Dazed and Confused (1993)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
|Year Of Production||1993|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (44:02)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Richard Linklater|
Universal Pictures Home Video
Joey Lauren Adams
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Smoking||Yes, Significant tobacco and drug use|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Set in 1976, on May 28th to be precise, the film is replete with long hair, flared jeans, David Soul style specs and revolting shirts. Unsurprisingly, given the title, alcohol and marijuana play a significant supporting role. The plot tracks the youngsters as they try and evade the older bullies, who are also busy trying and "get it on" with the hip chicks.
There is very little character development, and the story goes nowhere in particular, meandering through the day as Freshmen are chased, hippy girls are chaste, and "doobies" aplenty are smoked. The cast contains some future stars, with a chunky Ben Affleck playing the bully Fred O'Bannion who has been held back a year, Milla Jovovich looking beautiful as always, and Matthew McConaughey as the former student who is unable to let go of these juvenile high school traditions. For my money, the best performance by far is given by Mitch (the hilariously named Wiley Wiggins), who is utterly believable as the wide-eyed Freshman, taken under the wing of Randall "Pink" Floyd (well acted by Jason London). Randall is a star quarterback and is the centre of a slight sub-plot, concerning the pressure from Coach Conrad (Terry Mross) to sign a "pledge" not to use alcohol or drugs during the upcoming football season.
Producer, writer and director Richard Linklater seems content to reflect "how it was" for a generation of American teenagers, rather than making any particular statement about what it all meant. He achieves this purpose, in that the period feel is quite well evoked. While many of the traditions say nothing personal to me, I can believe that they were typical of that time and place. Dazed and Confused is atmospheric no doubt, but it is a shame that there wasn't more of a point to the movie - a wasted opportunity. The film feels like an extended episode of the television series "That '70s Show", without the witty script, quality of acting or level of humour.
Given its age, the film is quite sharp, with no major grain issues. Blacks are solid and deep with no low-level noise evident.
Colours are generally clean and clear, albeit with a slightly cold tone at times. Given the period setting for the film, there are plenty of colourful shirts amongst the endless sea of blue jeans. Skin tones look natural and there is no evidence of colour bleed.
The transfer has very few MPEG artefacts. Film-to-video artefacts are minor and not distracting unless you look quite hard. Aliasing can be seen on the usual suspects of car chrome and Venetian blinds (for example at 39:05). Edge enhancement is never a problem.
Film artefacts are quite common, with specks briefly appearing on screen, but they were not too distracting.
There are eight subtitle tracks. On watching the English subtitles it is noticeable that they do not follow the dialogue verbatim, often missing minor dialogue - and sometimes more substantial phrases. Generally they suffice.
This is an RDSL disc with the layer change present at 44:02, which causes a slight pause, but is quite well placed at a scene transition.
The main audio is a funky Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack in English recorded at 448 kbps. Additionally, there are French, German, Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks available, recorded at 384 kbps. Listening to the main English soundtrack the dialogue was almost always clear - with only a couple of minor issues related to characters either shouting ("Air Raid!" during the female hazing scene) or slurring due to the effects of intoxication. Audio sync was only noted to be a minor issue on two occasions at 8:41 and 11:01.
The music is certainly a highlight of the movie, with a rocking soundtrack contributing immeasurably to the 70s feel. The tunes have been very well selected to match the on-screen action and provide a great prop for the thin plot. The golden oldies include tracks by Bob Dylan, Deep Purple, War, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper. The soundtrack is available spread across two CDs and for fans of the movie they would probably make a worthwhile purchase.
The surround channels were highly active thanks to the frequent rock numbers and an enveloping soundstage is present through much of the movie - particularly when the music is playing.
The subwoofer was heavily used for the rock tracks and occasionally for low-frequency effects such as during the baseball scene at 31:00.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 DVD misses out on:
Based on the superior Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and the anamorphic enhancement, the Region 4 disc would appear to be the better choice.
Post Script: a reader of this review informs me that the Region 1 DVD, despite what it says on the cover, contains neither Production Notes nor Biographies.
The video quality is good.
The audio quality is good, with a great rock soundtrack.
There are no real extras to speak of.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|