Valley Girl: Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Valley Girl: Collector's Edition


    [​IMG]
    Movie: :3.5stars:
    Video: :4.5stars:
    Audio: :4stars:
    Extras: :4.5stars:
    Final Score: :4stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    I can’t believe that it’s the 35th anniversary of Valley Girl and it’s just NOW coming to Blu-ray for the first time. Not even a raggedy old catalog title from 10 years ago, Shout Factory has brought it to life as the 50th title in it’s “Shout Select” lineup, complete with brand new extras and a brand new 4K remaster. My wife and I are both rabid fans of 80s classics, and while she loves Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club, Say Anything and countless other romantic 80s pop culture tidbit, she can’t STAAAAAAAND Valley Girl. I, on the other hand, have a love/hate relationship with the film due to the fact that it’s so covered in bubblegum flavored valley girl cliches, as well as a burgeoning Nic Cage, making his first starring film role ever (his only other role as was a buddy of Brad in Fast Times at Ridgemont High). It’s goofy, silly, romantic, and a complete parody of the Romeo & Juliet trappings all covered in the unmistakable 80s excess culture.

    Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) is your typical girl in the San Fernando Valley. “Like wow, Brad is the hottest hunk around!”, and “Totally tubular man!”, crushing out on hunky guys while living it up with her rich hippie parents. After dumping her narcissistic and totally chauvinistic boyfriend Tommy (Michael Bowen), Julie is out in the wind, sets her sights on bad boy Randy (Nicolas Cage, at his 19 year old baby faced beginnings), who she crosses paths with at a swanky party. One night of hanging out with the L.A. bad boy and she’s hooked like nothing before. Randy isn’t really the bad boy she expected, but rather a nice boy who just has lived a different life and dresses differently. The only thing is, her friends all think that Randy will harm her reputation, and their only concern is getting her back with Tommy to keep the status quo.
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    What happens next is your typical 80s film. The fish out of water, star struck, couple has to fight what for what they really believe in. Even if that fight is partially internal as they discover WHAT they actually want in life. Randy has to deal with his dweeb friend who constantly gets him in and out of trouble, while Julie carries the brunt of depth as she’s forced to confront her misconceptions about people living outside of the Valley. What makes the film so funny is how obviously director Martha Coolidge is parodying the ditzy “oh my gosh!” valley girl cliché. We all grew up imitating the sing song voice of the valley girls, and she doesn’t pull any punches making them seem as vapid and self conceited as possible. Tommy is delusionally machoistic and has that narcissistic nature that makes him sooooooooooooooo easy to hate, while Julie and her friends feel like they’re just a few brain cells short of the rest of us wit their flippant attitudes.

    The difficulty is making it seem like Julie has any depth to her, and it’s a rocky road for sure. On one hand you kind of hate that she’s as self absorbed and vapid as she is, but Coolidge desperately tries to give her some extra depth. The conversation with her father about “which one should I choose dad?” is the most revealing, showing that she’s still just a high school girl at heart, but also giving her (and him) an edge of maturity that she’ll hopefully use in the future. Foreman is delightful in her role, while Nicolas Cage is just starting out on his road to acting insanity and is actually quite a bit tamer than his normal self. There’s elements of the soon to be crazy boy of Hollywood, but his “bad boy” persona comes across as very believable. Stand out of the whole movie, though, is Michael Bowen as the douche bag ex boyfriend Tommy. Bowen has made a career out of playing villains (he was Buck in Kill Bill Vol 1.), and he’s just so punchable here that you just cheer with glee during the final fight.




    Rating:

    Rated R By the MPAA




    Video: :4.5stars:
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    My old DVD of Valley Girl was never the prettiest of DVDs, but it was more than capable of delivering a decent picture. This new 4K remaster from Shout Factory puts that DVD to shame and gives the film the collector’s edition level of video transfers that it deserves. The 80s film has a slightly ruddy and golden hue to it, filled with gloriously rich colors that just pop off the screen. Nic Cage’s deep red shirt, Julie’s blue skirt, and countless other shades of bubblegum pink dot the landscape. Saturation levels are high, but it’s not overly hot or distracting with the colors. Blacks are deep and inky, and the entire film is coated in a nice layer of early 80s grains (some grain spikes do occur in the dark shots), but it is never distracting and textured beautifully. You can actually see the little lines along Nic Cage’s face as he smokes the cigarette, and some of the makeup around his eyes actually is able to be seen here (something I CAN’T see on the DVD). There’s a few shots that look a bit soft, but other than those few scenes, this is a great looking transfer and the best Valley Girl has ever looked.







