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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Lost Boys (Recommended)



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#1 of 3 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

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Posted July 25 2008 - 01:22 PM

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Release Date: July 29, 2008
Studio: Warner Brothers
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case
Year: 1987
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h37m
Video: 1080p high definition 2.40:1 / special features 480i or 480p standard definition
Audio: Dolby TrueHD: English; Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 2.0, Spanish (Castilian 2.0 and Latin 1.0), German 2.0, Italian 2.0 / special features in stereo and mono
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish (movie and some special features)
MSRP: $28.99

The Feature: 4/5
Santa Carla - murder capital of the world. Or so say some of the locals. For Michael and Sam Emerson (Jason Patrick and Corey Haim) it's their new home. They're forced to move in with their eccentric grandpa (Barnard Hughes) after their mom Lucy (Dianne Wiest) is financially crippled by her divorce. But it's not all bad - there's a cool beach scene and people seem friendly enough. Unfortunately there's also David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gang of vampires who are helping the town live up to its unofficial slogan. When Michael goes chasing after David's girlfriend Star (Jamie Gertz), it looks like he'll be the next victim. But David decides to bring him into the fold instead and Michael is avoiding sunlight and lusting after human blood in no time. Unsure of what to do he turns to Sam, who enlists the Frog Brothers (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) who know all there is to know about killing vampires. Destroy the leader and everyone he's turned will be cured. But the trick will be figuring out who that leader is.

"The Lost Boys" was Director Joel Schumacher's fourth feature film in 1987. Richard Donner gave him the job after having sat on the story so long that he'd lost interest in directing it himself. Turns out it was a good move. Schumacher made what would have been a "Goonies" style movie for the grade school set into something more appropriate and appealing for teens and adults. That's not to say it was a huge success when it came out. Its popularity grew thanks to home video and renters who saw an enduring quality to it despite the absurdity of some of its fashions. After 20 years - and I think it's been about that long for me - it still holds up. The horror elements are made more effective by being suggestive rather than explicit; Sutherland owns every scene he's in, Wiest shows what an Oscar winner can do in a genre film - and say what you will about the Coreys, they definitely had something, supplying most of the film's levity. As with most childhood favorites, there's an ongoing concern that revisiting them as an adult will prove disappointing. I'm happy to say "The Lost Boys" lives up to both my adult sensibilities and my memories from youth.


Video Quality: 4.5/5
Accurately framed at 2.40:1 the picture is free of physical defects and edge enhancement. Black levels are deep and inky and contrast is excellent. Colors are equally strong and stable - the frequent use of red lighting creates no signs of bleed or bloom and Michael Chapman's skillful cinematography comes across beautifully. Fine object detail and image sharpness are very good as well, strands of hair, fog, and specular highlights all standing out in their clarity. The one area where things seem limited is in shadow detail and delineation. In dark interiors actors often look swallowed up by shadow, but most likely this was intentional or simply the nature of film technology at the time. All in all it's another excellent high definition transfer from Warner Brothers.


Audio Quality: 4/5
The English Dolby TrueHD audio option is satisfyingly dynamic and enveloping from the film's opening scene. Environmental effects and soundtrack support are nicely balanced and dialogue is consistently intelligible and clear, revealing perceptible texture in Sutherland's distinctive voice. Some of the sound effects show their age in their lack of fidelity, but it's a minor issue in a great track that doesn't show its 20 years.


Special Features: 4/5

All of the special features have been ported over from the 2004 special edition DVD. The documentaries are well produced and include almost all of the cast and crew. The only item that seems to suffer in the translation is the (formerly) multi-angle video commentary, the pieces of which are simply accessed as separate video clips.

Audio Commentary with Director Joel Schumacher: At the start of the track Schumacher showers praise on everyone involved, which can wear thin after awhile. Those willing to stick with it will find some interesting anecdotes and filmmaking tips (e.g. how to get maggots to squirm).

The Lost Boys: A Retrospective (21m00s): 2004 documentary includes interviews with Schumacher, Sutherland, Haim, Feldman and others involved with the production. The piece offers few surprises, but is a fun look at "where are they now" (at least four years ago).

Inside the Vampire Cave (18m31s): Four featurettes cover Schumacher's vision for the film, the then-revolutionary melding of comedy with horror, cast and crew thoughts on vampire lore, and the possibility of a sequel.

Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannom (14m02s): Makeup artist Cannom and cast and crew talk about the makeup effects used for the film. Includes some interesting looks at makeup effects that were abandoned.

Haimster and Feldog: The Story of the Two Coreys (4m30s) How Feldman and Haim came to work together and their eventual parting of ways, at least on screen.

Multi-Angle Commentary with Core Haim, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander: Haim, Feldman and Newlander provide separate video commentaries on the same series of scenes (which runs around 18 minutes). If you thought hearing people describe onscreen action was bad, it's actually worse watching them do it. Haim is the guiltiest of the three and it doesn't help that he looks bored through most of it. Feldman provides mostly snarky comments, making his track more entertaining if largely uninformative. Newlander provides the most anecdotal information during his turn and seems the most at ease (even though his ear piece keeps popping out). The multi-angle feature that was implemented for the DVD isn't actually put to use here - the video tracks are simply listed and accessed separately. With the average commentaries and implementation, the overall experience is awkward and laborious.

Deleted Scenes (15m16s): Scenes consist mostly of character interactions that aren't necessarily missed or crucial to the story, though it's always nice to see what was left out.

Photo Gallery: Various stills of the makeup and vampire effects.

A World of Vampires: Interactive map links to video clips describing the world's varying vampire legends. One of my favorites pieces.

"Lost in the Shadows" Music Video by Lou Gramm (4m34s) I never understood the first line of the chorus. Sailing tonight? Salem tonight? Neither made sense. Now I'm trying to figure out how Gramm crammed all the syllables of "Say hello to the night" into four notes.

Theatrical Trailer (1m25s) Formatted at 16x9 1.78:1. One review says this is in 1080p, but it certainly doesn't look it.


Recap

The Feature: 4/5
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 4/5

An effective and entertaining horror-comedy from the 80s gets an excellent video transfer, a quality lossless audio track, and a special features package that carries over everything from the previous DVD release. Recommended.
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#2 of 3 Tim Glover

Tim Glover

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Posted July 26 2008 - 01:06 AM

Nice review Cameron! Posted Image

#3 of 3 Bryan^H

Bryan^H

    Screenwriter

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Posted March 18 2010 - 06:23 PM

Finally picked this up!


Great review Cameron.  This is truly a great looking(and sounding) disc.

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"She always does that, she just wanders away"