Blu-ray Review: Young Adult

Young Adult Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Paramount | DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman | CAST: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 3/13/2012 | PRICE: DVD $19.99, Blu-ray $29.99
BONUSES: featurettes, deleted scenes, commentary
SPECS: R | 93 min. | Comedy-drama | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French, Spanish, Portuguese subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Director Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) hits it out of the park for another quirky and awkward film with Young Adult. Again reteaming with screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno), Reitman presents the story of a woman who never grew up.

Young AdultMavis Gary (Charlize Theron, The Cider House Rules) is a divorced writer who returns to her small-town Minnesota home to win back her high-school boyfriend (Patrick Wilson, Insidious), who’s now happily married with a newborn baby. As she tries to avoid her family, Mavis begins an odd friendship with Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas), another town misery.

Love or hate Mavis Gary, Theron gives a wonderful performance as the very flawed beauty. She shines, in an icky way, but co-stars Oswalt, Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser (The Art of Getting By) and Jill Eikenberry (Something Borrowed) are no dull spots either. They deliver Cody’s biting lines beautifully.

Reitman keeps the pacing quick, which is good. This movie isn’t light comedy fare. It’ll make viewers squirm and doesn’t leave them with a particularly satisfying ending. But that’s what Reitman and Cody are so good at.

Reitman talks about his choices for the film in two special features, a commentary and an interview with New York Times critic Janet Maslin at the Jacobs Burns Film Center.

The interview with Maslin is perhaps the best extra on the Blu-ray. They are both comfortable, having done this with Reitman’s prior movies, and Maslin, as Reitman admits, asks the more unusual questions, like what was he thinking with those inside-a-tape-player-credits.

Reitman is joined by director of photography Eric Steelberg and first assistant director/associate producer Jason A. Blumenfeld in the commentary, but the director speaks the most. He gives details on locations and choices, and gives young filmmakers advice.

The Blu-ray also includes a bunch of deleted scenes, which are worth a watch; the featurette “The Awful Truth: Deconstructing a Scene,” in which Cody makes an appearance; and the featurette “Misery Loves Company: The Making of Young Adult,” which is better than most of these types of pieces but not the best bonus on the disc.

On the movie quality, the Blu-ray picture looks great, although it’s less saturated than other film’s, but that’s by design. And the soundtrack is good in 5.1, even though we’d prefer 7.1.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.