Before John Cusack was Edgar Alan Poe or confusing the hell out of people on twitter, he was the unmotivated, suicidal teen Lane Meyer in Better Off Dead. This dark, romantic comedy from 1985 was chock full of what made the 80s.. Singing Hamburgers, skiing, Curtis Armstrong (Booger: Revenge of the Nerds) as a wannabe drug addict who'd inhale just about anything including jelly & a crazy paperboy on a unflinching quest for $2. We follow Lane on his many failed attempts on his own life, the unhealthy obsession & break-up from girlfriend Beth, his dysfunctional relationship with his family to an exchange student lead revival & eventual snow packed redemption.. all the while with his constant run-ins with local Burger shop owner Rocco (Charles Mitchell: Porky's).

PICTURE:

VC-1 Encode 1080P

Presented in 1:78:1 (Original Ratio 1:85:1)

Better Off Dead's picture is about where you'd expect it to be, solid if not spectacular. The colours are hearty but not over done, finer detail is decent but can suffer from a little softness. But its a improvement from previous DVD releases & fans with the larger size screens will certainly benefit from its improved picture. Overall an enjoyable but not spectacular presentation.

[rating=3] and a half

SOUND:

DTS MASTER AUDIO 5.1, DTS MASTER AUDIO 2.0, FRENCH DTS 2.0 & SPANISH DTS 2.0

ENGLISH SDH, FRENCH & SPANISH Subtitles.

This track "pops" but not in a good way, its overly harsh, certainly a high dynamic level. Music is also a bit cooked with dialogue lacking a little clarity, but its not all doom & gloom. Once its definitely a step up & basically decent presentation with some occasional thump from the LFE (Low Frequency Effects) channel.

[rating=2] and a half

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Ah, basically none, unless you count a full frame original trailer, slim pickings indeed, I guess if you count the fact that its all regions blu-ray thats something..

1/2 a star 

SUMMARY:

Maybe I haven't painted the best portrait, but I own this blu & play it frequently & its a favourite but it best represents an example of a vanilla back catalogue release, so if you dig early Cusack like me, grab it but as much as it pains me, overall its a [rating=2] 1/2 & recommended to fans of the film, now I've gotta see a guy about 2 bucks he owes me….

Dave Grenfell - follow Dave on Twitter here: @nowshowinghigh

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