Better Off Dead [Blu-ray]
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In Better Off Dead, Cusack plays a likeable but nerdy high school schlub. Of course, all teen films claim to be about likeable schlubs but Cusack was one of the few actors who was actually believable as being both likeable and socially unpopular. He's dumped by his girlfriend, decides to beat her new boyfriend in a ski competition, attempts suicide a few times -- in a bit that everyone seems to hold as their personal favorite -- has to deal with a homicidal paper boy who wants his two dollars.Read more ›
On the positive side, the print is clean and full of natural film grain. It's the best I've ever seen it look. The sound is exactly as it has always been, thin, lifeless and limited in range, though dialogue is always intelligible. The downside of this release is there are no special features. No retrospective, or appreciation, or commentary. I'm not surprised considering how limited the fan base is for the film.
This is the best presentation of Better Off Dead to date and I'm sure it could never be much better than it is on blu-ray. Adjust your expectations accordingly.
I won't go into plot and such - you already know about the movie's merits (or can find them online easily). This review will concern the region 1 (USA) DVD release that came out 7/16/02 at long last! retail around $20-25 USD.
One note: I had trouble finding this on release day - the local "big box" boys all told me they had "a copy on order or something"... I guess they didn't anticipate a big demand for this wildy funny 1985 cult comedy.
DVD Special Features: Widescreen enhanced for 16:9, English Subtitle Option, Dolby Digital & "English Stereo" (whatever that means). No foreign language tracks, outtakes or even a trailer. No stills of the cast or bios.... nada. Zip. Zero.
Initial Impressions: This DVD is truly a bare-bones production from start to finish. I actually thought the audio track was absent at first, due to the lack of any sound at all until the movie proper starts. And of course you can't skip over the annoying studio splash or the stern warning not to copy it. At least there's no ads or previews in front like some.
Menu Options: The menu page is a static photo with three options - Play, Setup and Scene Selection. Setup lets you pick from "Subtitle: English or None". That's it. No other setup options... it looks like you could change Audio Indicator to other foreign languages, but that option does not highlight. Maybe they forgot to add foreign language tracks or the coder forgot to link up to the function.
Video: I played this on two different TV/DVD setups - one highend and one old/low end. The Widescreen refused to work on my lowend set, but worked fine on the new DVD player.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie brought back many fond memories of my high school years. I was the much like Cusack's character, in that I was always trying to impress the girl. Read morePublished 6 days ago by andy randall
excellent movie - very very funny - everyone should see it
one of john cusacks first movies - suicidal teen trying to cope with life after a painful breakup when a new... Read more
I absolutely love this movie! It's an 80's cult classic. It's just so weird and random that you can't help but laugh at the array of colorful characters and the bizarre things they... Read morePublished 21 days ago by Gizmonic