Great film, decent Blu
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 06/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not Canadian, nor is my store in Canada, but I still thought this was a great Canadian travel film. This was one of the more realistic cancer films I have seen in a bit, and (I feel) not worthy of the hate club that campaigns against it.
Simply put, it is a film about a man who travels across his country after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Like other good travel films, we see a sampling of the beautiful country that Canada has to offer, we encounter every-day personalities of people along the way and we learn a few lessons about ourselves and what life might be about. The difference here is that we get a insightful narration by Campbell Scott (most recognized of late with his role in Phoebe in Wonderland), which in itself provided some nice laugh-out-loud moments.
I laughed at unexpected moments, saw some incredible Canadian scenery, and did not feel anything was contrived or cardboard (as most complainants have stipulated). The special features give this four-star film a five. The low-def "Making-of" contained just the right amount of logistical material on production, the commentary and interviews provide plenty of information for the followers and the remaining HD gallery, after party and trailer add just the right amount of extras to show the fun side of this film.
The Blu quality is slightly better than the DVD, but there is still plenty of grain and and (very minute) random artifact. The grandiose panoramas could have been a bit clearer, the DTS was never fully utilized, even with the plethora of songs, but the presentation was still adequate. Not a reference Blu, but the film and special features make this a higher rating."
Channing Fell | Central Texas | 01/31/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I strongly recommend this video for the searchers among us. We need not be aware of a life changing moment greater than the "knowing smile" of those who have survived life's challenges....
"One Week" offers a glimpse into the human condition, the ever new journey beyond each moment, each turn, each sunrise, sunset...
Besides being a great visual treat, the simplicity is easily entered into.. take a couple of hours to take stock of your life.
There are some "edgy" moments which are unfortunately part of nearly every "artistic" genre today... "One Week" is no exception... make sure you view BEFORE allowing an impressionable youth absorb some of the scenes.
Otherwise, it does a good job of depicting the minimalistic life that "a motorcycle journey" endears. Beautiful scenery in Canada!!"
Watched it twice...
Steve | Thousand Oaks, California | 07/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A movie recounting a newly diagnosed cancer, with a new timeframe for Ben's lifespan. What transpires is what some find irresponsible, or selfish. However to Ben it gives his life the meaning whose discovery, up until now, he has been postponing.
I watched it once, and the let my teen watch it with me the second time. It has a 'Into the Wild" movie flavor to it."
Waking up in the Canadian Ethos
Richard R. Powell | Nanaimo, British Columbia Canada | 06/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ben Tyler discovers at the beginning of the film that he has a short time to live and despite the urgings of his fiancee and family to enter treatment immediately, he heads out on the road on a motorcycle. He takes photos of himself at man-made and natural landmarks, he meets people along the way who give him insights such as "if you need to ask if you are really in love, you aren't," and "I work the ranch without making enough money because there are other kinds of payments."
The other kinds of payments are hard to put into words. Things like being in contact with the wide open beauty of the land, or surfing, or enjoying the company of others.
It is a complex film that captures the feeling of settling for second best, of believing what people tell you about yourself, and then discovering they were wrong.
As a Canadian I identified strongly with Ben's journey. He has a romantic core, wants to instill some passion in his bored students -- but fails; he is unassuming and undemanding and states that if he could read the paper and drink coffee with his fiancee at their favorite coffee shop for the rest of his life, that would be enough; and Ben's journey is realistic -- the most danger he encounters is getting drowsy and skidding out of control on a squashed skunk. He wakes in the ditch with nothing broken and tries to dance and celebrate, but that is not his style. He is uncomfortable with too much outward exuberance. The real story is going on inside.
Ben is perhaps not a typical Canadian, but he is "my" kind of Canadian, and so I was cheering for him - quietly, in my head, while I sipped tea and though of having a Tim Horton's donut. You see there is a kind of rebellious streak in Ben that I like, he is finding his identity after all, but his rebellion leads towards insight, not violence or crime or block busting. He takes the world as it is, noticing, accepting. Even if the giant chair or moose or giant "whatever" is less than wonderful -- he smiles at them.
There is a self deprecating humour about all this, a kind of "lets not get too excited -- or too disappointed" attitude that sounds boring when you say it, but works so well in the film -- and in life really. Life is what it is, after all, even with cancer. So in good Canadian style Ben wakes up (literally and metaphorically) and goes home to his family.
If you like intelligent films in which each frame has a poetic thoughtfulness, this movie will hit the mark.