LICENSE TO DRIVE SPECIAL EDITION Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment Film Year: 1988 Rating: PG-13 Film Length: 90 minutes Genre: Comedy Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.85:1 widescreen enhanced Colour/B&W: Colour Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround[*] English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Subtitles: None Closed Captioned: Yes SLP: US $19.98 Release Date: May 03, 2005. Film Rating: / Entertainment Rating: / Starring: Corey Haim (Les Anderson), Corey Feldman (Dean), Heather Graham (Mercedes), Carol Kane (Mrs. Anderson), Richard Masur (Mr. Anderson), Nina Siemaszko (Natalie) Written by: Neil Tolkin Directed by: Greg Beeman Just when I thought I’d completely forgotten that Billy Ocean song “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”, here it is again in its full glory; the song that accompanied this movie Licence To Drive into the advertising frenzy of trailers and T.V. spots. All I could do was lower my head. I’m not the biggest Billy Ocean fan out there, but I am a somewhat a fan of the Coreys. Those two teenage guys who appeared in a few movies together started to become the fad of the late ’80s. What was so good about these guys together in this movie? Was it because they were young and rebellious in taking a car out for a night’s spin without the parents knowing? Was it because one went on a date with then 17-year-old and beautiful Heather Graham? What made these 16 year olds cooler than my friends and I? Back then…marketing. Later…drug rehab. The “Corey sensation” didn’t last too long. After playing together in a vampire film called The Lost Boys, these Coreys were actually battling for the same parts in a movie called to Live and Drive in L.A., which later became License To Drive. The casting created a bit of a shuffle and opted to keep both the Coreys in for the same movie rather than hiring one or the other. From this decision both of them appeared in License To Drive. This is an ’80s comedy that really feels like it. Hairstyles, clothing, and music all add to that feel. Yet, the story of this film is timeless in our modern day. The story is about Les, a 16-year-old who thinks the only thing that separates the boys from the men is their license. He thinks he’s going to ace the drivers exam when in fact he fails it. He unsuccessfully hides it from his parents and resorts to begging and pleading his parents to take out the car – after all, he’s got a hot date Saturday night with his high school crush, conveniently named Mercedes. Even though he’s grounded that night, Les manages to sneak out of the house with the car. Les is in for a surprise when the night becomes one of fun and disaster – and a night that he and his pals will never forget! This movie is easy to identify with. Since most of us started off driving our parents’ car, I think it’s safe to say that everyone has had a moment when they really wanted to take the car out for some cool occasion. We’d beg and put up a fight to take friends cruising and to meet up with the opposite sex. Some of us were lucky to get the car home safe…and others may have not had such fortunes. This is a funny comedy that is very enjoyable to watch all of the way through. While the last quarter for the film slows down a little and becomes a bit less interesting, the last moments pick up again for the last few laughs. This is one ‘80s comedy that I recommend. VIDEO QUALITY / Anchor Bay has done a great job in bringing the film to video. The 1.85:1 print is in good shape and there is very little film grain and dirt. Colours are all well balanced; there is good contrast and solid blacks. Detail is slightly on the soft side, but I think it’s due to the photography of the day. Edge enhancement is a non-issue and compression artefacts are kept to a minimum. This transfer has the green light! AUDIO QUALITY / The audio is available in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 surround. I evaluated the 5.1 mix for this review. The audio is very heavy in the front soundstage. The surrounds are used occasionally to heighten the action on screen although they aren’t overly aggressive. LFE information is used sparingly as well. There is a lot of music in this movie and it sounds fairly detailed and is sometimes a little louder than the rest of the soundtrack. Fidelity of sound effects as well as dialogue has the ‘80s sound of slightly restrained audio and a thinner characteristic to it, although the lack of body to the sound can also be attributed to the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 compression format. SPECIAL FEATURES / Don’t forget to check out the audio commentary by Director Greg Beeman and writer Neil Tolkin. The commentary is fairly interesting with Beeman really controlling the conversation. They also talk about making the film on mostly a scene-by-scene basis, as well as giving some information about the alternate footage cut for the changed ending vs. the original that is included on this disc. There are two new interviews from Corey Haim and Corey Feldman put together for this DVD. They total almost 30 minutes when watched one after another. The two guys discuss their relationship during shooting as well as reminisce about making this film. This feature is widescreen enhanced. Next is the one deleted scene that is almost 14 minutes in length. It’s actually an entirely different ending. This is the original ending of the film before changes had to be made because of the demands from M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Since they believed the film glorified drunk driving, the ending of the movie was changed to what we know of it today. Presented here is the original ending where the boys decided to switch Cadillacs with one on a dealer lot. I’ll let you see the rest. It appears to be a beta tape and is presented full screen and it’s not good in quality at all. Regardless, fans will be interested to see this. Based on these entirely new subplots, we can only piece together the rest of the film’s changes. Many more alternate takes must exist and are not included on this DVD. It’s too bad they weren’t included and they couldn’t have come from the film (if they still exist). Also included are 2 theatrical trailers, 2 T.V. spots (all fullscreen and from composite sources) and the screenplay on DVD-ROM. An 8-page booklet is on the inside featuring information about the film as well as quiz questions. IN THE END… They were young, they were cool…but the “Corey fad” died a quick death. Girls loved them, boys envied them. They had a car and they had a beautiful girl with them. But however you remember License To Drive can now be re-experienced on this DVD. If you’ve never seen this film – or better yet, if you are just about to get your license or have just received it, you’ll be able to identify with this film. It’s a fun joyride! Check it out – just what possibly could go wrong? Michael Osadciw April 13, 2005.