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A Little Game DVD Review

A Little Game DVD

Despite having a well rounded cast, “A Little Game” is a corny family film.

The story: Despite their financial struggles, parents Tom and Sarah want the best for their 10 yea old daughter (Max) so they decide to enroll her in a prestigious school. While there, Max not only struggles to fit in, but becomes emotionally distraught after her grandmother (YaYa) passes away. Lost, confused, and fearful, Max finds help in the form of a crotchety old chess player (Norman) at a nearby park. Even though Max initially seeks him out because she’s curious about chess, she finds herself learning about the game of life through this unlikely new mentor.

If the above plot synopsis sounds like a syrupy family film, that’s because it is. “A Little Game” is a supremely sappy and unsubtle coming of age story about coming of age, mentors, role models, stress, change, inspiration, sacrifice, choices, growing pains, and fears. Granted, it is a well intentioned film that provides valuable life lessons for kids, but for adults, it’s a near maddening experience as writer/director Evan Oppenheimer beats you over the head with metaphors, ideas, and more parallels between chess and life than anyone can handle.

On the bright side, “A Little Game” boasts an impressive cast that is comprised of F. Murray Abraham, Ralph Macchio (of “The Karate Kid” fame), Janeane Garofalo, Rachel Dratch, and Olympia Dukakis. While these veteran actors all do a fine job (especially F. Murray Abraham), first time actress Makenna Ballard (who plays Max) stands out here as she is given the tough task of essentially carrying the film and the narrative.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen. How does it look? The numerous NY locals stand-out in this solid standard definition transfer.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? While not the greatest DD track by any means, it still does the job.

The only extras include Arc Entertainment trailers, “A Little Game” trailer, 11 ½ minutes of bloopers, and a 15 ½ minute “Behind The Scenes” featurette that includes set footage and cast interviews.

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January 25, 2015 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , ,

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