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The Lost Boys(1987)
Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire. Sam and his older brother Michael are all-American teens with all-American interests. But after they move with their mother to peaceful Santa Carla, California, things mysteriously begin to change. Michael's not himself lately, and Mom's not going to like what he's turning into.
For more about The Lost Boys and the The Lost Boys Blu-ray release, see the The Lost Boys Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on July 28, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Kiefer Sutherland
Director: Joel Schumacher
» See full cast & crew
The Lost Boys Blu-ray Review
Joel Schumacher's fantastic 80s Vampire film arrives on Blu-ray high definition.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, July 28, 2008
My own brother...a Vampire! You wait until mom finds out, buddy!
People are strange. Some strangers aren't people. The residents of Santa Carla, California, aren't afraid to be strange or unique — not in any human sort of way. What the people of Santa Carla, California do fear are the odd denizens who come out at night, those fanged avoiders of mirrors and garlic who are more responsible than any living, breathing individual psycho or gang for turning Santa Carla into the "murder capital of the world." You are not of this earth if you do not already realize that the death-dealing, bloodsucking freaks of nature responsible for Santa Clara's statistical distinction are Vampires, and the Vampires, of course, are The Lost Boys. In Santa Carla, teenage Vampires, decidedly products of the 1980s, as evidenced by their big hair, hot motorcycles, and a too-cool-for-school (maybe night school would more suit their lifestyle) attitude — as well as their ability to fly and their simple tastes (fresh, please, and straight from the neck, if you don't mind) — are the most fearless and wild bunch in town. Did they overhear you complain that their group disrespects the laws governing society and is too raucous to stay on the Boardwalk with the decent folk? Fine. Those rascally heathens will leave, but they'll be back to drain you, literally, leaving you five to six quarts short and then pronouncing you were good to the last drop. The people of Santa Carla might not be afraid to be strange or unique, but the city's undead population might be the death of the city. Yes, people are strange. I suppose that is why they would continue to move to Santa Carla, California, the "murder capital of the world."
Michael (Jason Patric, In the Valley of Elah), Sam (Corey Haim, License to Drive), and their mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest, Edward Scissorhands) move from Phoenix, Arizona, to Santa Carla, California. It's a family arrangement, as they move to Santa Carla to live with Michael and Sam's eccentric grandfather (Barnard Hughes, TRON). Not unlike most people who relocate, it's all the family can do to try and fit into their new surroundings, which on the inside seems nothing more than Grandpa's creepy house without a television, and on the outside the city's bright, bustling boardwalk. It is on the boardwalk that their mother, Lucy, finds employment at a video store run by the gentle Max (Edward Herrmann, Reds). It is on the boardwalk that Sam wanders into the local comic shop and meets the Frog Brothers, Edgar (Corey Feldman, Blown Away) and Alan (Jamison Newlander, The Blob). And, it is on the boardwalk that Michael falls for a local girl, Star (Jami Gertz, Twister), but Star, we learn, seems to have a . . . well, a something, named David (Kiefer Sutherland, Phone Booth). Now, with the triangle of Michael, Star, and David firmly established, the story begins to pulsate like a carotid artery on steroids.
Despite it being one of my favorite genres, there is no denying that Vampire films, over the years, have become a bit long in the tooth. Even today, some 20 years after the film's theatrical release, The Lost Boys remains a seminal work in this storied genre, thanks in large part to the melding of terror and humor that the film effortlessly weaves together in a manner that, still today, has not quite been matched in the horror genre. The film's primary protagonists and antagonists (Michael and David) are decidedly serious in tone and actions, but many of the film's secondary lead characters, namely Sam and the Frog Brothers, bring a unique humor to every scene they are in, both lightening the mood and creating several memorable, quotable characters. The Frog Brothers are the muscle of the movie, Rambo wannabes. They are the local Vampire slayers who glean their knowledge from the various Vampire-centric comic books strewn throughout their store. They battle the forces of "los Vampiros" in the name of "truth, justice, and the American way", but when push comes to shove, however, they may be the most cowardly of anyone in Santa Carla, which is understandable when we consider that, through most of the movie, only they can truly comprehend the deadly force that is the hive of Vampires that infests Santa Carla. Indeed, they are the epitome of "the phony tough and the crazy brave". Sam, as the brother of a newly created bloodsucker, deals with the pressure of relating to the undead, relying on his better senses to keep himself, and his brother, alive and out of trouble until the bitter end, and protecting him from the overzealous Frog Brothers. "I'll pray I'll never need to call you," Sam tells the brothers upon learning what it is they really do when their comic shop is closed, in a perfectly deadpan, "I cannot believe these clowns," sort of way.
The Lost Boys Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Lost Boys makes its Blu-ray debut in a solid 1080p, 2.40:1 video transfer. This isn't the sharpest, clearest, most detailed image I've ever seen, but it looks rather nice and remains consistent with the previous editions I've seen over the years. I always felt the newer DVD edition of the film offered a good upconverted image, and this edition is an improvement. Much of the image is significantly deeper and better detailed. A good example is when the family first arrives at Grandpa's house. Colors are more vibrant, detail is significantly improved both in clothing and in the various wooden pieces seen outside of the house. Still, the image is soft and medium-wide shots lack punch, clarity, detail, and vibrancy. Backgrounds are soft as a rule, to the point of being excessively blurry on occasion, and there is a lack of dimensionality to the image. Fine detail in faces is rather low, too. Various close-ups almost look airbrushed. Nary a pore, blemish, or line is to be seen on human faces. Some scenes are worse offenders than others, but generally, I was disappointed with this aspect of the transfer. Black levels are solid, deep, and offer a true black that contrasts well with the varied color schemes in the movie, particularly reds and the many-colored lights of the Santa Carla boardwalk. While the improvement over the standard definition DVD is palpable, I wouldn't label the upgrade as overly substantial, either.
