'Me & Earl & The Dying Girl' [Blu-ray+Digital HD]
(Thomas Mann, Nick Offerman, RJ Cyler, et al / Blu-ray+Digital HD / PG-13 / 2015 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
Blu-ray Verdict: 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' centers around Greg (Thomas Mann), a very sarcastic and self-loathing high school student going into his senior year. Greg believes that if he shuts everyone out of his life so that he won't have to deal with anything, then things will be okay, and this gives him a sort of self-gratification. So to uphold his philosophy, he doesn't try to be friends with anyone, but makes sure he's on low-key, good terms with everyone in his school.
However, he does spend his time with his co-worker/"friend" Earl (RJ Cyler) making parodies of classic foreign cinema together. However, when Greg learns from his mother that a childhood friend of his, Rachel (Olivia Cooke) is diagnosed with Leukemia, Greg begins a blossoming friendship with Rachel; a friendship that would take him through the best of times, the worst of times, and eventually shape him into the person that he will become.
While this film definitely shares characteristics with 2014's The Fault in Our Stars (which is a pretty good movie in my opinion), this film to me is more heartfelt and inventive than TFiOS ever was. And most of this has to do with the brilliant screenplay written by Jesse Andrews, who happened to write the book that his film is adapted from. The way that Andrews addresses how to deal with this sickness is wonderfully human and clumsy; whether through comedy, wit, or drama, Andrews finds a way to make the whole scenario relate in some way, shape, or form to anyone and everyone.
The direction and cinematography are absolutely incredible. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who is known for his work on American Horror Story, and was a personal assistant to Martin Scorsese, shows not only his inventiveness, but his quirkiness as a director on this film. Gomez-Rejon shows his talent with stop motion animation, long panning shots, flashback sequences, and some very long takes that really allow the actors to give the best performances possible.
There are even times when this feels like a Wes Anderson film, and this can also be contributed to the gorgeous cinematography. Chung-hoon Chung oozes with style behind the camera, and ultimately the film has a very vibrant look that gave the story being told so much life. These people tell this story with so much care and thought, it's evident that the filmmakers truly respected Andrews' work on the screenplay and wanted to do it the justice it deserves. And thankfully, we got it here. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2:40.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
This is Where You Learn How The Movie Was Made
Abstract: Movie for Rachel
A Conversation with Martin Scorsese and Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Greg Gaines and Earl Jackson Productions (Shorts Montage)
Audio Commentary by Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Gallery & More!