Imaginary Heroes

Imaginary Heroes (2004)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels, Michelle Williams, Kip Pardue
Extras: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Photo Gallery

Sandy (Sigourney Weaver) and Ben Travis (Jeff Daniels) are the parents of Matt (Kip Pardue), a well-admired and successful swimming athlete, who surprisingly chooses to end his own life at an early age, leaving the members of his family to deal with the loss in their own personal way in ’Imaginary Heroes.’ Sandy begins to rely on the use of marijuana after she discovers a small stash in the medicine cabinet that was left by her daughter on a recent visit from college. Ben deals with his feelings by distancing himself from his own family as he takes a three month absence from work, without his family’s knowledge, and then continues a charade of pretending to go to the office every morning and returning home every evening. Matt’s younger brother Tim (Emile Hirsch) also develops his own challenges as he attempts to return to a normal life, from dealing with the abuse of a school bully, craving acceptance from his ever distancing family, to his determination to develop his own identity as he discovers the obstacles of an adolescent life. Filled with revelations that will tug at your heart-strings, thanks to terrific performances and a well written script, you witness the Travis family’s journey of self-discovery to learn the true meaning of love and acceptance of one another.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents ’Imaginary Heroes’ in an anamorphic widescreen presentation preserving the film’s original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The print exhibits a nice clean presentation, void of any major compression artifacts. The colors are well saturated and provide a natural reproduction of flesh-tones. The blacks are rich in depth, which helps to render good detail and contrast throughout, appearing a little too dark at times, but overall the presentation will delight.

The soundtrack is available in an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track with French subtitles. Sonic presentation is good, but is primarily focused on the left, right and center channels, with vocals appearing quite natural in reproduction. There is minimal use of surrounds and low frequency channels on the overall sound-mix for this film.

Available extras include eight deleted scenes totaling approximately eleven minutes, which are worth the effort, as they present some good additional elements to the story. There are two audio commentaries, one recorded with Sigourney Weaver and a separate commentary featuring writer/director Dan Harris and actor Emile Hirsch. Additional special features include; ’Behind the Scenes of Imaginary Heroes’, a photo gallery, Milan records promo and previews for other films available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

’Imaginary Heroes’ is a slower, even-paced story-telling that will entertain with just the right amount of cutting drama and quirky humor mixed throughout.