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Blu-ray Review Skatetown U.S.A. Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Todd Erwin, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Sean Thompson likes this.
  2. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    I got this last week and noticed something very strange— it's the only Blu-Ray I've ever bought that completely blocks you from fast-fowarding or rewinding (at least on my Oppo). You can skip ahead to or back from a chapter stop, but the disc will not let you use the FF or RW function.
     
  3. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    The disc does some wonky things once Top Menu is depressed, depending on the player. As I stated in my review, time code disappears from the on-screen display but otherwise plays just fine on my Sony UBP-X800M2. Some other review sites have indicated various playback issues on Oppo players, but only after pressing the Top Menu button.
     
  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Sold on the screenshot alone.
     
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  5. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    That's a publicity shot, not a screen shot.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    A lot of the text in the Production section of the review seems to have gotten messed up. Just FYI.
     
  7. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Thanks! Not sure what happened,as it looked correct when I posted it yesterday.

    At least I know that someone is actually reading my review. :)
     
  8. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I are edjicated. :huh:
     
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  9. Message #9 of 17 Oct 1, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    The timing of this release with a certain HGTV show should not have gone unnoticed by anyone. Maureen McCormick was really trying to get away, or should I say roll away, from the role of Marcia Brady with this and the same year's Take Down (distributed by Disney's distributor Buena Vista as one of its first PG releases but not currently owned by them), yet two years later she went right back to it on The Brady Brides.

    Around the same time Greg Bradford was Steve the Delivery Boy on the Facts of Life, Christopher Knight was also trying to break the chains of Brady in another NBC show from Facts' Norman Lear-owned producer T.A.T. Communications Company: Joe's World. It flopped, and he moved onto Another World shortly thereafter.

    This film's release date was also a few months after Disco Demolition Night in Chicago*, which basically put a mark on its back before it was even released, as well as anything else disco-themed that went into production before May 1979. That was the beginning of the end for American popular music, in my opinion.

    There is no doubt Ron Palillo did this after seeing what Saturday Night Fever did for John Travolta, but this can't possibly be worse than Staying Alive. Or You Light up My Life, which inexplicably beat four infinitely more qualified Best Song Oscar nominees. But if Scott Baio said it was "crapola", well, that means nothing if you've seen Zapped, had to endure an episode of Charles in Charge**, or watched in horror as Ted McGinley, the only NO MA'AM member with any sex appeal whatsoever, got the undeserved blame for the decline and fall of Happy Days post-Ron Howard. Alec Guinness also hated Star Wars, and Disney is now gambling their future on it***. Robert Reed wrote memo after memo criticizing the writing on The Brady Bunch, yet it's still in reruns after 50 years! If Sony thinks they can capitalize on its anniversary indirectly with one of its stars in another role, more power to them. At least it finally got free from the Music Rights Monster.

    *How quick they were to forget how much their parents hated rock 'n' roll and their grandparents hated ragtime. 40 years later, of which I have been alive for 36, all I can say is to be careful what you wish for.
    **The same people who produced another TV pseudo-comedy that same year about a male domestic (one whose long-overdue cancellation my father actually cheered, and for once I agreed with him) also made Zapped. Another case of who stole from whom. Personally, I'd rather watch Mr. Belvedere, Benson, Gimme A Break! or their less ripped-from-the-headlines 1990s successor-in-interest The Nanny.
    ***I wouldn't have minimized the original trilogy characters at Galaxy's Edge.
     
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  10. Message #10 of 17 Oct 1, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    First a big thanks to @Todd Erwin For his concise review with a touch of pleasantl sarcasm.

    Another note on the casting of Greg Bradford. Because Greg bore a rather striking resemblance to Mark Hamill (still basking in his Star Wars success), he was referred to, as blogger Bill Gordon put it, “a poor man’s Mark Hamill”. Of course Mark Hamill made far more money from Star Wars than the entire box office take of Skatetown USA. Greg’s resemblance to Mark resulted in a lot of people believing (myself included for a short time) that Mark Hamill was in Skatetown USA confronting a brand new Patrick Swayze and skate dancing in a pink tight shirt (with abs to die for) & white pants to the tune of “Macho Man”.

    3783391A-3150-4ED8-B995-0D40CAFA7E3F.


    Of course we know the truth nowadays but back in that time period (1979) without Wiki or the Internet (which did exist in some form but nothing like today and not accessible to the public ), the truth wasn’t all that easy to find if you missed the opening or closing credits.
     

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  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    You must have been thinking of Corvette Summer, which Mark Hamill did after the first Star Wars movie. Dusty Springfield did its theme, which could never be mistaken for disco in a million years:

     
  12. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    To be honest at the time I saw Skatetown USA in the Theater (1979-early 1980), I hardly knew anything about Corvette Summer (1978). Didn’t have Wiki or the Internet available back then. So that movie was never any source of confusion about thinking it was Mark Hamill in Skatetown USA. Strictly the resemblance of Greg Bradford to Mark Hamill.
     
  13. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I screened this last night. Visually, the transfer is great. The sound is a mess but I'm sure that's because of funky location sound recording. The movie itself is baffling to me. It's like a Macy's parade of roller skating vaudeville shows. Every time they announced a new one, my interest in the movie dropped like a stone. It certainly was an interesting job of casting. "How about Horshack as a criminal heavy?" "We've got Marsha Brady, not let's get Mrs Kravetz from Bewitched!" "Now that we have a black crossdresser, let's cast his father as a 70 year old midget!" The plot devices like the pills in the pizza and the chicken race on motorized roller skates were dumbfounding. The movie went on too long because of the musical roller skating numbers, but I did come away with a certain fondness for it. I still think Can't Stop The Music is the greatest achievement in this field though.
     
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  14. skylark68

    skylark68 Screenwriter

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    I like time capsule films like this. This one came out when I was literally like 3 years old but I had a lot of older cousins and I remember them telling me stories about stuff like this (roller boogies, disco, etc.). It's cool seeing this stuff in a more or less almost pristine transfer. The fact that Scott Baio, Maureen McCormick, Patrick Swayze and Billy Barty are in it just makes it cooler. Thanks for the review. Hopefully no one takes this the wrong way, because drug addiction is no laughing matter, but I chuckled a bit hearing about Marcia blaming this film on her cocaine relapse. Seems a little harsh to blame a film on something like that.
     
  15. Dave Lawrence

    Dave Lawrence Supporting Actor

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    I think she may be correct. This film gave her, a not exactly in-demand, not exactly first-rate, former child star a job and a paycheck - probably the first in quite awhile. So now she finally had the money to buy drugs again.

    But she may not have meant it in that way. ;)

    I look forward to purchasing this. Never seen it, but it sounds like a wonderfully goofy trainwreck.
     
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  16. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Marcia Brady didn't get hooked on drugs. Maureen McCormick did. Obviously she got clean because some of her contemporaries weren't so lucky.
     
  17. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    Skating vaudeville shows! Sounds like a pretty accurate description of the various roller skating groups featured (“The Fabulous New Horizon”, “The Jerry Nista Skaters”).
    The presentations did have the effect of taking you out of the main plot, what passes for a main plot anyway. Without them, you basically have a hour long sitcom on skates.
     

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