The Lost Boys Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Lost Boys offers listeners a myriad of audio and subtitle options on this 50GB Blu-ray disc, headlined by a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack. There is a bit of a harsh edge to the sound, but dynamics and clarity don't suffer as a result. If this track is anything it is generally and remarkably loud. The cover version of the Doors' People Are Strange proves to be a wonderful listening experience, and the song is the perfect compliment to the varied shots of the locals around Santa Carla at the beginning, and also a wonderful epilogue at film's conclusion. The song is the heart and soul of the movie, and I've never heard it sound better than it does here. Some dialogue has a muffled feel to it. There is never an issue of discernment or volume, but it isn't quite as crisp as expected. There is more of a subtle surround presence rather than a dynamic one. The rear channels are rarely engaged in overdrive, but they make their presence known on occasion, and add some flair to a mostly front heavy but nevertheless engaging soundtrack. Much the same can be said for the low frequency effects channel. You won't feel any deep, chair-rattling lows during this movie, but there is a still a hefty punch when called upon. The Lost Boys makes up for what it lacks in sonic authority and activity in the pure listening enjoyment via the various tunes and effects heard during the film.
The Lost Boys Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Fans of The Lost Boys should be excited about sinking their teeth into this feature-packed edition of Joel Schumacher's legendary Vampire film. A commentary track with the director leads things off. Schumacher provides a solid commentary track that flows well and entertains from beginning to end. He goes fairly in-depth in his discussion of the budget constraints on the film and the way he worked around them, eschewing a special effects-laden film for only two green screen shots and creating most of the film's effects in-camera. The influence of Jim Morrison's band "The Doors" is discussed and why the Vampires might be fans of their work. Schumacher also intertwines more basic information on the excellent work of the cast, discussions of the various sets used in the film, and the staying power of the film and its continued popularity even today. 'The Lost Boys': A Retrospective (480p, 24:00) is a turn-back-the-clock piece that features interviews with Schumacher, producer Richard Donner, cinematographer Michael Chapman, and various members of the cast including Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, and Corey Feldman. The piece delves into the history of the production, including the transition from Donner to Schumacher as director, the casting of the film, the original ideas for the Star character, and more. Schumacher repeats some information between this piece and the commentary, but there are some unique ideas that are exclusive to one or the other, and both are worth watching.
Inside the Vampires' Cave is a four-part feature. A Director's Vision (480p, 6:57) features more interview clips with Joel Schumacher. He further describes the evolution of the story from a family-friendly, feel-good film to the final version we now enjoy. More interview clips with Donner, Sutherland, and others are included. Comedy vs. Horror (480p, 4:44) examines the melding of horror, suspense, and comedy in the film, and the reservations the studio bigwigs had concerning this mixture of styles. Fresh Blood: A New Look At Vampires (480p, 4:23) delves deeper into the mythos of the Vampire, the sensuality of the Vampire, and the appeal of the Vampire lifestyle. 'The Lost Boys' Sequel? (480p, 2:25) features cast and crew discussing ideas for possible sequels, but no mention is made of Lost Boys: The Tribe.
Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannom (480p, 14:02) is an in-depth look at the make-up used in the film, and Cannom provides some background information on his career. Haimster and Feldog: The Story of the 2 Coreys (480p, 4:30) is a brief, entertaining look at this legendary pairing, going back to their auditioning for the same role in The Goonies and their off-screen friendship. Multi-Angle Commentary With Corey Haim, Corey Feldman, and Jamison Newlander (480p, 18:23), unfortunately, is not a full-length track. Instead, select scenes are available and selecting the "angle" button on your remote will allow viewers to see the three actors commenting on the scenes. The Lost Scenes (480p, 15:16) is a collection of deleted scenes. The Vampires' Photo Gallery (1080i) is a series of nearly 80 still photographs. A World of Vampires is an interactive map that allows us to learn about vampire legends from around the world. Concluding the special features are a music video entitled Lost in the Shadows (480p, 4:34) by Lou Gramm, and the film's theatrical trailer (480p, 1:25).
The Lost Boys Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
A wonderful atmosphere, a good sense of humor, great acting, and several memorable characters make The Lost Boys one of the best Vampire movies out there. This is yet another example, much like The Phantom of the Opera, that demonstrates Joel Schumacher's excellent eye for directing good movies, making his Batman flicks the exception to the rule. Warner Brothers' release of this classic film to Blu-ray is solid, but ultimately uninspiring. The best thing about the release is the addition of the lossless audio track. While the video quality is fine, it did not "wow" me. The in-depth supplements are entertaining and worth checking out, particularly for anyone who enjoys this movie. The movie itself comes highly recommended, as does this Blu-ray for anyone without a newer copy of The Lost Boys on DVD. Those who already own the latest standard-definition copy may want to hold off on purchasing this disc until it is reduced in price.
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If you listen very carefully you can hear the sound of hundreds of thousands of wallets screaming for mercy. The biggest studio offering today comes from Paramount who have decided to issues six highly anticipated "make-up" titles for Blu-ray - including the blockbuster ...
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