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HTF REVIEW: "St. Elmo's Fire"

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 21, 2001.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Aboogadah, Aboogadah, Aboogadah - Ha! Ha! Ha!
    Sitting in my practically nonexistent collection
    of VHS tapes sits St. Elmo's Fire. Though
    as worn as the box may be, the tape inside is even
    moreso. During the mid-eighties, St. Elmo's Fire
    became the definitive buddy movie of that time.
    The film starred a lineup that had become known as
    the BRAT PACK. These actors included Emilio Estevez,
    Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy and Judd Nelson.
    St. Elmo's Fire traces the individual lives
    of seven recent college graduates -- all friends --
    who suddenly realize they have stepped out into the
    real world and must find their places within it.
    Every day there are new challenges that face each
    of them. Many of them are obnoxiously struggling with
    adulthood. Relationships are put to the test and
    no-one is certain of their future. The only one
    certain haven for all of them is a bar known as
    St. Elmo's, where they regularly meet, drink, and
    party the night away.
    Columbia Home Video has done an outstanding job
    with the transfer of this DVD. Of course, I would
    not expect anything less. Watching this film for
    the first time in over 10 years in full widescreen,
    is like watching an entirely different film. The
    picture quality is stunning compared to other films
    from this era. The widescreen presentation greatly
    opens up this film, giving us more of the scenic
    beauty of Georgetown. There are illuminating colors
    everywhere, and they are vividly brought out in this
    transfer. The bright outdoor scenes are very crisp
    with only the slightest hint of grain, and the inside
    colors of apartments ranging from hot pink to bright
    red show absolutely no over saturation.
    The film is presented in both 2-channel Dolby
    Surround and 4.0 discreet. The sound is extremely
    bright and full. Listening to the opening piano
    notes of David Foster's love theme really shows off
    the clarity of the film's digitally mastered audio.
    Surround activity is severely limited to a few
    crowd scenes where sound was used for ambiance.
    Other than that, most of the audio remains in the
    front soundfield.
    Included in the supplements is an original
    featurette that was produced in 1985. It features
    short interviews with all the cast members, Producer
    and Director. It's not a great featurette, as it
    relies on showing more lengthy scene sequences than
    anything behind-the-scenes.
    In addition to the original theatrical trailer,
    there are trailers included for GroundHog Day,
    About Last Night and Jerry Maguire
    There is also commentary by Director Joel Schumacher.
    St. Elmo's Fire has worn a little thin
    since I originally adored it so many years ago.
    In fact, I must admit, it was Ally Sheedy that I
    adored even more. Watching it today, the film seems
    to drag a little in areas, but it still remains
    an extremely well made film thanks to the
    accomplishments of the cast that interacted so well
    with each other.
    This disc would receive an overall ovation from
    this reviewer if not for the cover art. I think
    this is just as a good time as any to bitch about
    Columbia tampering with the cover art of their recent
    line of releases. Substituting the original poster
    art for atrociously ugly substitute artwork is ruining
    the overall experience for those of us that collect
    DVDs. Wait till you see my review of Murder By Death.
    For the rest of you that buy DVDs just for the
    content -- you'll be astounded by the transfer quality.
  2. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

    Oct 30, 2000
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    So.. I take it that it's out now? If it is I am going to definitely pick it up soon!
  3. Lewis_W

    Lewis_W Agent

    Nov 13, 2000
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    I totally agree with your review Ron! I got my disc a few weeks ago and was gobsmacked by the picture quality. Stunning! And the sound wasn't bad either, nice and clear with a good about of detail. The score by David Foster was sharp and punchy.

    I have to admit to loving this movie, and now experiencing it in it's original 2:35:1 aspect ratio is a treat.

  4. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

    Jan 18, 2001
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    I'll also admit that I love this movie. And the pan and scan on it was terrible! I have the VHS tape to prove it!

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