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Blu-ray: One of the best teen romantic comedies of all time in HD. AWESOME!
on November 10, 2009
One of the best teenage romance films of all time.
Like many teenagers and young adults, "Say Anything..." was the ultimate teen romance film when they first saw it back in 1989. And for some people, within the last 20-years, the movie still left an impression on those who watched it.
The film received rave reviews from critics, the publication Entertainment Weekly voted the film as the "Greatest Modern Movie Romance" in 2002 and #11 in their "Best High School Film" movie list.
The film marked the debut of Cameron Crowe ("Jerry Maguire", "Almost Famous", "Vanilla Sky") who wrote and directed the film. The film included cinematographer László Kovács ("Easy Rider", "Miss Congeniality", "My Best Friend's Wedding", "Two Weeks Notice") and music by composer Anne Dudley ("The Full Monty", "American History X", "The Crying Game") and Richard Gibbs ("Battlestar Galactica", "10 Things I Hate About You", "Singles").
"Say Anything..." is about Lloyd Dobler (played by John Cusack, "2012", "War, Inc.", "Runaway Jury", "Sixteen Candles", "Better Off Dead") who is a guy who wants to become a kickboxer. A normal guy who happens to have a big crush on the valedictorian Diane Court (played by Ione Skye, ""Fever Pitch", "Wayne's World", "The Rachel Papers"). Dianne is a very intelligent young woman but has not really experienced a boyfriend let alone any teenage social outings.
For Diane, she has a lot of things going for her. She won a fellowship to study in England and plans to go there at the end of the summer. But when Lloyd builds the confidence to ask here for a date, she is surprised by it and intrigued by him, she agrees to it.
So, Lloyd who never had a serious relationship is ready to go out on his first date and he gets advice from his sister Constance (played by Joan Cusack, "War, Inc.", "Ice Princess", "Raising Helen", "The School of Rock") and even his friend/musician (played by Lili Taylor, "Public Enemies", "Six Feet Under", "State of Mind") who is depressed and constantly sings about her on and off again boyfriend and also getting advice from his other female friends and his male friends which include Mark (played by Jeremy Piven, "Entourage", "Smokin' Aces", "The Kingdom").
Needless to say, both Lloyd and Diane fall in love. But Diane's father Jim (played by John Mahoney, "Frasier", "Dan in Real Life", "Primal Fear") is very strict and wants her to go to college, no distractions and to succeed. He sees Lloyd as an underachiever and doesn't want him around his daughter.
Unknown to Diane, her father is doing shady things at the nursing home that he is in charge of and is under investigation by the IRS for tax evasion.
With her father in trouble, Diane feels that she should put her father first and thus the two breakup. "Say Anything..." deals with two people who are in love but have their first major breakup and what one would do for the sake of love.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Say Anything... - 20th Anniversary Edition" makes it debut in High Definition with a 1080p transfer that looks absolutely fantastic for a film that is 20-years-old. I have complained in the past of how 80's and early 90's film tend to get the DNR (digital noise reduction) treatment and sometimes the picture quality appears to be waxy and unnatural but in this case, there is a good amount of detail in the film. Compared to its DVD counterpart, you can see the clarity, the colors and also the nice deep blacks. Grain is definitely present which is great and I didn't notice any major compression or edge enhancement. This is the best I have seen of the film thus far. So overall, picture quality is pretty solid.
As for the audio, the film receives a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (as well as English Dolby Surround Sound, Spanish and French mono). The film is pretty much front and channel-driven. There is no major sound effects as dialogue and music are what drives "Say Anything...". In fact, when I first watched this film, what made the biggest impression on me was hearing the musical soundtrack as we hear the Red Hot Chili Peppers "Taste the Pain", Fishbone or even the popular Peter Gabriel song "In Your Eyes" with such clarity. There could have been more surround usage but I didn't really notice anything via surround channels. But for the most part, this is the best that the film has ever sounded up to now and dialogue and music can be heard clearly.
As for subtitles, the film is presented in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese and Mandarin.
"Say Anything - 20th Anniversary Edition" comes with the following special features:
* To Know Say Anything...is to Love It! Trivia Track (over 200 questions) - A Blu-ray exclusive, during the film, one can watch "Say Anything" with a trivia track playing throughout the film.
* An Iconic Film Revisited: Say Anything...20 Years Later featurette - (21:57) A Blu-ray exclusive featurette. An awesome featurette as Cameron Crowe, John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Nancy Wilson discuss the making of the film 20-years-later and why the film has been so popular even today. Some interesting tidbits of the film, the boombox scene that may have never happened and the Peter Gabriel song that may have never happened and more.
