The Wackness Blu-ray: Review By Evan "Mushy" Jacobs

What this movie does is fill itself rich characters and rich moments within the plot, and this comes across whether you are in Standard or High-Definition.
  • OVERALL
    4.0
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Picture
  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE GOOD
An interesting film that is filled with solid characterizations.
THE BAD
Does a movie like this really need to be on Blu-ray?
THE FEATURE
The Wackness examines the life of Luke Shapiro. He is a drug dealer who is doing quite well for himself. He makes loads of money, his responsibilities are nil, and he appears to be smarter than your average bear. At the same time, problems within his family and his inability to make things happen with the opposite sex are starting to get to him. Things take a turn when Stephanie comes into his life and Luke finds himself experiencing love for the first time. Aiding him along this newfound journey is his shrink Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Ben Kingsley). Dispensing brilliant quotes at just the right moment, Luke suddenly realizes that the summer of 1994 is filled with much more than he has bargained for.

While this movie seems to function in the exact way that one might expect, I found The Wackness to be one of the most enjoyable and overlooked films of the past year.
THE EXTRAS
Unfortunately, the packaging for this release doesn't disseminate what is and isn't in High-Definition.

Commentary Track

Josh Peck and Director Jonathan Levine sit back and discuss making this film. They talk about the characters, what the actors were like, how the environment on the set was, and overall I truly got the sense that the Director and actor like one another. The parts I found most interesting were the ones where Levine discussed the screenplay. Since he wrote and directed this film I felt that I got a cool breakdown of what this film had to offer.

Deleted Scenes

Keeping it Real and Time In A Bottle

In this featurette viewers are treated to an inside look at a typical day for Director Josh Levine. We see what he goes through on the set and what his process of creation is. If this piece was straight up trying to be serious, it probably wouldn't have been too enjoyable. As many people know, creative types come in all ranges and something like this could turn out to be highly unentertaining. As it is, Keeping it Real is enjoyable enough while also showing us some ultimate truths.

I put the Time In A Bottle sequence in with this film because it covers a lot of the same ground as the Keeping it Real featurette. This is a garden variety behind the scenes examination of this film. The actors and other creative-types talk about making this movie, working together, and the usual things that creep up when committing images to celluloid.

Luke Shapiro's Dope Show
THE VIDEO
1080p High Definition / 2.35:1. This film looked very good on Blu-ray disc but there was nothing about it that made it seem like it needed to be in this format. It isn't like this movie is fueled by special effects and epic shots. Director of Photography Petra Korner has given the images a full if not wistful look about themselves. While I think he captured New York City quite nicely, I didn't see anything here that I haven't seen before. That said, all the niceness of the images was appreciated and I didn't notice too many spots where the picture looked overly baked.
THE AUDIO
English, French Dolby TrueHD 5.1 - English Stereo. The audio was good but nothing about it really grabbed me. This isn't anybody's fault, this just isn't the sort of film that utilizes the sound in that way. There wasn't any moment where I felt swept up in this film regarding the audio layout. While I was compelled with the characters, I found that the sound served this movie in a functional, if not somewhat ambivalent, way.
THE PACKAGE
The main characters in this movie are presented in tiny snapshots against a multi-colored shot of New York City. The back features a critic's quote, a description of this movie, technical specs, a Special Features listing and a cast list.
THE FINAL WORD
This might seem like an odd question but I am not 100% sure that this movie needed to be on Blu-ray. I think that Sony, in an effort to make their win over HD-DVD show the desired dividends, might be overreaching in what they think that cineastes want in this format. It's sort of like what they did when they came out with movies for the PSP (called UMDs). I recall that gaming device being inundated with titles that gamers would probably not want for their machines. Add to this that one could take their current DVDs and rip them to their iPods (for free) and we suddenly saw the death (or at least the reorganization) of that format.

I am not trying to say that The Wackness isn't worthy of being in this format. I just think that people expecting some awesome home video experience probably aren't going to get that. What this movie does is fill itself rich characters and rich moments within the plot, and this comes across whether you are in Standard or High-Definition.

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Comments (1)

  1. 313td

    Nice review.

    5 years agoby @313tdFlag