    Audio: :4stars:
    [​IMG]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio mix for
    Valley Girl is quite pleasing as well, but also has some of the limitations of an early 80s lower budgeted film. The movie is a bit front heavy most of the time, but other than that has very few flaws. The 1980s (and late 70s) bubblegum pop-rock score flows effortlessly through all channels, although it IS a bit light on the surrounds. LFE is appropriate to the music and even is used with a few of the scuffles. The only thing that I really noticed was harsh to the ears was when someone yelled. At those higher levels you could hear a bit of a strain and harshness to the highs due to the recording. Nothing wild, but those 2-3 moments stood out like a sore thumb.







    Extras: :4.5stars:
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    BRAND NEW 4K REMASTER OF THE FILM FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
    • PRESENTATION WITH ALL ORIGINAL THEATRICAL RELEASE MUSIC RETAINED
    • NEW "Valley Girl In Conversation" – Featuring Director Martha Coolidge With Actors E.G. Daily And Heidi Holicker
    • NEW "Greetings From The Valley" - A Short History Of The Iconic San Fernando Valley, Hosted By Tommy Gelinas Of The Valley Relics Museum
    • NEW Extended Interviews From 2003 With Nicolas Cage, Cameron Dye, Frederic Forrest, E.G. Daily, Heidi Holicker, Colleen Camp, Lee Purcell, Producers Andrew Lane And Wayne Crawford, Peter Case Of The Plimsouls, Josie Cotton, DJ Richard Blade, And More!
    • NEW Storyboard To Film Comparisons
    • Feature Length Audio Commentary With Director Martha Coolidge
    • Original Music Videos From Modern English And The Plimsouls
    • Valley Girl: 20 Totally Tubular Years Later
    • "In Conversation With Martha Coolidge And Nicolas Cage"
    • The Music of Valley Girl
    • Making-Of Featurettes And Interviews With Cast And Crew





    Final Score: :4stars:


    Valley Girl is a cult film for a reason, as it is just soaked in that sort of 80s “bubblegum rock” and infused with a classic 80s pop-rock score, but it is one that is still slightly awkward to watch due to the valley girl clichés (as parodied as they are). The relationship aspect of the film is given a bit more heat due to the fact that the chemistry between Nic Cage and Foreman was real (they were dating at the time) AND due to the fact that Coolidge based her direction upon her own dealings with teenage romances. Shout Factory has given this a nice looking remaster for the video, and the extras are quite impressive, bringing us out of the doldrums of chintzy extras that plagued the last couple of Shout Select collector’s editions that I reviewed this last week. Recommended for a lover of the 80s.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Nicolas Cage, Deborah Foreman, Elizabeth Daily, Michael Bowen, Cameron Dye, Heidi Holicker
    Directed by: Martha Coolidge
    Written by: Andrew Lane, Wayne Crawford
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
    Subtitles: English SDH
    Studio: Shout Factory
    Rated: R
    Runtime: 99 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: October 30th 2018






    Recommendation: Fun 80s Watch

     
  2. Mark C Flick

    Mark C Flick Moderator
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    I've always liked Valley Girl, one of my favorites from the 80's with a very good soundtrack.
     
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  3. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    agreed on the soundtrack. Although there's one song near the end Prom scene that definitely wouldn't have been played in today's society if you know what I mean lol. I laugh every time I hear it
     
  4. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the review. A great classic. :)
     
  5. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    I agree Mark. This one has a great sound track.

    I think a little part of me just died when I read the opening line to this review. 35 years?!?!?! Ugh. Yeah - and Mike - it's raining and cold here today.





    what a Monday.
     
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  6. Asere

    Asere AV Addict

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    Thanks for the review. I remember seeing this one as a kid and really liked it. (Where were my parents at the time lol) I need to see it again now.
     
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