A River Runs Through It is a like it or really dislike it drama. There is not doubt however that it really shines in the Blu-ray format which allows its spectacular visuals to really pop on your HDTV screen. A River Runs Through It is the Robert Redford screen adaptation of the Norman McLean autobiography. This Blu-ray edition features a 32-page book.
I find it somewhat ironic that in The River Runs Through It young Norman is repeatedly asked by his preacher father to make his text shorter. It probably would have been a good idea to apply this lesson to this autobiographical drama.
This is the story of two sons of a Montana preacher growing up in the first half of the 20th century. Norm, played by a glacial Craig Sheffer, serves as narrator. The other, played by Brad Pitt, is the more rebellious son. Tom Skerritt is his usual solid self as their preacher father.
The biggest problem with this movie is Craig Sheffer’s performance. His one facial expression acting style does nothing to interest the viewer in Norm, the film’s main character. Pitt gives an acceptable performance here but he had little to go on as his Paul MacLean character is not really fleshed out. Other excellent actors like Brenda Blethyn and Emily Lloyd are wasted as Norm’s mother and girlfriend respectively.
A River Runs Through It is a very pretty drama that gains from being on Blu-ray. No high definition feature can however make up for a thin story featuring even thinner characters.
Special features include a Making Of, a feature on rescuing the Blackfoot river, A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Dishing, and new deleted scenes.