To Save A Life Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
This is a pretty nice little cover for this type of movie actually.  I like the use of the photos of the actors, and the action shots that are shown in the background.  The colors are well done also.  I am not sure why I like this so well, but it does seem to work.

The menu is less appealing, but has a nice black and white background with moving scenes in color.

Features: 6/10

  • Behind The Scenes – This behind the scenes is a bit heavy on the message,which starts off talking about the amount of teenage suicides that occur.  It is a strange little extra that focuses on the actual filming of the movie, intermixed with the actors talking about the experience, and each other.  It becomes apparent that the actors are not necessarily superstars, but that they took this seriously, which helps the movie.
  • Deleted Scenes – The deleted scenes are a collection of some of the movies extended scenes, as well as a few scenes that just would not have added anything to the movie.  There are a few scenes that really show some bad acting, and they are not missed.  Most of the scenes are just extensions of scenes that are already in the movie.  Overall 9 deleted scenes are included.
  • Music Video’s – There are two music videos included on the Blu-ray.  The first video is for Bounce, by J-Rus, and the second video is for Sunset Cliffs, but Paul Wright.  Bounce is a hip-hop song by J-Rus, who is a white guy who looks a bit like the guy with curly hair from That 70s Show.  Sunset Cliffs is a bit like Dave Matthews.  Both videos feature scenes from the movie intermixed with the artists.
  • Gag Reel – The gag reel was categorized, and there were a few funny scenes.  The actors obviously had a good time making this movie, and some of the missed lines and flubs were pretty funny.
  • & More – Also included on the Blu-ray are previews for other movies, including the new Karate Kid, as well as a commentary featuring the Director, the writer, and the producers.

The Movie: 4/10
To Save a Life is a strange little movie that starts off with drama.  Jake, a high school basketball star who has a seemingly great life.  He has a beautiful girlfriend, he is popular, and things just seem to go his way.  We see Jake at a funeral, and we learn that the funeral is for Jake’s childhood friend Roger, who has taken his own life with a gun inside the high school.  We get flashbacks to show us how close the boys were, and how Roger at one point saved Jake’s life by pushing him out of the way of a car, only to end up hurting his leg.  The injury ends up giving Roger a limp, and we get to see the two boys as they drift apart.  At some point, Roger ends up feeling abandoned and alienated, as we see Jake ignore Roger, even as other kids make fun of his disability.  Jake ends up seeing and speaking to Roger, right before he shoots himself, and this ends up haunting Jake for the rest of the movie, as he seeks to find out why, and he searches his own feelings to deal with the loss, as well as trying to understand how he could treat Roger in this way, and how people can treat others in this manner.

The rest of the movie shows Jake as he tries to find a balance between being the high school stud who drinks and parties without a care in the world, and being a centered, nice kid.  In his search for peace of mind, he runs across the preacher who was at Roger’s funeral, and he starts to find himself as he starts to attend church gatherings.  The preacher Chris is a laid back, understanding type of guy who seems to understand the difficulties that many of these kids are going through.  Jake ends up making friends with the kids at in the church group, and in doing so he finds himself alienated by his popular friends, including his confused girlfriend Amy, who feels as if she is being judged when she attends some of the gatherings.

To Save a Life does a nice job of being preachy, without going too far.  That is not to say that the drama and message are not at times overbearing, but at least we get to see the kids as being kids, doing what high schoolers do, by partying and hanging out, without there being too much made of it.  The acting itself is adequate, with Randy Wayne doing a decent job as Jake, and the rest of the cast being okay.  Chris, payed by Joshua Wiegel is probably the strongest actor in ths group, but they all seem to be genuinely into the movie, and it shows.

This movie is obviously a religious movie, and it is a tad over-dramatic.  The movie itself is not great, but it could have been a lot worse.  I am not sure that this is going to resonate with too many people, as it seems aimed at a very small target audience, which includes religious teenagers.  The message is better than the movie, even though the message is spelled out with a sledge hammer.

To Save a Life is a little bit of a surprise.

Audio & Video: 6/10
The video overall was very well done.  The high definition transfer is quite well done.  The colors and black levels were spot on, and my only complaint is that the lighting is a bit off.  Some of the shots just seems dark.  Overall though I was impressed with the presentation, especially when you consider that this is a low budget release.

The audio was pretty well done also, although this is almost exclusively a dialogue driven movie.  Again, it was well one for this type of release.

Value: 3/10
This is a very strange movie, and the Christian overtones can be at times a bit much.  I did not mind the movie itself, but I can see how some may find it a bit preachy.  This is just not a movie that one is going to want to watch over and over again.  The presentation was very well done, but the movie is a hit or miss, depending on your stance on religion.

Overall Score 4/10