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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2011

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"Dazed and Confused" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movie-august-2011-dazed

Synopsis

This story deals with a group of friends on the last day of high school, 1976. Good-natured football star Randall "Pink" Floyd navigates effortlessly between the warring worlds of jocks, stoners, wannabes, and rockers with girlfriend and new-freshman buddy in tow. Surprisingly, it's not a coming-of-age movie, but a film that dares ask the eternal, overwhelming, adolescent question, "What happens next?" It's a little too honest to be a light comedy. But it's also way too much fun to be just another existential-essay-on-celluloid.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 42 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: MPEG 4
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey
  • Directed by Richard Linklater
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: Mild
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

I graduated from high school in 1975 and I remember some of the characters portrayed in this film. It’s a wonder that we all survived! The movie has no plot, per se, and simply follows the lives of several teens starting in the afternoon when school lets out for the summer and all night till dawn. Great music, great cars and some touching moments make this almost a remake of American Graffiti…only for the 70’s. What fun to see Milla Jovovich, Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck before they hit it big! Beware: there is prevalent drug usage and swearing that gives this movie an R rating. What’s the matter with kids these days…err…back then?

Technical

The print holds up very well in this transfer with plenty of fine detail (and film grain) and contrast. Colors are bold and only upon occasion does the film get a bit soft in wide shots. The dark outdoor scenes are crisp, with little noise. This was a film I was concerned about getting digitally scrubbed, but that is thankfully not the case here. The sound is very good with plenty of tunes from the 70’s played "loud and surround". Even the subwoofer kicks in from time to time. (For those willing to wait, Criterion Collection will be releasing this film shortly. I expect that release will trump this one from Universal).

Extras

Deleted scenes (SD), featurette "The Blunt Truth" and some tasty retro public service announcements.