"The Lost Boys" is terrific cult flavored pop entertainment. Itís a classic piece of 80s Americana, where kids were the heroes in R-rated fare and MTV ruled the airwaves.
The Lost Boys (1987, Blu-ray)
Directors: Joel Schumacher
Producers: Richard Donner
Writers: Janice Fischer, James Jeremias and Jeffrey Boam
Features: * Commentary * Documentary * Featurettes * Music Video * Trailer * Photo Gallery * Multi-Angle Video Commentary * Deleted Material
Jason Patric ... Michael Emerson
Corey Haim ... Sam Emerson
Dianne Wiest ... Lucy Emerson
Barnard Hughes ... Grandpa
Edward Herrmann ... Max
Kiefer Sutherland ... David
Jami Gertz ... Star
Corey Feldman ... Edgar Frog
Jamison Newlander ... Alan Frog
Brooke McCarter ... Paul
Billy Wirth ... Dwayne
Alex Winter ... Marko
The Lost Boys Blu-ray Review
My wife and I have only two guilty reality show pleasures. The first is the inconsistent, terribly plotted "Last Comic Standing," a show that manages to cheapen the act of stand-up comedy by adding crappy "reality"-type drama. At least it showcases a few dozen performances from todayís top up-and-coming acts. The second is A&Eís "The Two Coreys," a show that deals with the life and times of "The Lost Boys" stars, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman.
The first season of "The Two Coreys" was patently awful. The basic premise took these two has-been icons and paired them together in a faux "Odd Couple"-type environment. The show proved modestly fun entertainment, as dumb as it was. It was particularly fun to watch both Coreys interact in the same, lighthearted manner as they did back in the 80s. It was like watching two old friends who were finally with us again after years away.
But, there was a falling out between the two Coreys and things got a little rough. The second season of the show is not the plucky comedy that the first season was. Instead, the show focuses more of the actual reality of both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. Frankly, itís not funny, but itís also something the first season wasnít: itís good. As it turns out, the true reality of these former heartthrobsí lives is far more compelling for audiences. Haim is a struggling ex-drug addict who still has demons in every corner and Feldman in trying to regain the great stride he once had, but faltering more often than not.
The second season of the show also deals with the pairís encounter on the set of "The Lost Boys: The Tribe," a long awaited sequel to the cult hit, "The Lost Boys," which features to duo in glorified cameo form. It would seem that "The Two Coreys" stands as not only a testament to two actors who have honestly struggled with their careers and lives but as a stepping stone for their return, how triumphant a return that may be is up to them, and up to us.
Itís odd that "The Lost Boys" is now more than twenty years old. I still remember the first time I watched it. I was just a kid and wasnít allowed to watch R-rated films. I ended up getting up late at night and sneaking into the kitchen to watch the film in secret during a late-night showing on HBO. The volume was down low, nearly inaudible, which just added to the terror of the film.
Years later I re-watched "The Lost Boys" to discover that it wasnít scary at all. Instead, the film is an off-color comedy with minor shades of horror. But even though it wasnít scary anymore, the film still held together as a different being. "The Lost Boys" is a fantastic piece of pop entertainment--a testament to a time where big hair, big glasses and jazzy rock music was king. This was a vampire tale infused with the MTV generation.
The film also holds decent camp value. The Frog brothers (played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) are absolutely hysterical, stealing every scene away from the vampire counterparts. The Grandfatherís final scene, revealing that heís known about the vampires the entire time, is also a hoot. Then thereís Haimís character--who Iím pretty sure was meant to be gay. His room is decked out with weird 80s memorabilia and half naked posters of guys. His attire is also a bit feminine throughout, as is his performance. Thereís even a weird bathing sequence where heís taking a bubble bath and singing to himself. Itís just odd. Perhaps Haimís character was meant to be a metaphor for director Joel Schumacherís own youth. Who knows? All of this just adds value to this highly dated flick.
On "The Two Coreys" both Haim and Feldman comment about how "The Lost Boys" was basically their peak and many have mocked such a statement, but in reality, "The Lost Boys" is terrific cult flavored pop entertainment. Itís a classic piece of 80s Americana, where kids were the heroes in R-rated fare and MTV ruled the airwaves. It also stands as one of the strangest, and strangely cool, vampire films ever made. Who didnít want to be a Lost Boy back in Ď87?
