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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Howard Deutch
Cast:
Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy
Writing Credits:
John Hughes

Synopsis:
A poor girl must choose between the affections of dating her childhood sweetheart or a rich but sensitive playboy.

Box Office:
Budget:
$9 million.
Opening Weekend
$6,065,870 on 827 screens.
Domestic Gross
$40,471,663.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
German Dolby 2.0
French Dolby 1.0
Japanese Dolby 2.0
Subtitles:
English
German
French
Japanese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
German
French
Japanese

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 6/16/2020

Bonus:
• “Filmmaker Focus” Featurette
• Isolated Score
• Original Ending
• Trailer


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Pretty In Pink (Paramount Presents Edition) [Blu-Ray] (1986)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 10, 2020)

After the success of 1984’s 16 Candles and 1985’s Breakfast Club, filmmaker John Hughes returned to the teen angst well with 1986’s Pretty in Pink. The film introduces us to high school senior Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald).

She lives with her boozehound, underachieving dad Jack (Harry Dean Stanton) and maintains her own quirky sense of individuality at school. She debates whether she wants to attend the upcoming prom, an issue complicated since most of the guys she attracts aren’t her type. Nerdy Duckie Dale (Jon Cryer) crushes on her, but she doesn’t feel any sizzle for him, and smarmy Steff (James Spader) just wants to use her for sex.

Into her life steps rich kid Blane McDonnagh (Andrew McCarthy). They share a few fleeting moments but don’t get a chance to truly connect.

When they finally make a date, Andie feels too embarrassed by her impoverished home life to have him pick her up there. The film follows their attempts to overcome the rich vs. poor peer pressures that affect their relationship, and we also see what their interactions do to Duckie and some others.

Since I was in my teens when Hughes’ flicks hit it big, I was a part of their basic target audience. This means that if nothing else comes from screenings of his works decades later, I should probably dig them for basic nostalgia value. Unfortunately, the dull and forgettable Pink can’t even muster that level of interest from me.

Maybe the problem stems from the fact that Pink shoots for more of a feminine audience. I suppose this acts as a chick flick fantasy for all the quirky girls who can maintain the dream that they can be themselves, beat the generic blonde girls and get the smart, sensitive cute boy. I don’t know if this ever happens in real life, but those misfit babes sure eat up this tripe.

Frankly, I could never figure out why all these guys feel so attracted to Andie. I guess I understand Duckie since he’s a weirdo, but the others think she’s way hotter than she really is.

Andie’s not particularly good-looking, and she dresses like a New Wave bag lady. I certainly see no particularly memorable or endearing personality traits in Andie, so we have to believe that her looks and her looks alone lure in the non-Duckies of the world. I just find that tough to accept.

I hate to admit it, but I identify more with Duckie than anyone else in the movie. That means I should like him the most, but honestly, I can’t stand the little freak.

Duckie’s far too annoying to be the lovable loser. He feels like an artificial cinematic creation and he just gets on my nerves.

I really grew to hate him as the film progressed. Duckie’s charmless and irritating, issues exemplified by the long, pointless bit in which he lip-synchs to “Try a Little Tenderness”.

Pink is as Eighties as it gets. From the music, fashions, and general style, it hasn’t aged particularly well, so it serves as little more than an exercise in nostalgia.

Maybe I’m just too far from my high school years to connect to this kind of thing, but I’d think that should carry it to some degree. Unfortunately, we just get unmemorable characters without much of interest to move along the plot.

Footnote 1: if you want to see the one scene that most dates the movie, head to chapter 13 to check out Iona’s (Annie Potts) “modern” outfit. She’s another one with a quirky sense of fashion, so we’re supposed to think she looks great when she goes Eighties. This is actually the worst look she sports at any time during the movie, a fact that makes the scene laughable.

Footnote 2: Pink presents a few interesting glimpses of actors who’d go on to bigger things later. Andrew “Dice” Clay shows up as the nightclub bouncer, and Gina Gershon plays a student.

