Blu-ray Review: Phenomenon

Phenomenon Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Walt Disney Studios | DIRECTOR: Jon Turteltaub | CAST: John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 7/3/2012 | PRICE: Blu-ray $20.00
BONUSES: trailer
SPECS: PG | 123 min. | Romance/Drama | 2.40:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

PhenomenonThe 1996 movie Phenomenon is one of those sweet, tearjerker films that are ripe for repeat viewings, if you’ve got a stock of tissues.

The key is nice-guy George Malley, played with sincerity by John Travolta (Blow Out), the local mechanic with a heart of gold. In his romantic pursuit of Kyra Sedgwick’s (TV’s The Closer) love-wounded Lace, George will do anything, even buying all the uncomfortable wooden chairs she makes.

After the celebrations of his 37th birthday, George sees a bright light in the sky and collapses in the street. When he wakes, he discovers his intelligence has skyrocketed and he has telekinetic powers. The good guy that he is, George uses his powers for good, but after he cracks a government code, George’s simple country life is threatened.

Directed by Jon Turteltaub (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), the movie can seem a little too sweet, but its flaw is also its savior. We feel for George’s plight because he’s so nice and because he’s so simple. And that nicety and simplicity is also what makes the story so much more tragic and tearworthy.

The performances are also fine, including the two leads, Forest Whitaker (Our Family Wedding) as George’s shy friend and Robert Duvall (Get Low) as the doctor who considers George his son.

The film looks fine in this high-definition Blu-ray, but the edition is vanilla, with just a trailer for a special feature.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.