For newcomers looking for solid, scary vampire fare, "The Lost Boys" might not do it for you. Itís cheesy, funny and hardly scary at all. Cult fans and 80s enthusiasts, however, will devour this as the tasty entertainment itís designed to be. Letís hope that the sequel, "The Lost Boys: The Tribe" is at least half as good as this film. Hopefully it will stand as the rising return to fame for the two Coreyís, and not the falling star that marks the end of their spiraling careers.
Film Report Card:
Entertainment Value: B+
Film Value: B-
Warner presents "The Lost Boys" with a strikingly solid, 2.35:1 widescreen at 1080p/VC-1 transfer stretched across a BD50 disc. The DVD was never particularly great, marred by dust and a murky hue that clouded most the films darker sequences. This Blu-ray edition seems to have been minted from a different source as the transfer is much better. Gone is the murkiness of the old DVD. Some dust remains, but the print is considerably cleaner here than itís ever been before. The print is also solidly sharp, looking almost like an entirely new film. Depth is well replicated with spot-on colors and rich, deep blacks. Fleshtones are also natural and clean. This film seemingly used that rough, spotty, cloudy 80s film stock I mention in a lot of my reviews, but Warner somehow manages to clean it up. It still rears its ugly head from time to time, but this is easily one of Warnerís best catalog efforts in a long while.
Warner delivers a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. While the transfer is stunning, the audio leaves little to be desired. The film was well designed in 80s, but it just doesnít stand up against todayís more organic mixes. Surround usage is aggressive, but hollow and tinty. The filmís score is well mixed, but it sounds often too loud and flat. Dialogue is clean and clear, however. I wish this track would have been reworked for this release, but sadly, it wasnít.
Warner manages to port over all the special features from the two-disc special edition DVD released a few years back. Sadly, they miss the mark with some of the goodies, opting to bypass an HD-exclusive picture-in-picture track, which would have worked well given the material thatís presented. All of the material is shown in 480p.
ē Commentary -- Director Joel Schumacher discusses the filmís development and release, but heís not a particularly engaging commentator. Ultimately, it would have been nice to hear some of the cast paired with Schumacher to really drive this track into the Ďmust listení category. As it stands, this oneís for fans only.
ē Documentary: "The Lost Boys: A Retrospective" -- This 25 minute documentary culls together a decent assortment of the filmís performers, but misses a few key players like Jason Patric. Still, if you love this movie, this is a must-watch goodie.
ē Featurettes -- Several notable features that examine the film and its cultural impact as well as vampire facts, a featurette about Corey Haim and Corey Feldman and a dated discussion about a possible sequel. Oddly, thereís no preview for the sequel or even a featurette promoting it.
ē Multi-Angle Video Commentary -- This is not as cool as it sounds. Basically there are key scenes where the two Coreyís discuss their characters and what influenced them. It proves to be embarrassing for everyone involved. Sadly, most of the bonus our two stars end up recounting exactly whatís going on on-screen and adding cheap commentary and bad analogy. This would have made for an excellent PiP HD-exclusive feature, but as a stand-alone itís just too lame.
ē Deleted Material -- Eighteen sequences total, these deleted bits would have added about 12 minutes to the filmís running time. Frankly, I enjoyed a lot of these bits and wish I could have seen some of then in an extended cut.
ē Trailer, Music Video and Photo Gallery -- The filmís theatrical trailer as well as a music video from Lou Gramm and a series of roughly 80 stills round out this solid set.
The film is presented in a blue "Elite" case and is pretty consistent with newer Warner titles. Oddly, the text font used for "The Lost Boys" has been annoyingly embossed, which makes the presentation look a tad cheap.
Vampires, rock music, MTV-angst, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman--what could make for a better midnight screening? "The Lost Boys" is pure entertainment from minute one. Itís not a great film, but it succeeds in being a great piece of 80s pulp cinema. The Blu-ray presentation delivers the best experience of this film yet, topping the DVD and the original theatrical showing.
Blu-ray Report Card:
HD Content: N/A
Recommendation: Fans should buy this. Other might want to rent it first.
On Blu-ray disc: July 29, 2008.
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----R. L. Shaffer