National Lampoon's European Vacation Release Date: August 10, 2010 Studio: Warner Brothers Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX" Year: 1985 Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1:34:00 MSRP: $24.98 THE FEATURE SPECIAL FEATURES Video 1080p high definition 16x9 1.85:1 N/A Audio DTS-HD Master Audio: English 1.0 / Dolby Digital: French 1.0, German 1.0, Castellano 1.0, Spanish 1.0 Mono Subtitles English SDH, French, German SDH, Castellano, Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish N/A The Feature: 3/5 Thanks to a successful run on the "Pig In A Poke" game show, the Griswold Family - father Clark (Chevy Chase), mother Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (Jason Lively), and daughter Audrey (Dana Hill) - is off on their next vacation. With stops in Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, they bumble over and fumble through each destination's historic landmark and cultural experience, testing the limits of their familial bond as well as the patience of their host countries. It's only when they inadvertently cross paths with some of Rome's seedier denizens that they see how close they really are, proving that there really is no keeping apart - nor stopping - the Family Griswold. Though "European Vacation" feels more cohesive than its predecessor, in part because of fewer stops on the trip, there aren't nearly as many laughs. Most of the jabs and fish-out-of-water gags have been done to death, though maybe it's the fact that after 25 years they just haven't aged well. The final third, when the family enters Germany, is notably more entertaining, though overall the film doesn't have the same climactic payoff as the first. Without the Griswold's aiming for THE ultimate destination, the film sort of limps across the border, even though the end involves a frenzied car chase through the streets of Rome. Ultimately, "European Vacation" is less satisfying than the previous movie, though it proved successful enough to merit another sequel four years later. Video Quality: 3.5/5 Presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec, the transfer approximates the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio by filling the entire 16:9 frame. As with the first film, the transfer appears true to the source, though the qualities of that source are notably different. Grain is a little coarser and colors are richer and more saturated, suggesting the use of a different film stock. Affecting the color rendition is what looks like a slightly compressed contrast range, giving the image a strong, "contrasty" appearance. Resulting black levels are deep and stable, but then shadow detail is often limited. The picture is also more prone to softness, though there are no indications of excessive digital sharpening or noise reduction measures. Finally, the image is remarkably clean - a brief vertical scratch being the only noticeable physical damage. Audio Quality: 3/5 The 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is as simple as they come, but dialogue is consistently clear and intelligible and the music sequences exhibit good detail and dynamic range. Compared to the track on the first film, it doesn't have quite the same sparkle, but any differences are pretty subtle. Special Features: 2/5 The audio commentary from the 2002 DVD release makes the transition to Blu-ray, but as with the "Vacation" Blu-ray release, the theatrical trailer is strangely absent. Commentary by Chevy Chase: Information and anecdotes of real value come slowly and infrequently in this patience-testing commentary. Chase does have some interesting things to say about character development and his relationship with co-star D'Angelo, but ultimately the whole thing could have been packaged (and more easily consumed) through a video interview or featurette. Recap The Feature: 3/5 Video Quality: 3.5/5 Audio Quality: 3/5 Special Features: 2/5 Overall Score (not an average): 3/5 Warner Brothers turns in a decent technical presentation for the less satisfying "Vacation" sequel, while a slow-moving audio commentary makes up the sole special feature. Those who own the DVD may find it a questionable upgrade, though the right price will help some to justify adding it to their collections.