Friday, March 27, 2015

THE SURE THING (1985) (30th Anniversary Edition)

Label: Shout! Factory
Region Code: A
Rating: PG-13
Duration: 95 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Rob Reiner 
Cast: Anthony Edwards, Tim Robbins, John Cusack, Nicollette Sheridan, Daphne Zuniga, Boyd Gaines

In this Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride) directed comedy from the '80s we have the myth, the legend John Cusack as college freshman Walter 'Gib' Gibson. A freshman at some small New England university where he is completely bombing with the ladies on campus. Meanwhile his high school best friend Lance (Anthony Edwards, Revenge of the Nerds) is out in Los Angeles partying it up '80s So Cal style and apparently doing quite well for himself, Lance assures his pal Gib that if he can make it to L.A. over Christmas break he has a sure thing (Nicolette Sheridan) waiting for him. That's right, Gil is willing to travel thousands of miles just to score with a babe he doesn't even know. It might seem a bit desperate and far fetched but probably not too far from reality, after all guys do a lot of crazy stuff  in the name of getting laid, not that I would know anything about that. 

Searching one of the college ride share boards Gib finds a ride out to L.A. with annoyingly young republican type couple named Gary (a very young Tim Robbins) and Mary Ann (Lisa Jane Persky). Also along for the ride out the L.A. is Alison (Daphne Zuniga), a young woman from college that Gib has a bit of a crush on. Alison's previous interactions with Gib at college make for an uncomfortable ride share, he's a bit of a wild spirit and she's a buttoned-down prep and their differences sort of rub each other the wrong way. A particularly heated backseat argument ends with Alison baring her breasts to passerbys and with Gary being fines by the police, which puts him over the edge, dropping he two off on the side of the road, left to thumb their way to California. Forced to spend time alone  they do some bonding over shotgunning beers and such, fighting off a blossoming attraction for each other, more so Alison, who is on her way to Los Angeles to see her boyfriend, who it turns out is the same boring sort of straight-laced prep she is, but after spending so much time with the spontaneous Gib she starts to feel differently 

The story is a pretty simple and not a very original 80s offering. It's part teen pic, part romantic comedy and part road film, sort of like a teen-romance version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), only instead of trying to get home for the Thanksgiving, one of them is trying to get laid over Christmas Break, and it's fun stuff. 

Sign me up for anything from the '80s with John Cusack,it's safe to say that I may have had a man-crush on him since way back in the day, so damn likable all the way around, even if he played pretty much the same character through the '80s. Then there's Daphne Zuniga who is an uptight character but as cute as a button, and once the icy exterior begins to melt away her character is quite lovable. Horror fans will recognize her from the teen-shocker The Initiation (1984) and The Dorm that Dripped Blood (1981), and of course as Princess Vespa from Mel Brooks' Space Balls (1987). 

Sure, there's not a lot of depth to this one and that's just fine, it's a fun opposite attract film wrapped up in a road film and the casting it perfect, these two have some great chemistry and by the end of the film I was in love with stuffy Alison myself. Of course Nicolette Sheridan as the titular sure thing is pure '80s sexiness from head to toe, dripping with lust and smoking hot, the dream sequences of her are a lot of male egocentric fun. 

The disc from Shout! Factory looks good overall. While it does suffer from some of the '80s film stock softness and there's evidence of some too aggressive digital manipulation the colors are vibrant and offers a pleasing amount of depth, clarity and fine detail. 

Viewers have the option to watch the film accompanied by the original mono presentation via the DTS-HD MA 2.0 or a slightly more immersive DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix. The front-centric presentation exports score and discreet audio effects to the surrounds which definitely sweetens the '80's soundtrack featuring Huey Lewis and the News, The Cars and Wang-Chunk among others. 

Advertised as the 30th Anniversary Edition I was a little bit disappointed we do not get any new content other than what was on the previous release, totalling about 46 minutes worth of interviews with director Rob Reiner, writers Steven L. Bloom and Jonathan Roberts, producer Roger Burnbaum., production designer  Lilly Kilvert, casting directors Jane Jenkins and Janet Hirshenson and stars John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga which are split up among four featurettes. There's also an audio commentary with Reiner who only seems to pop-up from scene to scene with long pauses. Additionally there is a trailer. A decent array of extras but it is my belief that if you advertise a release as an anniversary edition it should contain something new to commemorate the occasion. 

Special Features
- Commentary With Director Rob Reiner
- Road To The Sure Thing (26 Mins)
- Casting The Sure Thing (7 Mins)
- Reading The Sure Thing (3 Mins)
- Dressing The Sure Thing (9 Mins)
- Theatrical Trailer (3 Mins) 

It doesn't take much to convince me to watch vintage '80s comedies, to be honest there just aren't many I don't enjoy, and this one has John Cusack! A lot of which has to do with the fact that it was the era during which I came of age, and I could sorta of relate to Cusack's character at the time, and even this sweetly romantic comedy comes loaded with nostalgia. I don't think this one gets all the love it deserves, sure it's not one of the top tier '80s comedies but it's worth a watch and John Cusack and Daphne Zuniga are a great pairing.