DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Mischief

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Osadciw, Apr 24, 2005.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Jun 24, 2003
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    Michael Osadciw


    Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Film Year: 1985

    Rating: R

    Film Length: 97 minutes
    Genre: Comedy

    Aspect Ratio:[*] 1.85:1, widescreen enhanced
    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:[*] English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    Subtitles: None
    Closed Captioned: Yes
    U.S. SLP: $14.98
    CDN SLP: $16.98

    Release Date: April 05, 2005.

    Film Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Entertainment Rating: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Starring: Doug McKeon (Jonathan Bellah), Catherine Mary Stewart (Bunny Miller), Kelly Preston (Marilyn McCauley), Chris Nash (Gene Harbrough), D.W. Brown (Kenny), Jami Gertz (Rosalie)

    Written by: Noel Black
    Directed by: Mel Damski

    The first time seems like the worst time, but it's the one time you'll never forget!

    Fans of this ‘80s sex comedy will be happy to know that Mischief is finally available on DVD. Anchor Bay has brought this title to the little shiny disc as a bare-bones release, but it’s finally here in its original aspect ratio and with the quality DVD has to offer.

    The year is 1956 and high school student Jonathan feels left out of the dating scene. But what can he do? He’s too shy to talk to the Marilyn, a beautiful and popular girl who is also the girl of his dreams. But one day Jonathan may have his chance; Gene, a motorcycle riding high school rebel moves in next door to him. He makes friends with this James Dean idolizer who has a tendency to attract the girls and finds humour in Jonathan’s shy-boy personality.

    The two boys find ways to bond while they pursue their love interests at school. Gene has an eye for the high school bully’s girlfriend, and he also puts Jonathan to the challenge of getting together with Marilyn and “going all the way”. If it wasn’t for Gene, Jonathan’s clumsiness might not have taken him that far. But soon enough these two buddies will find themselves in a lot of mischief in this small town.

    This is a very cute film rather than an exploitation film. It’s not rude, raunchy, or absurd like other sex comedies tend to be; rather we see Jonathan grow from being a boy to a man when dealing with women. The film’s setting in the 1950’s makes it easy to dismiss that this is a dated ‘80s comedy. The clothing, the music, and the James Dean allusions all give the film a feeling from that era and perhaps adds to the feeling of this film’s innocence. I warmed up to the characters very quickly. They are simple yet they are developed very well. I felt like they were my friends and I was in their high school watching these events unfold. When this happens, I like the movie a lot more. I think you will to.

    This movie also features some well-known actresses in their early roles. Kelly Preston, Jami Gertz and Catherine Mary Stewart each have gone on to do more television and movies and have earned a respectable resume.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The picture quality is O.K. for this DVD release. The 1.85:1 film exhibits grain in varying amounts throughout the movie. On the plus side, all colours seem neither oversaturated or under saturated giving it a very pleasing and lifelike look. Contrast is fine, although not exceptional. Sometimes black levels can be a little higher than I’d like. It gives the impression of a very slightly washed out look. Keep in mind that it’s extremely minor and I’m just reaching for something else to say about it. Compression artefacts do exist and tend to blur finer details especially when it tries to figure out what to do with the film grain. There is no edge enhancement that is distracting.

    [​IMG]AUDIO QUALITY [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] / [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio but is mostly mono throughout. I’m going to guess the original audio was mono. For this release, the music adds a bit of left-right effect as well as moderate surround information. The sound effects also seem “pulled” very quietly to the back channels to give a sense of ambience. There are no sounds that are dominantly discrete in this soundtrack because almost all - dialogue and sound effects - are heavy in the center channel. I didn’t notice my subwoofer’s light on the LFE channel turn on at all. It may have once or twice but I never noticed it. The tonality of the sound can be classified as a little thin.


    There aren’t any special features on this DVD unless you consider an insert a feature (these days a lot of studios aren’t supplying these anymore, so it is nice to see Anchor Bay still putting these in!) This insert has chapter stops on one side and a picture of the theatrical poster on the other.


    This is a funny movie – but more of a cute/funny. I love these geeky boy-likes-girl movies because (most of the time) they can give me a few good laughs. The best feature of this film is the likable characters because that is what makes the difference between a good and bad sex comedy. If you are a fan of this genre, I think you’ll like this movie. I’ve you’ve never seen it before it’s definitely worth a rental.

    Michael Osadciw
    April 23, 2005.
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

    May 9, 2001
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    North Texas
    Real Name:
    I'll admit that when I first saw this as a middle school-aged kid, the main attraction was a certain scene featuring Kelly Preston. But, I also loved the movie itself, and a recent viewing confirmed that I still do. It's warm, it's funny, and it rings true in a lot of ways. And, the soundtrack is simply outstanding. To paraphrase Time-Life, "You could spend thousands of dollars buying CDs containing songs you don't want just to get a couple of songs you do, or you could buy Mischief!" [​IMG]

    Thanks for the review, Michael.
  3. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Aug 13, 2000
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    I don't have any problems with the film grain and was surprised the video quality looked as good as it did for a film of this age.
  4. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

    Dec 28, 1998
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    Same here.
  5. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

    Sep 6, 2004
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    Now I think I read somewhere they re-framed Kelly's nude scene to get her infamous frontal shot in as much as possible in the OAR, is that true?

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