DVD Review HTF REVIEW: "Say Anything" (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 12, 2002.

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  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    XenForo Template  Say Anything "I gave her my heart. She gave me a pen." There are only three actors I know who can accurately portray the "everyman joe" that is easy for audiences to identify with. The first is Jimmy Stewart. The second is Tom Hanks. The third is John Cusak. These are men who I have no doubt are as sincere and vulnerable as the characters they portray on the screen. They are actors that let their own self inhibitations show through their roles and thus, enable the audience to readily connect with them. If ever there was a movie that truly portrayed the reality of meeting the seemingly unreachable girl of your dreams, dating her and getting hurt, it is Say Anything. No movie has ever quite been this honest or down-to-earth about relationship. I made a decision a month ago about reviewing Fox product. I wanted to do this review for two reasons. First, I must admit that this is absolutely one of my favorite films of all time. It's very hard to sit on the sidelines and not discuss a movie you feel very close to. Second, the membership of this forum should be very proud of this title. If not for all of you campaigning for its release through Peter Staddon, this film may have never seen the light of day. I am proud that a studio like Fox cared enough not only to release this title at your request, but to do something special with it. The story is about an ordinary teenager named Lloyd Dobler (John Cusak). After High School graduation, Lloyd has no goals set for him in life, that is, except to be with the girl of his dreams, Diane Court (Ione Skye). Everyone around Lloyd tells him that she's out of reach. "She's a brain trapped in the body of a game show hostess" exclaims his friend. But Lloyd doesn't care about the odds. He's willing to take the chance even if it means get hurt in the process. Lloyd nervously sets up a date with Diane. The two remarkably start falling for each other. But Diane's life has suddenly become more complicated as she has won a fellowship with a school in England. Lloyd attempts to win her heart over despite the objections of her over protective father (John Mahoney). How is the transfer? Fox has done a superb job with this anamorphic (1.85:1) widescreen release. I have been very dissatisfied with a lot of 80's catalog product being released from the different studios as of late. Many of them are not accurately color balanced and show excessive graininess in the picture. You would seem to think from the opening credits where white titling is laid against a vivid solid blue background that some sort of video noise would be present. There is absolutely none. In fact, the video quality remains consistently even throughout the film. This is such a relief for someone like me that has seen some less than desirable catalog transfers over the past few weeks. Colors are well balanced and look extremely natural -- especially flesh tones which seem to be my pet peeve as of late. The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track is fairly robust through the front three speakers which is very important for a film like this that sports a memorable pop and rock soundtrack. Don't forget that this was the movie that made Peter Gabriel's song a hit. The surrounds are almost nonexistent, used mostly for music reverb as well as crowd effects. Overall, this is a nicely tuned mix for a comedy film. Bonus Features As I stated earlier, it is not only significant that Fox listened to the cries of our membership to release this film, but to give the film a very special treatment, which they have. Popping in the disc, you are greeted with a dream-like menu that first shows the words "Say Anything" being scrolled out. Next you see quick-changing clips that dissolve into each other set against the film's soundtrack music. In addition to the Commentary by Director Cameron Crowe, John Cusak and Ione Skye... First up are a set of Alternate Scenes. The first is an alternate take of Lloyd standing in a phone booth. The scene plays out much slower than the one put in the film, but at the same time, gives a more lonely and sympathetic feel to the scene with a speechless Lloyd trying to bury his thoughts as he looks up at the rainfall. Another alternate scene shows Diane talking to Lloyd on the street after his nose gets accidently punched. Diane tells Lloyd the truth about her father, and confesses how she feels about him. This is merely an alternate take of what already had been spoken in the boxing scene near the end of the film. The final three alternate scenes show us how many attempts it takes to get a scene perfect. A restless Diane rolling around in her bed in several takes. Lloyd standing out in front of his car holding up his boom box. It's funny to watch how many ways they tried to get that scene just right. Ten deleted scenes are included on this DVD. Because I am in a great frame of mind after watching this film, I'll actually give you a more detailed breakdown on these scenes than perhaps other reviews have... Scene One takes place at the party. An older