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While SPRING BREAKDOWN ($36) has all the sophistication of an extended and over-padded SNL sketch, I fond myself laughing quite a bit all the lowbrow, politically incorrect humor that it hurls at the audience. Heck, even though SPRING BREAKDOWN is a direct-to-video release, I found myself laughing more at this production, than other films that actually made it into theaters. Of course, this isnít to say SPRING BREAKDOWN is a particularly good movie; just that there were plenty of lowbrow gags that made me laugh. SPRING BREAKDOWN tells the story of Gayle (Amy Poehler), Becky (Parker Posey) and Judi (Rachel Dratch), who were geeks in college, and years later are thirty-something year old geeks, whose lives arenít that much improved. Gayle runs an obedience school, Judi discovers her overtly gay fiancťe oiling up the Mexican gardener as the wedding approaches, while Becky is the office manager for Senator 'Kay Bee' Hartmann (Jane Lynch), who is on the short list to being appointed Vice-President.

The girlís annual vacation trip is interrupted, when the Senatorís daughter Ashley (Amber Tamblyn) decides to attend Spring Break on South Padre Island, and Becky finds herself tapped as an unofficial chaperone, whose sole responsibility is to keep the Senatorís daughter away from any hint scandal. Of course, once Gayle and Judi hit the beach, they begin to make up for lost time and join the partying college students in their reckless abandon. Look for Missi Pyle in a hilarious turn as Charlene, the flea-trap hotel manager, who has partied her way through the last eighteen Spring Break seasons on South Padre Island in grand style. The cast of SPRING BREAKDOWN also includes Seth Meyers, Sophie Monk, Jonathan Sadowski, Mae Whitman, Sarah Hagan, Jana Kramer, Kristin Cavallari, Justin Hartley, Nick Thune, Bruce Vilanch, Christopher Knight, LaLa Vazquez, Mindy Sterling, Patrick Fabian, Loretta Devine, Rachel Hamilton, Karissa Thoma, Brie Gabrielle, Will Arnett and Danny Arroyo.

Warner Home Video has made SPRING BREAKDOWN available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. I was surprised how nice the 1080p presentation for this direct-to-video actually is. The image is rather crisp, nicely defined and reasonably dimensional. Colors are bright attractive and pop pretty nicely. Blacks are dependable, while the whites are stable. Contrast and shadow detail also ranked rather highly for this type of material. The elements from which SPRING BREAKDOWN has been mastered appear very clean. Grain remain on the mild side, but adds a nice organic quality to the proceedings.

SPRING BREAKDOWN is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtrack. Since this is primarily a talky comedy, the sound design isn't particularly aggressive. The outlying channels do see some activity, but it is mostly the musical component that gets spread throughout the soundstage. Fidelity is fine, but a lossless encode would have bolstered the music a bit. The bass channel doesnít have much to do, other than lending weight to the occasional effect. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. A French Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track has also been encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

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/co-writer Ryan Shiraki and co-writer/actress Rachel Dratch. Deleted Scenes and a Gag Reel close out the extras.

SPRING BREAKDOWN isnít great cinema, but it made me laugh quite a bit. And while not a demo disc, the Blu-ray presentation is surprisingly good.



Spring Breakdown [Blu-ray] (2008)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 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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