Ramona and Beezus (Blu-ray)
I was an avid reader when I was younger and remember making my way through several Beverly Cleary books, but I don’t recall much about them so I wasn’t really too interested in reliving my childhood by watching RAMONA AND BEEZUS. I’m sure it’s a good book but since I don’t remember it, I can’t compare it to the film so we’ll just stick with how well RAMONA AND BEEZUS stood on its own.
Ramona (played by Joey King) is a kid with a very active imagination and lots of energy. We get to follow her adventures in school and at home with her father (John Corbett) and sister (Selena Gomez) as she gets herself into crazy situations. Her big heart leads her to several mishaps which makes the character that more endearing.
This is a really great family film and one that should be in the library of every household that has a kid in elementary school. It’s one of those movies that can entertain kids, encourage their imaginations and, if you’re lucky, even help out a little with their manners. It may even encourage them to pick up a few of the books in the series which is never a bad thing. As far as a kid’s film goes this is a pretty good watch for adults as well although it’s not without a few problems.
First off, why is it called RAMONA AND BEEZUS? The story may follow the book, but for the most part Beezus plays a very small role in this film. If I was a cynical critic I would even go so far as to say that the Hollywood studio only went with this title because they wanted to showcase tween star Selena Gomez and drive more people to the theaters and to buy the soundtrack since Ms. Gomez lends her voice there as well. But surely that’s not the case, so we won’t even go there. As it was, Gomez was in maybe one quarter of this film, so if you are looking for more of your favorite Disney channel star, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
The other problem with this film is the romantic relationship between Ramona’s Aunt Bea (Ginnifer Goodwin) and her high school sweetheart (Josh Duhamel). This was focused on way too much and although Ramona was there for several of the lovebird’s encounters, it just seemed that it was put in there to appease the adult audience which is really unnecessary considering Joey King was doing a pretty good job of carrying the film and storyline on her own.
Although RAMONA AND BEEZUS had a few problems it was a fun film that provided a few laughs and cute scenes. Joey King was a great Ramona and I think fans of Beverly Cleary will be happy with the casting choice. If I had kids or lived closer to my niece and nephew I would probably pick this up just so I could plop them in front of the TV to give myself a few minutes of peace and quiet and still be entertained myself.
Video (Widescreen 2:40.1) Clean and crisp film transfer, no complaints here.
Audio (5.1 Dolby Digital) There’s nothing to really showcase so the audio sounded fine.
Deleted Scenes (6:03): Seven short scenes that were cute but cut for pacing purposes.
Gag Reel (2:54):I’m glad the actors have a good time between scenes, but gag reels are just a bunch of fluff to add to a Blu-ray and are rarely funny and that includes this gag reel.
Show & Tell Film School (7:01):Director Elizabeth Allen gives us a “lesson” on how to make a film, step-by-step. This was pretty interesting and didn’t drag on for too long, worth a watch.
My Ramona with author Beverly Cleary (4:14): If you are a fan of Beverly Cleary then this is a treat since she created this world and characters that have spanned generations. It’s sprinkled with movie clips but still a cute little featurette.
A Day in the Life of Joey King (4:59): She’s cute and entertaining so this isn’t as painful as I thought it would be.
Selena & Joey Audition Footage (1:51): Typical audition footage, raw and a little unpretty.
Fox Movie Channel Presents: Life After Film School with Director Elizabeth Allen (22:02): Apparently this is a show that Fox Movie Channel has where three film students get to ask a director various question-this is awesome! How could I not have known about this?!