October Baby (Bluray)

“October Baby” is a coming of age story dealing with what can often be a very emotional and trying experience for a young person. Here we meet Hannah (Rachel Hendrix), a teenager suffering from epilepsy and asthma. On top of this however, she harbors a deep seeded feeling of not belonging, feeling out of place, even with a loving and supportive family to care for her. After one especially bad seizure, she ends up in the hospital, where she finds out that she is adopted.

Hannah sets off on a journey of discovery with some friends. She wants to know who her real parents are and why they abandoned her. When she finally learns the entire story, she is shocked but through her faith, learns to forgive.

The plot of “October Baby” isn’t necessarily an original one, but it is a situation many young people have to come to terms with though not always in such a huge way. It’s a story I hear about a lot in the real world, but have never understood. I learned when I was pretty young that my father was not my birth father. Oddly enough, I didn’t care. He was the father who raised me, the father who loved me and I loved… he was my only father.  I was offered opportunities to find out about my birth father, but I always passed them up. Not out of fear, but because I really didn’t care. What purpose would be served by knowing him? Even now in my late 40’s, I have never felt any desire to know anything. No deep longing to know my birth father. I know my dad… and that’s all I’ll ever need.

But not everyone feels this way. Much is the case with Hannah. Even with a loving family and a good life, she feels it’s necessary to know the truth. I can support that, but not necessarily the way it is presented in this film. The script and storyline are kind of all over the place. And as Hannah embarks on her journey, she meets a lot of people, but they often talk and act more like caricatures than real people. Not that these people don’t exist, but not so many in one story.

The Blu-ray release of “October Baby” offers a fair transfer, but nothing to write home about. The cinematography is often as disjointed as the story, and it shows. The audio is acceptable, as all of the dialogue can be heard, but there is not much in the way of surround sound – but there doesn’t need to be on a film like this.

Extra features abound, including an audio commentary by directors Andrew and Jon Erwin along with some members of the cast. It is a thoughtful commentary, but it does get a little monotonous. There is also a lengthy blooper reel, some deleted scenes (a couple of which made for some interesting plot points), and “Finding Hannah” which features the director’s past experiences working with Hendrix.

You’ll also find featurettes focusing on actress Shari Rigby, who plays Hannah’s birth mother; Gianna Jessen, who served as the inspiration for this film; and the thoughts of several of the Christian musicians whose music peppers the movie. Additionally, there is a Facebook Q&A with Hendrix, some faith based testimonials by the cast and crew, and a music video.  

“October Baby” is not a bad film, just a disjointed one. It’s difficult to always feel bad for Hannah, because she seems to go out of her way to be felt sorry for. It’s just a little too much of a pity party at times. Thankfully the filmmakers save it to some degree by the ending, but our journey with Hannah takes too long and goes in too many odd directions.

Starring: Rachel Hendrix, Jason Burkey, Jasmine Guy, John Schneider, Shari Rigby, Jennifer Price, Chris Sligh

Extras: Audio Commentary by the Erwin Brothers and the October Baby Family; Bloopers; Deleted scenes; Finding Hannah; Gianna Jensen – The Inspiration; Singing the Praises of October Baby; Facebook Q&A with Rachel & Jason; Every Life is Beautiful; The Afters “Life is Beautiful” Music Video

Specification: Widescreen (2.40:1); Dolby Surround 5.1

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Release Date: 9/11/2012

MPAA Rating: PG-13


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