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OLD SCHOOL ($30) is a laugh inducing low brow comedy about a group of grown men trying to recapture the glory days of their youth. There is no level of sophistication to the humor contained in OLD SCHOOL, nor do the filmmakers strive to create one, but the film is still damn funny. As the film open we are introduced to Mitch (Luke Wilson), who returns from a business trip early to discover his live in girlfriend Heidi (Juliette Lewis) is secretly a swinger with a parade of men and women rolling through their bed. Finding himself new lodgings, Mitch moves into a house located near the campus of his alma mater, Harrison University. Mitch’s best friends Bernard (Vince Vaughn) and Frank (Will Ferrell) throw him a housewarming/house party that attracts a large portion of the university’s student body and turns into one of the social events of the season.

Of course, the party runs afoul of Dean Pritchard (Jeremy Piven), an old acquaintance of Mitch, Bernard and Frank, who would like nothing better to get even with the three guys who tormented him during their youth. This results in Mitch’s house being rezoned as campus housing and the three friends being giving their walking papers. In order to keep the house, Bernard comes up with the idea of turning it into a Fraternity that would be open to anyone and everyone. As you might expect, the Fraternity attracts an oddball assortment of pledges… plus Dean Pritchard isn’t about to let the new "Fraternity" circumvent his authority. The cast of OLD SCHOOL also features Ellen Pompeo, Leah Remini, Perrey Reeves, Craig Kilborn, Elisha Cuthbert, Seann William Scott, Matt Walsh and Artie Lange.

Dreamworks Home Entertainment has made OLD SCHOOL available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is solid, but reference material this is not. OLD SCHOOL delivers a pretty crisp image, with good definition and very nice dimensionality. Sure, the picture never comes across with a hyper-realistic level of detail, but it is a strong performer. Colors are well saturated and the flesh tones natural. Blacks are on the money, whites are stable, plus the picture has smooth contrast and more than respectable shadow detail. The elements from which OLD SCHOOL was transferred display modest blemishes. There is some grain in the picture, but it is never excessive.

OLD SCHOOL is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. No surprises here, OLD SCHOOL comes with a straightforward, dialogue driven comedy mix. The outlying channels see some limited activity, but for the most part, sounds are localized to the forward soundstage. Additionally, ambience and musical fill represent the majority of sonic elements finding their way to the rear channels. Still, fidelity is quite good in regards the musical component. Voices are cleanly rendered and the dialogue is totally understandable. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Todd Phillips and actors Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Luke Wilson. Featurettes include Old School Orientation (thirteen minutes) and Inside The Actor's Spoof (twenty-two minutes). Deleted and Extended Scenes, Outtakes & Bloopers and Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots close out the extras.

OLD SCHOOL doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a lowbrow laugh fest… and it succeeds in its ambitions. The Blu-ray presentation delivers the hi-def goods, even if this isn’t a demo disc.



Old School (Unrated Edition) [Blu-ray] (2003)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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