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Genre: Family/Romance
Starring: Josh Hutcherson,
Charlie Ray, Bradley Whitford, Bradley Whitford
Director: Mark Levin
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2005




- Director Commentary by Mark Levin and screenwriter Jennifer Flackett
- Helmet Interview
- Sheep Meadow Segment Featurette
- From Scout to Screen Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Trailer



Languages: English
Subtitles: English/Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Region Code: 3




Little Manhattan is a feel-good comedy that's perfect for kids and adults alike. In a city known for excitement, two young friends are about to embark on the greatest adventure of all. Gabe (Josh Hutcherson) and Rosemary (newcomer Charlie Ray) have known each other nearly all of their lives, but when they come face-to-face in a karate class, they see each other in a whole new light. Filled with all the magical, marvelous—and maddening—moments of first love, this charming film is fun for the whole family!


This is a charming movie that everyone will love. It is, of course, a love story. And having kids on centre stage, it makes the movie even easier for everyone to love. While local cinemas did not screen this charming picture, you’d want to own in on DVD if you adore stories about finding your first love starring endearing kids.

Directed by Mark Levin (writer of Wimbledon), the debut movie of this writer-producer tells the story of Gabe (Josh Hutcherson), a young boy whose parents have recently divorced. He finds his first love in his former kindergarten mate, Rosemary (Charlie Ray), who attends the same karate class as him. He soon experiences the exciting feeling of falling in love for the first time, and before he knows it, he learns notions of love which adults may have long forgotten.

We first saw Hutcherson in Jon Favreau’s Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), then we saw him in Gabor Csupo’s Bridge to Terabithia (2007). Now that we see him in this 2005 movie, we are convinced that he is a talented child which directors should take note of when they want to cast a boy who looks good, can act well and appeal to viewers. As the 90-minute movie is told from Gabe’s point of view, Hutcherson steals the show with his winning persona. Ray, a first time actress, plays his love interest with charisma too.

There are also some very nice computer generated effects used in this movie. Watch out for the scenes where Gabe’s imagination takes over, and pirate ships appear in the Manhattan skyline – it is delightfully fun to watch these shots as these are images that only appear in your mind.

Even if the plot is nothing refreshing, the movie wins your vote because of its sweet and enlightening mood. The actors are capably cast, the story is authentically affecting, the shots are set in picturesque New York, the tale is loveable and heartbreaking at the same time – what’s there not to love about this accessible flick? It will remind you of your first love when you were 10 years old.


This Code 3 DVD contains an Audio Commentary by director Levin and writer Jennifer Flackett (who are also married), where you can hear how the kids’ safety had to be taken care of at all times, hence the need to clear the traffic during the scenes of them riding along the streets on a scooter. In the 3-minute Helmet Interview, the husband and wife team shares with us how the studio had a problem with Hutcherson not wearing a helmet while riding along the streets. In the 4-minute Sheep Meadow Segment, they talk about the romantic scene where Gabe and Rosemary park sheep in the fields (they were composited sheep!). There is a 6-minute From Scout to Screen follow the filmmakers on various locations which eventually made it to scenes for the movie. There are also four Deleted Scenes running six minutes where you see Gabe approaching a bartender to talk about Rosemary and the young couple sees dancing couples on their way to a concert. The palette is rounded up by a 2-minute Theatrical Trailer.


The disc has a pristine visual transfer, while the audio is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital, or Surround.



Review by John Li


. Bridge To Terabithia (2007)

. Zathura (2005)

. 13 Going on 30 (2004)

. Wimbledon DVD (2004)



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