.
(HD) Making Sing Street – 5 minute featurette
(HD) John Carney & Adam Levine talk Sing Street – 3 minutes
(HD) Cast Auditions (8 segments) with introduction by John Carney
Digital HD Copy
Inspired by writer/director John Carney’s life and love for music, [i]Sing Street[i] is a memorable, nostalgic and feel good film, that shows us a world where music has the power to take us away from the turmoil of everyday life and transform us into something greater. It Comes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound quality and a light but worthwhile supplemental package. I thoroughly enjoyed Sing Street and can’t recommend it enough to discerning genre fans.
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