teacher, Mr. Deegen, tries to make a move on Diane as Lloyd looks on from the distance. Scene Two involves Corey again strumming on her guitar singing to an inflatable Godzilla, as she belts out a tune about the man that ripped apart her soul. Scene Three is an inquisition as the Feds question Mr. Court about his business practices. Scene Four is merely a 20-second snippet right before Lloyd has his first formal dinner with Diane's father and guests. Lloyd hands Diane an audio tape of cool English road music. Scene Five is simply a montage of short clips showing Diane and Lloyd spending time together at her job and holding hands in the rain. Scene Six shows an agent questioning Mr. Court at the nursing home, which ultimately startles one of the elderly ladies. Scene Seven brings Lloyd's sister, Constance (Joan Cusak) together with Diane. The two never met in the final cut of the film. Diane is looking for Lloyd in a scene that comes right before the boxing sequence near the end of the film. Scene Eight gives us a different perspective on Lloyd and Diane in bed together, as they are silently discovered by Constance. Scene Nine shows about 20-seconds of an agent telling the senior citizens about their money being stolen. Scene Ten, taking place at the keg party, has Lloyd giving some advice to a rambling blonde. Phew! Now if THAT wasn't enough, there are 13 Extended Scenes to tell you about. First off, I love the way Fox put this all together. They divided the scenes in COLOR and B&W. The B&W shows what was originally in the film, while cuts to color sequences show what was added. Scene One is an extension of the graduation speech that Diane gives, with a little added disruption from the classmates. Scene Two extends upon Joe meeting Corey in a back room at the party. The added footage gives more meaning to why Joe was rejected after asking for sex. Scene Three takes place as Rooster, Lloyd and Diane find John in the toilet. They argue who will take care of the drunk boy who looks as if he dipped his hair in the bowl. Scene Four has John being driven home from the party as he explains all the events that lead up to him being found that night. Scene Five takes place after dropping John off as they playfully discuss England. Scene Six is an extension of Diane showing Lloyd the senior home she works at. Scene Seven is an extension of the formal family dinner where Lloyd steps outside to enjoy a smoke with one of the guests. It's a very interesting conversation that I can understand why it was ultimately deleted. Check it out and see what I mean. Scene Eight is an extension of Diane meeting her Mother at a seafood restaurant. Diane gives a full explanation of the agent activities against her father. Scene Nine has Diane giving a little better explanation to Lloyd as she breaks up the relationship while sitting in the car. Scene Ten has more of Lloyd talking in his personal data recorder shortly after the breakup. Scene Eleven is an extension of Diane visiting the IRS, and has the agent giving Diane the ground rules about what he can and cannot say. Scene Twelve is extended dialogue with the boys at the Gas 'n Sip. The boys humorously try to pick up an unsuspecting girl. Scene Thirteen is an extension of the plea bargain made between Court's Lawyer and the IRS. Again, I have to commend Fox for using B&W to show us EXACTLY where the added footage should have been placed. It's amazing to see how different a movie this could have been with this material that has never before been seen. Great stuff!! A 1989 original film Featurette is also included on this DVD. It's great to see this piece that was made at the time of the film. There are candid interviews with Cusak, Skye, Mahoney and Director Cameron Crowe. There are only short snippets of anything going on behind the camera, and unfortunately, this featurette only lasts about seven minutes. Too brief for such a landmark film. Also way too brief is Cameron Crowe's Personal Photo Gallery that has less than a dozen black and white stills taken from the production. There are eight Television Spots included. Each of these spots promotes the film using a different scene from the film. One spot has Cusak admitting his love for Diane. Another spot has Cusak making the first phone call to Diane. Another is of Cusak rambling about his future, set to the music of the Chili Peppers. All of them are short 20-30 second spots that gives you insight on how the film was marketed. Two of the film's original Trailers are also included. Final Thoughts It still amazes me that so much pressure had to be put on Fox to release this film. For those of us that grew up through the eighties and saw this film, there is this forever burnt-in image within our minds of John Cusak holding up a boom box with "In Your Eyes" belting from the speakers. It is perhaps the most memorable film of that period and it certainly is the finest film of Cusak's career. There is simply no argument that this film belongs in your collection. I need not push this film on anyone that has seen it, wanted it, and now finally has the chance to own it! Bravo Fox! Release Date: March 5, 2002
     
  2. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i will be in line to buy this as soon as the store opens.
     
