A solid film that tries to speak to a generation.
At 98 minutes this movie feels like it's way too long.Away We Go stars John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as a married couple on the verge of having their first child. In order to find the perfect place to raise this child the couple set about on a road trip visiting various family and friends. What seems like it would be a slam dunk (as far as finding a place with a positive support system) quickly becomes something that they never expected. Whether it's soon to be grandparents that aren't ready to surrender their lives for their children's children, or family friends who seem like parenthood has jaded them to their cores, or it's friends who look like they have the perfect life but really do not, Away We Go best to show us what a young couple deals with as they try and start a family.
The Making of Away We Go
I am not sure how I felt about this featurette. It doesn't really tell us anything about this movie that we don't already know, save for a few anecdotes about the people who created it. I guess this is a problem that I have had with Sam Mendes which goes back to American Beauty. Everybody tried to tell me how deep and important that movie was. The whole idea of "look closer" was laughable to me because nothing about that movie seemed like it was hidden in the subtext. Away We Go never falls into that trap, I guess I just think by trying to understand all the characters it makes them so human that they become uninteresting.
Blu-ray Live Exclusive
Okay, this is where the people who make Blu-ray discs need to listen. Sony had this same problem when they made the PSP because they wanted to release movies like On Golden Pond for the gamer set. This Blu-ray D feature allows users to take all of their favorite clips using an application called My Scenes, and then they can send them to their friends via BD-Live. Yeah, I know. Away We Go isn't some fanboy, internet movie. It's an independent film for the mildly, tech minded 20-30 something set. Why in the world would they want this "Extra" feature?
1080p - High Definition Widescreen - 2.35:1. Special Features are in 1080i/p High Definition and 480i/p standard definition. This movie looked very good on my player. The reality is that I don't think it needed to be on Blu-ray disc and since one could easily get it in standard definition perhaps that is the way to go (from a cost angle). This is one of those films that has an airy road trip feel. The images never looked blown out and they also never looked too clean. Director of Photography Ellen Kuras has seemed to merge a few different styles which give us a movie that plays rather straight forward, surprisingly.
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. English and French DTS 5.1. Special Features are in Dolby Digital 2.0. Subtitled in English, Spanish and French. The audio on this movie was solid. I thought that the soundtrack was good but maybe it was trying a tad too hard to be hip. I guess what I was bothered the most by was that I felt that this movie ultimately could've been better. Also, considering that this film is in the next gen format, I was expecting to hear more crispness but sadly that never happened.
The cover of this movie features the same artwork that was utilized when this movie was released. We see our main characters walking with a hand-drawn road map of their journey behind them. The back cover served up 4 images from the movie, a description of what Away We Go is about, a Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs.
Okay, the biggest problem that I had with this movie, well actually that I have had with a lot of Sam Mendes movies is that this film felt way too long. Now, when you realize that it's 98 minutes you might wonder why I would feel this way, but it seems like this film went to just friend too many. I know that there is a narrative structure that a movie like this wants to employ and Mendes has a pedigree from the theater, but I honestly feel that he and the writers of this movie adherence to that structure hurt this film. This movie could have been a good 10 minutes shorter and that would have been very noticeable (and better).
That said, there is a lot to like about Away We Go. I enjoyed the whole road trip angle that this movie employed. I liked seeing most of the characters, I just sadly felt that Away We Go eventually allowed itself to get lost within itself.