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HTF Review: "Better Off Dead" (With screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    I know how you feel. I used to pinch my wife's face and say "KA-RIST-MUSS" and snicker to myself. Eventually she slapped my hand away "why do you keep doing that!"

    Went right out to the video store.

    Now not only does she do it to me, but we usually end up watching it whenever ComCentral runs it (which is like every day it seems).

    Mercy buckets, HTF for helping bring this out. Widescreen barebones is a lot better than P&S commercial-every-eight-minutes.

    -paul
     
  2. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    It's interesting that Ron says the latter part of the movie with all the snowskiing scenes look better than the early parts of the movie. Every time I've watched the movie on cable, I've hated to see Diane Franklin's hot pink ski outfit bleeding on the white snow like that guy's baseball-battered melon on the tablecloth in "The Untouchables". If the DVD is an improvement on that, I'll be satisfied. Plus, hey, it's OAR.
     
  3. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    Extra features are always cool, but the movie's the thing...
    Just try to stop me from buying the Better Off Dead DVD!
    Man Oh Man! Top Secret, Innerspace AND Better Off Dead...in two weeks! I gotta go find some more eighties comedies to beg the studios for! I'm having one gloriously nostalgic month.
    (And now Paramount has announced Trading Places??? I feel like kissing someone!)
     
  4. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    May I be the first to say, that is great looking cover art.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Joe Meissner

    Joe Meissner Stunt Coordinator

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    "ge I'm real sorry your mom blew up ricky"

    "I'm telling mother"

    "you know, the international language"



    I'm glad im not the only one who loves this movie. I will definetly be getting this one.
     
  6. Micah Cohen

    Micah Cohen Screenwriter

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  7. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure this could have looked any better than Ron described.

    I remember when I saw it in theaters, at the original release, that it looked much the same. A grainy, low budget '80s teen comedy. I have no recall of ever seeing a good copy of this, actually.

    It won't change my mind about owning it, though.
     
  8. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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  9. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    I'm saddened that no trailer is included here, but in fairness to Paramount, they did get this out in a reasonably short amount of time, and this is a film they inherited as opposed to produced. So while, say, master elements were available from the CBS archive, it's likely it would have been time consuming to try to track down any other materials like the trailer or featurettes. (Especially considering that this was released to theatres by Warner Bros. for CBS, and Fox handled the previous tape and laser issues, that's a lot of places to search for stuff.)

    I just hope that when other subsequent CBS-produced theatrical films are released by Paramount, they will have had more sufficient time to collect ancillary added value materials. Plus, if BETTER OFF DEAD sells well now, they perhaps will be more inclined to do a special edition with the involvement of, say, Savage Steve Holland and the supporting cast.

    By the way, Ronald, you neglected to mention whether this version preserves the exit music from the original theatrical release. I just exhibited this movie at Nuart last week, and the closing Rupert Hine song is meant to continue on after the "The movie's over -- you can go home now" scroll. (This print did cut off some of the music, though) But whenever I've seen it on cable or tape, there is an abrupt fade on the music after that final text. Like most people who (like me) saw it on tape rather than theatrically, I suspect few would even think of looking for this detail.
     
  10. Matthew H

    Matthew H Second Unit

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    Sure it would've been nice to have had some extras or at the very least a trailer, but we finally get to see one of the greatest movies produced in the 80s on DVD. I'm sure I can find it around $15 at some B&M store on Tuesday, but either way I'm picking it up. [​IMG]
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Mark,

    Thanks for letting me know about that. I had
    no idea.
     
  12. Derrick_Ellis

    Derrick_Ellis Stunt Coordinator

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    No trailer, no problem. This disc will still be in my collection. After watching it again on Comedy Central over the 4th of July, I had forgotten just how funny the movie is. I will be ordering online though just to save MY $2.00.
     
  13. Ivan_F

    Ivan_F Extra

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    I can't count the number of times that I watched this cult classic back in the day on VHS. It just had that infectious, non-glossy charm that many eighties movies didn't have, and of course John Cusack in fine form. I also fell in love with Diane Franklin in this movie, but we should've fallen in love with her a couple of years before when she was in Last American Virgin, but ***Spoiler***
    her decision at the end was wrong, so wrong![​IMG]
    I wondered what happened to her after BOD. I think she was in one of the Bill and Ted's movies, but after that...poof!
    "She dates the Basketball team...not certain members of the team, Layne, the whole team!"
    "What's a little boy like you doing with big boy's smut like this?"
    "She only speaks French, Roy, not imbecile!"[​IMG]
     
  14. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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  15. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    My copy of the DVD came today, I'm so happy. I just took a brief glimpse at the actual movie and I noticed the following:
    - The shot of the baseball stadium and the close up shot of Monique and Lane kissing are in tact and not edited out like previous video versions.
    - In response to Mark, the music does fade out after the end title is shown.
    Other than that, the audio and video quality is pretty good especially on how low budget the film was. [​IMG]
     
  16. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Just a heads up, Better Off Dead will be 14.99 at CompUSA this week according to the Sunday flyer. Can't wait to pick this up on Tuesday!
     
  17. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    According to IMDB, Diane Franklin was in an episode of Family Law and an episode of Providence in 1999, but absolutely nothing in the ten years prior to that. Maybe she's back in show business, or, given that there's been nothing more since 1999, maybe she's out again.
     
  18. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

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  19. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    Here are the "special features", as listed on the back cover in the gray "SPECIAL FEATURES" box:

    Widescreen Version-enhanced for 16x9 TVs
    English Subtitles
    Dolby Digital-English stereo
    *special features not rated


    I didn't know that screen ratios, subtitles and audio formats could be rated. Doesn't anyone proof-read the
    packaging? They obviously have a standard packaging template that they use when designing the covers, and someone was very lazy with this one.

    When is Paramount (and Columbia) going to start indicating
    these TECHNICAL features as just that? Stop calling them
    "special features"!!!!
     
  20. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    I thought that was Disney's modus operandi. They consider "full color disc label artwork" to be a special feature.
     

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