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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - September, 2012

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 “Sixteen Candles" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Clements

movie-september-2012-sixteen-candles

Synopsis

The movie opens the morning of Samantha Baker's sixteenth birthday.  Too bad her whole family forgot  about her special day due to all the hoopla surrounding the run-up to her big sister's wedding.  From here, the audience follows Samantha to school where we find she is attracted to the most popular boy in school.  Meanwhile,  the biggest geek in school has a crush on her!  Things start to get really crazy when her doting grandparents stay over for the big wedding.  Then there is even more excitement when Samantha is forced to take a Chinese exchange student, Long Duc Dong, to the dance where he falls for Marlene, the "Lumberjack".

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 1984, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 33 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p 
  • Codec: VC-1
  • English DTS-HD Master 5.1
  • Starring: Molly Ringwald, Paul Dooley, Justin Henry and Anthony Michael Hall
  • Directed by John Hughes
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Suggested
  • Language: Mild

Commentary

I had almost forgotten how promiscuous teens were in the 80's.  Almost.  Throughout the movie, there is open talk of drinking, sex and some nudity.  And the movie is rated PG.  Interesting.  In any event, Sixteen Candles remains a classic Hollywood coming of age story and it is bolstered through some very fine perforances that were in many ways the vehicle that really started the rise of the Brat Pack.  So I thoroughly enjoyed Ringwald's understated performance and Anthony Michael Hall's turn as Farmer Ted.  Hall is the classic geek for sure.  This was John Hughes' directorial debut and it represents a significant achievment that foreshadowed his other great works yet to come.  Highly recommended.

Technical

This Blu-ray is being released as one of Universal's series of 100th Anniversary restorations.  So it has a fully restored image and sound.  The print shows some signs of wear and minor specks of dirt, but the restoration is well done for the most part.  I've made some deductions because there is a bit of crush in the darker scenes and finer details in some scenes are not conveyed.  The audio sounds a bit dated, with limited surround activity.  It is certainly great fun to hear some of the music from the early 80's again.

Extras

This 100th Anniversary release comes as a special 2-disc package.  You get the Blu-ray, a DVD and a Digital Copy code.  The extensive extras include "Celebrating Sixteen Candles", "100 Years of Universal: The '80s" and "100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters".