Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Cast: Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn, Chloe Moretz, Rachael Harris, Devon Bostick, Alex Ferris,
Director: Thor Freudenthal
"What we do in life echoes in eternity!" -Russell Crowe, Gladiator
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Review By: Matt J
Having sold close to 24 million copies worldwide, the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid is certainly well known. When news of a film adaptation came about, many people were excited. The book is very well liked and fans were eager to see how the film would turn out.
A couple months after its theatrical run, the movie is seeing the light of day on Bluray. So does Diary of a Wimpy Kid lives up to its source material or is it just another kiddie film destined to disappear?
As expected for a film of this nature, the plot isn’t overly complicated. It revolves around young Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) who claims that “middle school is the worst idea ever”. Greg is going into middle school and like any kid at that age, he’s anxious and excited. He serves as our eponymous narrator, and he takes us through the trials and tribulations of his everyday life. The title of the film comes from a journal (not diary) that Heffley keeps. In it, he chronicles his daily adventures and misadventures in middle school.
Along for the ride is Greg’s best friend Rowley (Robert Capron) who doesn’t seem to realize there’s anything wrong with hollering “Hey Greg, do you want to come over and play after school”. Let’s just say that doesn’t sit too well with Greg.
A couple of other colorful characters show up along the way. Chirag Gupta (Karan Brar) is the only thing standing in Greg’s way from being the shortest kid in the school and Angie (Chloe Moretz) who’s a seventh grader, is one girl that’s willing to give Greg and Rowley the time of day.
Of course shenanigans ensue, humiliations occur and there’s more than enough gross-out humor. As Greg and Rowley experience their first year of middle school, their friendship is tested and Greg starts to realize it may take more than he even initially thought to get through middle school.
One of the strongest parts of the film is the acting. Zachary Gordon in the role of Greg is phenomenal. He’s a young actor but shows exceptional amounts of confidence and talent. His comedic timing is spot on and he’s a joy to watch.
Equally as good is Robert Capron who is ideal for the role of Rowley. He manages to steal most of the scenes he’s in and both him and Gordon really make the film. Although Gordon and Capron run the show, all of the supporting cast does an amazing job. Chloe Moretz, Karan Brar and Grayson Russell who plays Fregley (another friend of Greg’s) are all perfectly cast in their roles and, even when scenes start to lag, do a great job of keeping things interesting.
In a world that is quickly established by director Thor Freudenthal, we are easily reminded of all the things that we loved and hated about middle school. All the
As our confident narrator, Greg keeps the film fresh and funny and the movie does have its fair share of true laugh out loud moments. Most of which come from scenes that we can relate to best, scenes that really capture middle school. The film has a ton of energy and is constantly pushing things forward. It understands how middle school works and kids will be able to connect with most of what they see.
For the most part, the film portrays middle school fairly well. There were only a couple of scenes that just felt a bit off. A few times it felt as if they were in high school rather than middle school. The kids also seem a bit too mature and worldly to just be in middle school. This all leads to a few scenes feeling a bit far fetched and some jokes/gags missing their mark.
While the film is pretty enjoyable, one thing that annoyed me was the character of Greg. As an audience, we can’t really sympathize with him. He’s far too conceited and far too much of an opportunist to really feel bad for anything that happens to him. You kind of feel like he deserves some of it. He gets a bit obnoxious at times also.
Sure it has some flaws but overall, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a nice little romp through some all too familiar scenarios. The film’s low production values are apparent but the kiddies shouldn’t mind too much. Kids will get a kick out of seeing the novel on the big screen and their parents will gain some laughs from situations that resonate with them. It may not be the best film out there but with a very agreeable 90 minute run time, it’s not a bad way to kill some time.
In terms of the Bluray disc itself, the transfer is fairly solid. There isn’t anything that will blow you away here but what is here, does get the job done. The picture looks crisp with little to no grain and the colors are strong and vibrant. Black levels transfer over well and skin tones could have looked a bit better but it’s nothing to worry about. Some scenes look poorly lit but to the average viewer it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Overall, while it won’t wow
The audio, like the video, is what you’d expect. Dialogue is handled well and is always well-prioritized. Music is mixed in nicely and while the film is low on surround moments, what is here is nicely presented.
Unfortunately the Bluray skimps out on the extras. We get a commentary and some deleted scenes. That’s it, nothing more. It was a bit disappointing but it’s not all bad news. I actually enjoyed the commentary and found it quite enjoyable to listen to. The deleted scenes were throwaway but that’s to be expected.
At the end of the day, Diary of a Wimpy Kid makes for a good family night viewing experience. It’s not the most well made film, but it’s a cute little piece of cinema that most of us can probably relate to. Due to that, it should find a big enough audience.