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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > College > Accepted (HD-DVD/DVD Combo format + Standard DVD)

Accepted (HD-DVD/DVD Combo format + Standard Widescreen DVD)


Picture: B/B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Film: C



The idea of College as a declining institution is getting played out and the studios (as well as a few indie producers) keep milking this for quick, cheap profits.  Usually, the film’s are a disaster and they are even marketed in narrow ways hoping they will at least be long-term moneymakers and cult hits.  Tom Shadyac has produced a film in the cycle (maybe genre) that could have been a classic, but Steve Pink’s Accepted (2006) falls way short of its potential.


The story revolves around Bartleby (rising star Justin Long) failing to make it into a college.  To impress his parents, get them off his back, having nothing else to do and not thinking ahead, he decides to make up a university instead that he thinks they’ll never find out about.  At first, it seems like he mighty pull this crazy idea off, but the fact that they set it up at an abandoned mental hospital is a bad omen of things to come.


The Adam Cooper/Bill Collage/Mark Perez screenplay is amusing and could have been much worse, but by the first half-hour, I lost track of all the missed jokes and opportunities and that includes the kind that a sequel would be too late to insert.  Casting helps too.  Along with other familiar faces you might not be able to place a name with, comedian Lewis Black is the nutty fast food guy who becomes the school’s dean, Anthony Heald (Dr. Chilton from The Silence Of The Lambs) is the stuffy, arrogant elitist dean from a real college who wants to take over the mental health building’s land and expand his domain.  If more developed, this could have been as funny as William Atherton in Real Genius, but that too never works.


Much of the later scenes are typical and this becomes formula of formula, but Long does manage to have some good comic timing and as he is stuck in upper B-movie status, one wonders how much longer he’ll have to do films like this before moving on to really show his talents.  If it is a home video hit, that will help.  As for Lewis Black, he has far from peaked, so his name will add enough curiosity interest to make many feel this is at least worth a look.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the HD side and anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on the DVD side look good and clean, from the same source print.  The HD side is a little better in capturing Matthew F. Leonetti’s cinematography.  Shot in Super 35mm, he does his best to make this look good, but this is a film that only requires flat shooting.  As for the Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes on both sides, the HD side is a higher bitrate Dolby Digital Plus, but the original recording is not great and you can hear limits in the recording from the shoot throughout.  The music is mixed at best.  As for the standard DVD version, we look at those in Combo cases to see if the separate DVD is better or worse than the DVD side of the combo disc.


Surprisingly, there can be differences that would seem absurd.  Sometimes, the separate DVD is better, sometimes worse.  Here, they are equal, which is the exception more than the rule.


Extras include the U-Control feature for the HD side only, making going through the film easier with smoother access, stills and info bits regular DVD could not deliver in the same way.  You also get the making of piece, a few Music Videos, gag reel, deleted scenes, an interactive map to explore the faux campus and audio commentary with Black, Long, Pink and other actors.  You might enjoy some of this, even if the film falls flat for you too.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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