One Crazy Summer (1986) (NTSC)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 11-Jun-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Savage Steve Holland, Bobcat Goldthwait & Curtis Armstrong
Theatrical Trailer-1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 2.0 (1:28)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 93:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4 Directed By Savage Steve Holland
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring John Cusack
Demi Moore
Curtis Armstrong
Bobcat Goldthwait
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Cory Lerios


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Chinese
Thai
Korean
Chinese Audio Commentary
Korean Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The 1980's might well have seen some of the greatest films ever released onto the big screen, but it was also the decade that was almost dominated by that most derisible genre of film: the teen comedy. In amongst the myriad of shockers, there were very few of these films that actually attained any hint of decency about them. One of the few that I really can abide returning to with any degree of regularity is One Crazy Summer. Why? D*** good question! Probably because it starred Demi Moore back when she was about the hottest thing on the planet.

    The rather loose story in this effort is fairly simple. Budding cartoonist, and recent high school graduate, Hoops McCann (John Cusack) needs to get away for the summer, so with his friend George Calamari (Joel Murray) heads off to Nantucket for a bit of R'n'R. Along the way Hoops happens to aid singer Cassandra Eldridge (Demi Moore) and thus they arrive on the island for a fun-filled summer. Now Hoops is in search of inspiration for his project to get into art school, and the subject is love. There's nothing like long summer days, skimpy bikinis and hot women to get love flowing - or not, as the case is more than likely to be with the weirdoes that George and thus Hoops hang around with. Weirdoes such as Egg Stork (Bobcat Goldthwait), his twin brother Clay and Ack Ack Raymond (Curtis Armstrong). Whilst the boys have somewhat base things on their minds, Cassandra has more important things on her mind - the death of her grandfather, the need to raise $3,000 in a week to pay off the outstanding mortgage on his home and the unfettered lusting of developer Aquilla Beckerstead after that self same property. Starting to see where this is headed? Throw into the mix the over-privileged son Ted and his cronies and this is about as predictable as a two bob watch. Everything boils down to a little plot hatched with respect of the Nantucket Regatta, which is always won by Ted Beckerstead. Did we forget to mention that Hoops is not too enamoured with the old briny?

    There is nothing truly original here at all, and the acting on offer is nothing to write home about (as an actor, Demi Moore makes a fine singer...), but for some daft reason it all works, in no small part due to the slightly less obnoxious, in-your-face puerility of the comedy. The result is one of the better teen comedies of the 1980's and a film that remains an easy-on-the-brain experience nearly twenty years later. A bit of fun for the times when you have to switch off the brain.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Insert your favourite rant about recycled NTSC Region 4 transfers here:

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. By my recollection, the theatrical ratio was 1.85:1, although the Internet Movie Database does give it as 2.35:1.

    Given the nature of the film and the age that spawned it, there was a degree of bother approaching the review session. In the final analysis, it is not the greatest transfer you will ever see but it does the job pretty well. This sort of fits the serviceable nature of the entire package quite well. Definition is a little on the soft side in general, with a slight graininess that is almost certainly inherent in the source material. The slight graininess is nothing bothersome, and you soon adjust to the slightly soft nature overall and the not-quite impressive clarity throughout. There are occasional high points where sharpness becomes very decent. Shadow detail is pretty good and far better than the average teen comedy of the 1980's (at least to my recollection).

    The colours actually come up quite well overall, and are far and away the best part of the transfer. Generally nicely saturated and at times quite colourful - if not what I would call really vibrant - this is very pleasing on the eye overall. Nothing at all to really complain about and certainly nothing in the way of over saturation.

    There were no obvious MPEG artefacts in the transfer, with some motion instability probably reflecting the source material as opposed to introduced problems. There is nothing really much in the way of film-to-video artefacts in the transfer either. The only real issues are with aliasing, most notably in the boat around the 24:00 mark and in the car at 57:42. There is also something akin to pixelization in the ocean around 6:37. As befits a film of the age, there are plenty of film artefacts floating around, thankfully mainly of the small speck variety and nothing that really annoys.

    This is a single sided, single layered DVD.

    There is a small selection of subtitles on the DVD. The English option is pretty decent with little missing, and just the odd wrong word.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three soundtracks on the DVD, although none are hardly a great advertisement for the format. English and French language soundtracks in Dolby Digital 1.0 sound are kept company by an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. It is not often where you get the audio commentary in a "better" sound format than the film soundtrack itself. I of course stuck with the two English soundtracks, although given the lack of serious quality in general, checking out the French soundtrack probably would not have made much difference overall.

    The dialogue is at best decent and comes up reasonably in the soundtrack, but is by no means dazzling. There are no audio sync problems with the transfer.

    The original music score is from Cory Lerios. That is probably all that needs to be said about the music score. At least you get a truckload of quintessential 70's and 80's songs to fill out the music side of things, and in a far more memorable fashion.

    The soundtrack is hardly wonderful, with a rather boring and decidedly mono feel to it. This would have to be the original soundtrack as it is hardly registers on the dynamic scale and at times there is the hint of some blemishes here and there (hiss being the most obvious if you crank the sound up a bit too much to compensate for the anorexic sound). I guess this comes well and truly under the serviceable category at best.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    With these Region 4 rehashes of Region 1 releases, we have tended to expect bugger all in the way of extras. Basically anything that we get beyond a big fat zero has to be a huge bonus...

Menu

    Nothing terrific with some audio enhancement.

Filmographies - Cast and Crew

    Exceedingly brief and for a very small portion of the actual cast and crew - namely the two leads and the director.

Audio Commentary - Savage Steve Holland (Director), Bobcat Goldthwait and Curtis Armstrong (Actors)

    You can just about guess that this is going to be a bit of an off-the-wall effort, quite entertaining at times and thankfully quite listenable as Bobcat Goldthwait does not indulge in that excruciating screen voice that makes him so recognisable. Whilst there are a few pauses here and there, and the banter at times goes off the rails, by the end of the commentary there has certainly been enough behind the scenes stuff to have made the listen worthwhile.

Theatrical Trailer (1:28)

    It is probably a good thing that I know the film and don't need to be enticed into the cinema to watch this, as this is basically an appalling effort at a theatrical trailer, redeemed only by the fact that it is way different than the average effort. Technically, the presentation is very serviceable and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 that is 16x9 enhanced, and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Since this is the Region 1 release, there is obviously nothing to choose between the two regions.

Summary

    With the 1980's producing many a totally-forgettable teen comedy, it never ceases to amaze me that there were actually any that were remembered by the time we got to the 1990's. For some reason, One Crazy Summer is one of those films that I have always enjoyed. Whilst it is by no means a cinematic masterpiece, for some reason the comedy here is far less puerile than many a 1980's flick. With some decent talent - acting and otherwise - this is a mindless ninety minutes to while away a lazy evening with your brain in neutral.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

Other Reviews
MovieHole - Clint M
DVD Net - Amy F

Comments (Add) NONE