In 1995, accomplished cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell, The Upside of Anger) has a one-night-stand with Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Match Point), a rock 'n roll singer-guitarist. When she becomes pregnant Lyla's career-controlling father intervenes by making it clear he doesn't want her to have the baby, lest the tot interfere with her career. The lengths her father goes to are realized when the expecting Lyla is accidentally hit by a car. Emerging from unconsciousness following the accident, Lyla is told the baby did not survive.
At least that's what Lyla's father would have her believe. And so Lyla and Louis go on with their lives by going separate ways.
More than ten years later - with wisdom enough to impress even Star Wars' Yoda - 11-year-old orphan Evan Taylor patiently sets out alone into NYC's concrete jungle, against all odds, to find his birth parents.
Not unlike the young protagonist in The Sixth Sense (1999), the freak-like Evan experiences isolation among his peers because of his exceptional gift - composing music. He's been writing symphonic music for only six months (eat your heart out Beethoven). He determinedly composes rhapsodies with a transcendent, telekinetic-like purpose. The precocious musician believes he can reach out and reconnect with his parents through his melodious creations.
With a heightened awareness like that of a genetically engineered super-canine, August perceives noise polluting cityscape sounds as pleasing orchestral arrangements. The movie's strength lies in its ability to put us inside August's harmonious head. As his musical productivity turns up, a homeless father-figure named the Wizard (Robin Williams, Night at the Museum) dubs him with the colorful moniker August Rush. The Wizard sees August as a cash cow because of his talents. Williams's Wizard (fashioned like a 3rd rate red-haired version of U2 s Bono) is an underwritten transient character literally and figuratively - coming across as inappropriately creepy rather than misguidedly eccentric.
August Rush is as determined in delivering its tunefully driven power-of-love message as its young lead character is in successfully seeking out his parents. As August, Highmore does achieve the difficult task - especially for a child actor - of holding this undemanding fable together by its clichÃ©d-worn seams. It's not that this melodic fairy tale is not worth tuning in to - it is an imaginative spin on a run-of-the-mill theme - but the fact that your heart, mind, and ears are inundated with the message so often you are wearied by film's end.
The main feature that stands out most on this DVD release, is its curious lack of features. With only a host of deleted scenes standing as lone sentinel for bonus material representation, it can anly be assumed that a "special edition" release is eminent. But this single disc does contain both the wide and full-screen versions.
As might be expected, especially close attention was paid to the aural delights of this release. While the visuals are sharp and vibrant with no noticeable noise or distractions, it's the wonderful musical score that makes the biggest mark here.
Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
Subtitles: English; Spanish; French
Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; additional scenes.
* Additional Scenes - 7 clips in letterboxed widescreen for a total of 10 minutes of additional scenes.
* 31 chapter stops - 1. Hearing the music; 2. String Selection Credits; 3. Lyla Meets Lewis; 4. I Have a Family; 5. Separate Ways; 6. Let me Go; 7. Gone; 8. Urban Soundscape; 9. Arthur X; 10. Flashes From the Past; 11. This is Our Home; 12. Wizard's Wages; 13. Music in the Night; 14. Walk Out Again; 15. Father's Choice; 16. August Rush; 17. Maybe It's About Time; 18. The Raid; 19. Searchers; 20. This is Him; 21. Composer at Work; 22. Tuned to New York; 23. Waxing rhapsodic; 24. Rehearsal Over. 25. Duet; 26 Never Quit on Your Music; 27. In Concert; 28. Drawn to the Melody; 29. Rush Rhapsody; 30. All You Have to Do; 31. End Credits.
Number of discs: - 1- Keepcase Packaging with no cardboard slipcase and no printed inserts.
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