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The Boy Next Door (Blu-ray)

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    mandymanslaughter
    Junior Member

  • Boy Next Door, The



    Released by: Universal Studios
    Released on: April 28th, 2015
    Director: Rob Cohen
    Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Kristin Chenoweth, Lexi Atkins
    Year: 2015
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Director Rob Cohen has had better days with The Fast and the Furious and xXx, but those days are certainly a thing of the past. The Boy Next Door is just about as generic as it gets with films nowadays, pandering to crowds who are paying mostly to see Jennifer Lopez half-naked. Stick with the music videos, kids—way less painful.

    The Boy Next Door is a psychological thriller, so to speak, which follows the misstep of Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez), a high school teacher facing some turbulence in her marriage after her husband's infidelity. Coincidentally, a handsome younger man, Noah Sanborn (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door to take care of his ailing uncle. Noah and Claire's son, Kevin (Ian Nelson) hit it off, with Noah taking the younger boy under his wing. With her husband Garrett (John Corbett) wanting to be back in the picture, Claire finds herself lonely, vulnerable, and confused.

    From there one can easily guess the rest of the plot. Noah seduces Claire, and so ensues a tale of obsession and violence. The film is very predictable at every turn. They are certainly not reinventing the wheel here, with script or style. The story feels relevant to modern day headlines of teachers seducing students, but it is in no way believable that someone of Lopez's caliber of beauty would be caught in such a quotidian scandal. Director Rob Cohen found a way to sneak in a couple of car chase action scenes, which feel a bit excessive and out of place.

    The acting is actually not bad, with Guzman's portrayal of Noah in his final stages of madness being a glaring exception. There are some nice moments of suspense that are effective—maybe not nail-bitingly so, but they do work. The Boy Next Door doesn't take itself too seriously, which adds a bit of charm to the otherwise dull and overdone tonality. There are some trace elements of 80s and 90s thrillers at points, but it would be a stretch to say that at all redeems how trite it is overall. The sex scene in the film is a tad more racy than seen in the typically Hollywood movie, but it is still tame and typical in the grand scheme of the 21st century world where naked celebs are only a hack and a click away.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The video quality itself is top notch, presented in MPEG-4 AVC encoded 1080p, 2.40:1 ratio. Visually the film works, with colors being a perfect balance and details being well preserved. There is a lot of visual interest in the set designs, such as Claire's classroom, which has plenty of small but well planned pieces to look at. Although the film was shot digitally, the Blu-ray presentation pulls off a film-like quality. The Boy Next Door and Jennifer Lopez are at least pretty to look at.

    Audio in the film is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless mix, with Spanish and French options as well as the standard English. While it is not as impressive as the visual quality, it accomplishes what it needs to. The dialogue is clear and supported, the music sits well in the mix, and loud sonic moments are effective without taking away from the more nuanced moments.

    The Blu-ray disc of The Boy Next Door contains a few special features, including commentary with the director Rob Cohen, a 9-minute making of featurette, and a handful of deleted scenes. In both the commentary and the making of, Cohen does a nice job of selling you on the film, focusing on how he wanted it to be an erotic thriller and focus on the sexy. We also learn how involved Lopez was in the making of the film, including donations from her wardrobe to help out with their “shoestring budget”, something I'm sure indie filmmakers would balk at. The deleted scenes were rightfully deleted, being a bit bulky and contradictory at times.

    Bottom Line:

    The Boy Next Door was not as abysmal as I expected it to be, but that is barely a compliment. The storyline and style is run of the mill garbage, with a serious lack of innovation or intrigue. That being said, the casting is decent and you can tell that the cast and crew were at least somewhat aware that it need not be taken completely serious. While this might have made an okay date night in the theater, with no other choices and low expectations, there is little reason to pay any mind to it now.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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