* A Conversation with Cameron Crowe featurette - (9:31) Cameron Crowe talks about the film and the characters and how Cameron Crowe became the director and learning from making his first film and challenges with the studio on the script and more.
* I Love Say Anything...! - (7:31) Comedians and talent discuss what they love about "Say Anything" and their favorite scenes in the film.
* Intro and Commentary by Cameron Crowe, John Cusack and Ione Skye - Featuring a 20-minute intro with director Cameron Crow, actor John Cusack and actress Ione Skye. The first 20 minutes features the three talking about reuniting for the first time since the early 90's and how big the film was for them and for the audience and how Cameron Crowe got the idea to write the film and then how he became the director. For the most part, the audio commentary is quite solid as we hear from the three about what went on behind-the-making of the film but for the most part, how real the chemistry was between John and Ione. In fact, the two admit that while shooting the film, they had a spark but the fact is they had their own relationships with other people and Ione Skye is the first to say that if they weren't dating other people, the two probably would be dating each other. Suffice to say, a pretty solid commentary.
* Alternate Scenes - The following alternate scenes are featured: Scene 106 - Lloyd at the Phonebooth, Scene 128x: Lloyd & Diane outside karate studio, Scene 108 - Diane in Bedroom (with commentary by Cameron Crowe), Scene 109: Lloyd with boom box (with commentary by Cameron Crowe), Scene 109R: Lloyd with boom box (with commentary by Cameron Crowe).
* Deleted Scenes - Featuring ten deleted scenes which include: Scene 46: Mr. Deegan at Party, Scene 56J/K: Lloyd giving advice to girl, Scene 57: Corey sings "He Hurts Me", Scene 70: Court in Front of City Council Meeting, Scene 80: Cool English Road Tape, Scene 87: Montage of Love Clips, Scene 107: Sims Questions Court at the Home, Scene 128: Diane looks for Lloyd, Scene 132J: Love Birds in Bed (MOS), Scene 137: Agent Sims in Eva's Room.
* Extended Scenes - Featuring a total of 13 extended scenes.
* Vintage featurette - (6:58) The original "Say Anything..." featurette. Featuring interviews from 1989 with John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney and director Cameron Crowe.
* Theatrical Trailers - Featuring two theatrical trailers.
* TV Spots - Featuring eight TV spots: I Love You, Phone Call, Boom Box, Scam Review, Pretty Great Review, Coffee Shop, Chilli Peppers, Fish Bone,
* Photo Gallery - A "Say Anything..." photo gallery montage.
1989. I can easily remember when "Say Anything..." was released in theaters. The whole concept of a guy going for the girl that he falls for and just the lasting memories from the film. From the party, teaching his girlfriend to drive, the mixtape, the boombox... it was one of those film that just captivated me and as a teenager, I don't even know how many times I watched the film or listened to the movie soundtrack.
Having graduated from high school in 1989, for me at the time, the film was almost inspirational in some ways. If you want to ask a girl that you really like for a date, just do it. And sure enough I did and in the end, many years later... I married her. So, "Say Anything..." was definitely a film that was inspirational for me and I'm sure it was inspirational for others.
I loved the film mainly for how natural the characters were. I always felt that John Cusack and Ione Skye had tremendous chemistry and that they were phenomenal in the film. Of course, it was revealed in original DVD commentary that the two were actually pretty close with each other during the making of this film and even brought up by Cameron Crowe during his Blu-ray special feature and we learn that from the commentary.
Cameron Crowe was able to create a film that captures the natural emotion of finding that first love. John Cusack and Ione Skye did a fantastic job bringing that to the big screen. For example, after the two make out in the car and to see the character Lloyd sweating and shivering and of course, the chemistry between both characters as the kiss doesn't look like some sort of Hollywood acting style of kiss, these two were literally making out on screen. Those small details are emotions that are just well captured on film. Love, happiness, pain, sadness, anger. You name it...it's in this film.
The music was also fantastic. I literally played out the cassette to the point where you can't really hear the music all that well. From Living Colour's "Cult of Personality", Cheap Trick's "You Want It", Red Hot Chili Peppers "Taste the Pain", Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes", Depeche Mode's "Stripped", Fishbone's "Skankin' to the Beat". So, it was cool to hear the audio for this film in the lossless audio soundtrack and of course the picture quality is absolutely beautiful.
Overall, "Say Anything..." is a film that I probably am quite biased towards but the fact that many print and online publications regard it as a classic film in such a highest regard, that tells you how special this film is. And now the 20th Anniversary Edition is available on Blu-ray. Highly recommended!