  3. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    Tie me up, put this DVD on and hit the repeat play button. The pleasure will never end. [​IMG] Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie! I must say I like the box artwork a lot!
    Dan (UK)
     
  4. JasonKrol

    JasonKrol Supporting Actor

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    Ron, Thanks for another great review!! Im sure I will be picking this one up..and Im sure my wife will have no complaints!

    -Jason
     
  5. paul o'donnell

    paul o'donnell Second Unit

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    I came in here hoping you'd talk me out of spending more money Ron, but alas...you did not. Thanks a lot for the great review.

    Paul "soon-to-be-broke" O'Donnell
     
  6. Brian Ralph

    Brian Ralph Stunt Coordinator

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    Isn't there also a commentary with Crowe, Cusack, and Skye?
     
  7. MichaelG

    MichaelG Second Unit

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    Brian, you can find this in Ron's review...
     
  8. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Ron,

    Thanks for the review...I've read great things about this DVD and will be sure to pick it up as it is one of my faves.

    Regards,

    A Different Ron
     
  9. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    We need a drooling smiley face.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  10. Grady Hollums

    Grady Hollums Second Unit

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    My wife's favorite movie, and it sounds like it will be mine now too! Well, maybe not my fav., nothing has beat The Lord Of The Rings in my book yet. Thanks Ron!
     
  11. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

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    Sounds like a great disc. GOD! I wish I made alot more money than I do.

    P.S. I have to take issue with your characterization as John Cusack as an everyman type of actor. I think he's a little too quirky to be lumped in with Stewart and Hanks, IMHO.
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I can understand that. I feel that Cusak is
    just as easy to identify as the other two great
    actors because he's not afraid to show vulenerability.
    The quirkiness is as natural as I see myself sometimes.
    Thanks for the kudos, guys!
     
  13. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    Ron, thank you so much for going against your new policy just this once and offering your review of this DVD. I can tell you share my exact sentiments about this movie.
    I was less than two years out of high school when this movie was first released, and I always felt a certain kinship with Lloyd Dobler. No, I was never a kickboxer. No, I was never appointed "keymaster". Nevertheless, how many teenage guys wouldn't relate to Lloyd's relationship with Diane? The first nervous phone conversation. The prickly relationship with the girl's father. The backseat lovemaking. The dreadful post-breakup drives around the city.
    The key to this movie's success is that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is real. The teenagers aren't wise beyond their years and the adults aren't idiotic buffoons. The brainy kids aren't necessarily geeky and the outcasts aren't suicidal freaks. In this day and age, when American Pie 2 is considered the epitome of teen comedy, it's comforting to know that Say Anything... is finally being released on DVD.
    I agree with Ron. We all owe Peter a debt of gratitude for helping make the disc happen. Even if you've never seen it, please pick up a copy and show your thankful support to Peter and Fox. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Michael Dehaven

    Michael Dehaven Stunt Coordinator

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    inhabitations?

    were you wanting to say inhibitions?
     
  15. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Sorry, Michael. That slipped through the

    spellchecker. I just corrected it.
     
  16. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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  17. Calvin Watts III

    Calvin Watts III Supporting Actor

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    This is certainly a must-buy,and I can't wait to listen to the commentary!
    Thanks,Ron, for the review!
    Now if we could only get Better Off Dead soon [​IMG]
    Calvin
     
  18. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

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  19. Aurel Savin

    Aurel Savin Supporting Actor

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    Jeff:

    That is classic .. man I have not seen this movie in a long time ...

    Can't wait!
     
  20. Derrick_Ellis

    Derrick_Ellis Stunt Coordinator

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    Just put my copy on pre-order, and even ordered a Say Anything poster from allposters.com. I can't wait for this movie!
     

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