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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, German, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Turkish, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - with Director Darren Stein
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Music video - 'Yoo Hoo" by Imperial Teen
  • Behind the scenes footage - including interviews with key cast and crew

Jawbreaker - Collector's Edition

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 84 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Have you seen Heathers? Boy, director Darren Stein sure has, and he tries desperately to emulate it in this, his second feature. Unfortunately, he's no Daniel Waters (screenwriter for Heathers), and litters this film with enough plot holes and ill-conceived, badly-scripted scenes to nearly sink it.

Settle down and try to swallow this plot - three high school girls 'kidnap' their friend as a prank, and accidentally wind up killing her. Their leader, Courtney (Rose McGowan), convinces the others (Rebecca Gayheart and Julie Benz) to assist in covering up her death, then upon discovery by the school geek (Judy Greer), Courtney convinces her not to report them if they make her popular at school (what!!).

Throw in a lot of padding and directionless subplots (Pam Greer has nothing to do as the investigating detective, and a romance between Gayheart's character and a boy on the drama team does nothing but kill time), and you end up with something that's inoffensive but not particularly memorable, and which doesn't deserve the collector's edition treatment when other more worthy films are being released with no extras.

  Video
Contract

I'm getting a little tired of reviewing Columbia discs, because there's generally very little to criticise about their transfers, and I wind up repeating the same things over and over again! Sony's DVD Center does the business again here, providing a quality 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with no objectionable qualities except those present on the original negative.

Specifically, certain scenes are less well-photographed than others, so you may see some a little less focused and others with slightly oversaturated colour, but I can't blame the transfer for that, especially as this wasn't a huge-budget film.

  Audio
Contract

I can't complain about the sound mix. The recording quality is excellent, which makes the sound smooth and non-fatiguing, perfect for listening at reference volume. The 'let's sell the soundtrack album' music that crops up often is mixed to all five channels and the surround speakers are used effectively to create ambience in many scenes.

Often the soundtrack comes across as a little gimmicky, though, because the sound designers have deemed it necessary to insert little 'whoosh' noises and the like during scene transitions; these fly around the soundstage and detract from the mood.

  Extras
Contract

If ever a film wasn't screaming out for extras, this is the one. However, if you're a huge fan for whatever reason, this is what you get:

  • Theatrical Trailer - presented in fullscreen and stereo sound. The video quality is pretty good for a trailer.
  • Featurette - despite the fact that the packaging claims there are interviews with the director and cast, this 4:45 advert doesn't divulge any useful information at all. I doubt you'd watch it twice.
  • Director's commentary - I haven't managed to get through this, because Stein is so convinced his film is a masterpiece that it's hard to listen to him. He harps on and on about insignificant details that he considers 'clever', whereas a director like Terry Gilliam would have more witty incidental things occuring within a scene, yet be more focused on delivering real insight during his commentary.
  • Music Video - Ow. The song 'Yoo Hoo' by Imperial Teen is excrutiating to listen to by itself, but works well in the film. I'm not sure why that is!
  • Talent Profiles - Yep. You know what these are.

  Overall  
Contract

Without the dark, witty dialogue that made Stein's blueprint such a classic, you'll have to resort to watching the eye candy, of which there is plenty (ie, the tasty cast walking through their roles!). Don't look for character arcs or plot twists, because you'll be disappointed.

As a fun, no-brainer renter, this is worth a shot (and I applaud the day-and-date release with the VHS copy), but I'd give a sharp sidewards glance at anybody who claimed they loved the film enough to fork out hard currency for it.


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      And I quote...
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