Blu-Ray Review “Better Off Dead”

Directed by: Savage Steve Holland
Starring: John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Diane Franklin, Curtis Armstrong, Amanda Wyss
Distributed by: Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 97 minutes

Disc Score: 2 out of 5 stars

Since this is the first time this film has been released on high definition, this review will focus on the Blu-ray transfer. To be honest I felt that the film hasn’t really held up since 1985 like many 80’s classic have. I felt it jumps around quite a bit and for my wife (who has never seen it) was hard to even watch.

For those who have never seen this romantic dark comedy, it stars John Cusack as the awkward, teen Lane Meyers, as Lane after his girlfriend dumps him for a more popular guy. After many unsuccessful attempts to win her back, he decides that suicide is the only answer until he befriends a beautiful foreign exchange student who helps him turn his life around.

This is the first time that the film was converted to 1080p, its 1.78:1-framed transfer holds up but still features some grain throughout the film. The image itself is overall decent and it will not blow away fans of the original film. It does look better than the last DVD but is less than what is expected for a Blu-ray release. I would wait for the 20 year anniversary special edition.

Next up is the sound on this disc which features, DTS-HD MA 5.1, which is ok but the music in the film seems like it is extra loud and is not very crisp. Lastly, the film does not have ANY special features at all, which just adds more insult to injury with this “not so special” high definition release of this film.

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