Superbad: 2-Disc Unrated Extended Edition (Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
B+/C+ Sound: B+/C+ Extras: B- Film: B-
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
about Knocked-Up at this link:
- Nicholas Sheffo