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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Teens > Superbad: 2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition (Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

Superbad: 2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition (Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

 

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

 

 

Though some critics have celebrated the recent cycle of teen films, I have not been as enthusiastic about films that have included American Pie, Clueless, Can’t Hardly Wait, Heathers, She’s All That and Bring It On.  Unlike the better films of the past (My Bodyguard, Little Darlings) that were about real teens and even as silly as the John Hughes cycle become, the character sin these films always seemed manufactured.  Until now, a rare exception like 1999’s Roller Coaster (reviewed elsewhere on this site) was from Canada, but Hollywood has finally produced the best such film in a quarter century and although Greg Mottola’s Superbad is not a masterwork, it was thankfully a big hit worthy of those older films and is now arriving on Blu-ray and DVD-Video.

 

It should be absolutely no surprise and then that the film opens in a Soul-drenched 1970s pop culture style down to the color in its credits and the glorious use of the “eternal flame” logo Columbia Pictures used for a short time in the late 1970s.  Immediately in true Porky’s/Animal House tradition, we hear our leads graphically discussing XXX cyber material, including one of the biggest jokes in the film.  From there, the film continues unfazed by such talk, but unlike 99% of such films that would assume they were funny and just be gross for their duration, there is actually a good story here in the well thought out Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg screenplay.

 

This is the last semester Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Sera) will spend together before being forced to go to separate colleges as Seth just missed making the admissions test.  They intend to finally meet women who want to be with them, but with very different approaches.  Evan wants a serious relationship with no crass and much respect, while Seth will go for broke no matter how screwed-up and dysfunctional the dynamic between he and his female pursuit will be.  That is even if it means getting alcohol illegally by any means necessary.

 

In the meantime, they still have to deal with idiots, bullies, morons and are not exactly thinking out everything they do.  Instead of just being dumb and it being the one-joke premise of the film (an approach so tired beyond belief it is embarrassing,) the film is about three-dimensional characters who keep drifting into crazy situations despite their common sense and age enough to know better.  Instead of becoming a shallow big-screen sitcom (post 1970s) dumbed down beyond belief, it is the story about two best friends who really care about each other and are very loyal (ala Good Will Hunting, which is more of a drama and part of the “good teacher cycle” a few miles away form films like this, including Freedom Writers, School Of Rock and the like, which have produced good films) to each other.

 

It is a world also populated by believable, funny, amusing supporting characters and once the main characters and situations are established, the film takes off and is just funny all the way.  That does not mean it is not uneven at times and sudden moments of gross humor of all kinds becomes injected like the next explosive sequence of an action genre film sometimes cause too much of a break in the narrative, robbing the film of even more impact.  However, the leads have great chemistry, most of this works and supporting performances (including Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s easy-to-underrate performance as the friend who becomes “McLovin”) makes this what all great comedies should be: an experience.

 

To say more would be to ruin everything, but Superbad may turn out to be a minor classic and cheers to Columbia for backing such a film without going censorship crazy.

 

 

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital high definition image was shot in HD and is one of the better such presentations in either HD format to date, with limited motion blur and decently consistent color for the format.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD is also consistent, but just a little softer than expected.  The Dolby TrueHD and PCM 16/48 5.1 mixes are pretty decent, especially shining when the Soul music portion of the soundtrack kick in.  Otherwise, this is a joke/dialogue-based mix, so don’t expect a kickin’ action mix, but it comes alive when it counts.  The standard Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD is sufficient, but is no match for how dynamic the TrueHD and PCM is.

 

Extras are plenty over the two discs in both formats and all of them are as entertaining as the film itself.  They include a hilarious cast/crew group audio commentary so funny that it is the best of its kind since the same for Donnie Darko, gag reel, Line-O-Rama, making of featurette, deleted/extended scenes, Cop Car Confessions featurette, original table read of the script in four parts and preview for Pineapple Express on Disc One, then cast audition footage, on-set diaries, shooting the opening credits & menus for these discs, press junket meltdown, Everyone Hates Michael Cera piece, voicemails, TV Safe Lines, Snakes On Jonah and a few other obscene oddities.  Besides the better menus and control features, the Blu-ray adds the Superbad SuperMeter that counts all the obscenities.  That should keep everyone busy.

 

Read more about Knocked-Up at this link:

 

http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/6018/Knocked+Up+–+Unrated

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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