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Colette Burson
Rainn Wilson, Patricia Arquette, Kira McLean
Writing Credits:
Colette Burson

Set in 1982, teenaged Aurelie finds it tough to adjust to her new home - especially when she ends up with a terrible new hairstyle.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $29.97
Release Date: 4/3/2018

• Deleted/Alternate Scenes
• “Getting Permanent ” Featurette
• “Virginia Is For Lovers” Featurette
• Previews and Trailer


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Permanent [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 25, 2018)

A period comedy set in 1982, we meet the Dickson family after they relocate to a small town in Virginia. There father Jim (Rainn Wilson), mother Jeanne (Patricia Arquette) and teen daughter Aurelie (Kira McLean) work to adapt to their new surroundings.

In particular, Aurelie struggles, and she believes if she updates her hairstyle, she’ll gain popularity. Her new curly ‘do goes horribly wrong, though, and creates more woes that she needs to confront.

Going into Permanent, I didn’t expect much. I thought it could offer a decent take on the “coming of age” comedy with a period/nostalgic feel.

I guess the filmmakers aspire to provide that kind of movie, but Permanent fails. Disjointed, sloppy and borderline pointless, the movie goes nowhere.

Permanent comes with an oddly crafted script, one that drops in “scene situations” without much obvious logic or clarity. It delights in various semi-useless themes – like Jim’s hairpiece – and skips from one idea to another willy-nilly.

Yes, Permanent focuses primarily on Aurelie’s struggles to adjust and deal with her bad hair, but those elements hop around so much that they don’t really work. Characters change for no logical reason and the whole enterprise feels awkward and convoluted.

Even the film’s inspirations lack consistency. While a lot of the movie follows a bargain basement Coen feel, it can go into Wes Anderson territory at times. These influences feel gratuitous and don’t help make this a coherent movie.

Don’t expect to invest in any of the characters, as all seem off-putting. I guess we’re supposed to bond with Aurelie, but she comes off as so clueless and annoying that we don’t. Her parents present cartoony, sub-moronic personalities that never allow us to connect with them either.

Even at a mere 93 minutes, Permanent feels long, mainly because it’s so insistently disjointed and pointless. Essentially a random collection of vaguely comedic sections, the movie flops in almost all possible ways.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

Permanent appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a largely good image.

For the most part, sharpness satisfied. Occasional wide shots tended to be a bit iffy, but the majority of the flick demonstrated decent delineation and clarity.

I noticed no shimmering, jaggies or edge enhancement. The image remained clean and lacked any source defects.

Colors were subdued. The movie preferred a teal and amber feel that felt fine for the material as depicted.

Blacks were dark and tight, and shadows offered generally solid delineation, though a few interiors could be a bit dim. Still, this was usually an appealing presentation.

Similar thoughts greeted the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Permanent, as it offered a decent but not great auditory experience. Sound quality was always good, at least.

Music worked the best, as the score and songs demonstrated nice range and depth. Effects didn’t play a major role, but they seemed acceptably clear and accurate, while speech was distinctive and natural.

The soundscape lacked much to impress. Music dominated, as songs/score came from all around the spectrum.

Effects had less to do, as they focused the realm of general environment and presented an acceptable sense of place. Still, the mix did what it needed to do for a film of this sort.

A few minor extras appear here, and we find a featurette called Getting Permanent. It runs three minutes, 12 seconds and includes comments from actor Rainn Wilson. He throws out generic thoughts about the movie in this puff piece.

Virginia Is For Lovers lasts one minute, 10 seconds and gives us a comedic promo with Wilson. He sells us on Virginia in this moderately amusing clip.

Three Deleted/Alternate Scenes take up a total of six minutes, five seconds. The first offers the only true new scene, as it presents Aurelie’s attempts to barter for work on her hair.

The other two extend/alter existing sequences. The hair salon segment isn’t particularly interesting, but it’s more compelling than the other two.

The disc opens with ads for Please Stand By, The Final Year and 2:22. We also get a trailer for Permanent.

A stab at period comedy, Permanent aspires to a level of cleverness and insight that it can’t achieve. Cartoony, silly and stupid, the movie lacks purpose and coherence. The Blu-ray brings us generally good picture and audio with a few modest supplements. Skip this insufferable stinker.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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