Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 30th, 2003
Disney has done a very good job bringing the children’s novel Hoels to the big screen (or little screen for this DVD release). This film contains a good story with some solid moral values being taught to the young viewers. The story and acting are both quite good, creating a film that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
- “Dogged by bad luck stemming from an ancient family curse, young Stanley Yelnats (LaBeouf) is sent to Camp Green Lake, a very weird place that’s not green and doesn’t hav… a lake. Once there, he’s thrown headlong into the adventure of his life when he and his colorful campmates — Squid, Armpit, Zigzag, Magnet, X-Ray, and Zero — must dig a hole a day to keep the warden at bay. But why? Through it all, Stanley and company must forge fast friendships as they try to unearth the mystery of what’s really going on in the middle of nowhere. Filled with humor and heartwarming messages of friendship and teamwork, HOLES is a treasure everyone will dig.” – Disney
This THX certified 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is wonderful. The colors are crisp, clean, and natural, and the contrast is solid due to deep black levels. The print is free from all defects, and makes this film look amazing. Great job Disney!
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track on this disc is almost as good at the outstanding video quality. The surround channels are used to effectively fill the soundstage, and the front channels have accurate sound movement from left-to-right. The bass is deep, but not overpowering, and the dialog is clean. The score can sometime sound overpowering, but all-in-all, this discs sounds great.
This disc contains the following extras…
- Two Audio Commentaries: The first commentary includes cast members Shia LaBeouf, Khleo Thomas, Jake M. Smith and Max Kasch. This track should be skipped… it is completely useless, unless you enjoy hearing children muttering nonsense. The second commentary includes director Andrew Davis and novelist and screenwriter Louis Sachar. This track is quite a bit better, and includes their thoughts on the film and the filmmaking process.
- The Boys of D-Tent: This ten-minute featurette that examines the casting process of the boys of the story it pretty good; it should be checked out.
- Digging the First Hole: This nine-minute featurette is also pretty good… it covers the writing of the story, and then examines how it was turned into a film.
- Deleted scenes: The six deleted scenes that are included are pretty good. They give good insight into the character development, and although some were wisely cut, others are worth a watch.
- Lastly, we get a gag reel and a music video.
This film and DVD are worth checking out. The discs has very good audio and video quality, some decent extras, and a good, “hole”-hearted story.
Special Features List
- Two Audio Commentaries
- Six Deleted Scenes
- Two Featurettes
- Gag Reel
- Music Video