Margaret Colin also pops up as a teacher and Kristy Swanson is the girl who ends up with Duckie. No, none of these folks became enormo-stars, but it’s fun to check them out in these small parts.


The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

Pretty in Pink appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a fairly good representation of a dated source.

Sharpness varied but usually seemed well-depicted. Interiors could lean a bit soft, but the majority of the flick brought nice delineation and accuracy.

I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects. Edge haloes and print flaws created no concerns. <:P> Because much of the movie came with ample grain, I didn’t suspect much noise reduction – except perhaps during club shots. These low-light elements tended to come across as softer and less grainy than much of the rest of the film, so we might’ve gotten some noise reduction. Still, the presentation showed enough grain in general that any potential noise reduction was infrequent and not egregious, as even those club elements presented some grain.

Colors varied but usually appeared fairly bright and vivid. Those club scenes looked a bit muddy, but they remained the exception to the rule, as most of the hues felt pretty lively.

Blacks mostly looked pretty deep – except for those problematic club interiors – and shadows followed the same pattern. Despite some minor issues, this largely felt like a quality presentation.

Given its focus on characters, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack became decent and not much more. The forward spectrum dominated and showed some decent stereo imaging.

The music spread cleanly across the front speakers, and I also heard occasional use of discrete effects. These panned relatively well across the channels, and the forward audio seemed cleanly integrated.

The surrounds bolstered the music and added some effects as well. Those brought modest reinforcement of environmental material, so they didn’t contribute a lot, but they gave us a bit of involvement.

Audio quality showed its age but seemed more than adequate. Though lines occasionally felt a little reedy, they always remained intelligible and they lacked prominent issues like edginess.

Music varied on the source – mainly due to different production styles for the songs – but these components mostly seemed lively and full. Though effects played a modest role, they appeared accurate and without overt flaws. While not a memorable soundtrack, this became a perfectly acceptable mix for a 34-year-old comedy/drama.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the special edition from 2006? The lossless audio felt more involving and concise, so even with the limitations of the source, the DTS-HD MA track became superior.

I felt the same about visuals, as despite the movie’s inherent “80s look”, the Blu-ray became a clear improvement. The BD seemed more accurate and showed stronger colors and cleanliness. Expect a good step in both visual and auditory quality from the Blu-ray.

We get a mix of old and new extras here. In the “new” category comes Filmmaker Focus, a seven-minute, 38-second chat with director Howard Deutch.

Here we learn about how he got the movie as well as working with John Hughes and the cast, reactions to the film and the alternate ending. Deutch brings some decent notes but “Focus” seems too short to tell us much.

A look at deleted material shows up via The Lost Dance: The Original Ending (12:15). It includes remarks from Deutch, producer Lauren Shuler Donner and actors Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Molly Ringwald and Annie Potts.

We hear about the nature of the original ending and learn about its shoot along why the filmmakers dropped it. We also get remarks about the reshoot for the ending actually used in the film.

I’d have liked to see the actual footage of the cut ending, but we find out so much about it that we don’t lose much by not watching it. “Dance” covers the subject well.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find an isolated score. It presents the movie’s music via a lossy Dolby Stereo track. It’s a decent bonus but I’d like it more if it came in a lossless version.

Note that the Blu-ray loses a lot of extras from the 2006 Collector’s Edition. That’s typical for the 2020 “Paramount Presents” line of Blu-rays, and it stinks. The “Paramount Presents” line could and should become the definitive versions of these films, but the absence of so many existing supplements prevents that.

In the 1980s, John Hughes milked teen drama for all it was worth, but that doesn’t mean he did so with consistent success. As someone who went to high school in that era, I should enjoy this nonsense if just due to my memories, but Pretty in Pink seems so overwrought and cheesy that I find it tough to take. The Blu-ray offers dated but generally good picture and audio but it skimps on bonus materials. For the film presentation, fans will want the Blu-ray, but they’ll need to keep the old DVD to enjoy most of the existing supplements.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of PRETTY IN PINK

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