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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Teens > Fandom > The Stream (2013/Cinedigm DVD)

The Stream (2013/Cinedigm DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C+ Film: C-

Though the proceeds mean well (supporting the Boys and Girls Scouts of America), Estlin Feigley's The Stream is a relentless rip off of The Wonder Years (down to the dominant voiceover track) and like watching a bad remake of The Little Rascals. Starring a cast of amateur actors the script falls back on Star Wars references, surprisingly taking some of John Williams' cues from the original film and original soundtrack, and a bunch of typical scenarios commonplace in coming of age stories. The filmmaking is rough, the acting is rough, and while the core of the piece aims to be heartwarming it ends up instead being corny and made-for-TV.

It's summer 1981, and Ernest Terry (Jacob M. Williams) - like most boys his age - is obsessing over George Lucas' Star Wars saga. In the woods outside Ernest's neighborhood, capture-the-flag contests escalate into sprawling Jedi battles, with bright yellow Wiffle ball bats substituting for light sabers. But when a bully snaps Ernest's already-damaged weapon in half, our hero and his friends accept a mission: Follow a nearby stream to the town mall, buy a new bat and return home before their parents realize they're missing. The director Estlin Feigley, in essence, has made a family-friendly version of Rob Reiner's Stand by Me or even Lucas' American Graffiti but is far in superior to those films. Awkward pre-teen characters wrestle with small crushes, big imaginations and equivalent coming-of-age obstacles on a lazy summer afternoon. Even the structures are comparable, with an older version of the main character narrating our action as he fondly reflects on his childhood memories.

Sound and picture on the disc are average for DVD and nothing fancy featuring a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a standard definition anamorphic 1.78 X 1 transfer that would surely benefit to a Blu-ray upgrade. English subtitles are also on the disc with a total running time for the film clocking in around 85 minutes.

Special Features include Meeting the Teen Filmmakers, Meet the Celebrities, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts music video, PSAs, and Trailers.

If you are a fan of coming of age movies and pre-teen comedies then this may be for you but for me personally, this film is a miss.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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