BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Heathers: 30th Anniversary SteelBook (1989) - Blu-ray Review

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  • Blu-ray Review

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Heathers (1988)

If you really want to understand Generation X, you should probably watch Heathers.  From the satire of in-crowds and outsiders to the absolute ridiculousness of blowing up a school in the midwest, that frustration with cliques and institutions is one that most of my generation can STILL identify with on very visceral levels.  

"Revisiting the high of Heathers brings back many memories and most of them ... involve trying to fit in"


 

Revisiting the high of Heathers brings back many memories and most of them, aided by the absolute takedown of American life during the Reagan and Bush era that this film provides, involve trying to fit in and then, after failing to get a foothold, throwing up the middle finger and walking straight out of school.

Welcome back then to Westerburg High School in Sherwood, Ohio.  This school - with the in-crowd consisting of Veronica (Winona Ryder), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk)and Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) - is a complete send-up of high school hierarchy.  They are the “Mean Girls” of the school, yet Veronica - longing to return to her nerdy ways - has a thing for red scrunchies and corn nuts, not to mention bad boys.

Screenwriter Daniel Waters (who also scripted Batman Returns, The Adventure of Ford Fairlane, and Hudson Hawk) and director Michael Lehmann (Meet the Applegates, Hudson Hawk) tapped into something insanely special with their dark comedy.  It is a strength that still resonates with audiences today, as evident by the SteelBook release of the movie on blu-ray by Lakeshore Entertainment and RLJE Films, who celebrate the High School social structures and the casualties of the three Heathers.

I imagine that Millennials and iGens (or whatever they are going to be called) would take offense to most of what Heathers and its handling of “extreme always seems to make an impression” has to say about teenage life.  They are, after all, used to dealing with their life with a screen in front of their face to shelter them from harmful words and bullets.  Yes, the gun-threatening, bomb-strapping world of J.D. (Christian Slater) is very much their everyday existence in high school these days.  So, the satire of a figure like him would be completely lost.  Heathers (1988)

When Carrie Lynn as Martha "Dumptruck" Dunnstock walks straight into oncoming traffic with a suicide note pinned to her and everyone calls her out as a wannabe popular girl is another scene that would disturb today’s youth.  There are many, in fact, because, before threatening to blow up the school, J.D. fires blanks at homophobic jocks, one Heather is poisoned, and all of the events are swarming toward pep rallies and proms.  

Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, Heathers is a cult classic. It is now on blu-ray with a brand-new commemorative disc full of great special features.

5/5 stars

Heathers (1988)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: RLJ Entertainment
Available on Blu-ray
- November 12, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

This 30th Anniversary release of Heathers from RLJE Films and Lakeshore Entertainment is a solid release and, spread out over two discs, the SteelBook looks fantastic, complete with new art.

Video: 

Presented in a crisp 1080p transfer, the new transfer is a curious thing.  The film is dominated with reds and greens that absolutely burst with color, but nothing really makes the journey to HD all that ravishingly.  It’s a cult film, for sure, but the simple backgrounds burst with new details and a nice level of clarity.  Black levels are solid and skin tones are natural.  Full of solid lines; they hold their edges. Shadows are defined, too.

Audio:

Again, nothing spectacular.  Audio wise, the DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo soundtrack is included as well as a 5.1 mix which amplifies the effects.  The dialogue is clear and the score/effects are never lost or hard to hear.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is an audio commentary.  See Special Features for the specifics.

Special Features:

  • There’s an ENTIRE disc full of NEW interviews and archival featurettes.  Dig in!
  • ALL NEW: The Legacy of Heathers: Interview with Director Michael Lehmann, Writer Daniel Waters
  • ALL NEW: The Nice Heather: Interview with actress Lisanne Falk
  • ALL NEW: Audio Interview with Composer David Newman, Director Michael Lehmann, and Writer Daniel Waters with Isolated Score Selections 
  • Return to Westerburg High
  • Swatch Dogs & The Diet Coke Heads 
  • Audio Commentary with Director Michael Lehmann, Producer Denise Di Novi and Writer Daniel Waters
  • Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

Heathers (1988)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
103 mins
Director
: Michael Lehmann
Writer:
Daniel Waters
Cast:
Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
Genre
: Comedy | Crime
Tagline:
A Killer Comedy.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Chaos is what killed the dinosaurs, darling"
Theatrical Distributor:
New World Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 31, 1989
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 12, 2019
Synopsis: In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Heathers (1988)

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