Bachelor Party [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak (20th May 2014).
The Film

1984 was a big year for Tom Hanks, prior to 1984 Hanks was just another struggling sitcom actor trying to make it in the crazy world of Hollywood, when he landed two gigs that would prove his breakthrough roles and skyrocket his career. Those films where "Splash" and "Bachelor Party" released just four months apart, both films would prove to be big hits and Hanks never looked back again headlining a series of successful comedies before branching out into dramatic roles (famously earning two back-to-back Oscars in the 90's). "Bachelor Party" is the typical raunchy 80's adult comedy, in many ways it was "The Hangover" (2009) of its time. Some of the comedy is quite dated, but there's some charm here, mostly because of Hanks.

"Bachelor Party" tells the story of Rick Gassko (Tom Hanks) who is about to marry Debbie Thompson (Tawny Kitaen), only problem is that her parents hate him, her old boyfriend hates him but that's not stopping Rick. His friends decide to throw him the biggest, loudest, most depraved bachelor party ever. They hire out an expensive hotel suite, load up on booze, pornos and hookers and things get out of hand in what will ultimately prove to be one of the most memorable nights of their lives.

According to Wikipedia, the origins of the film came from an actual bachelor party thrown by producer Ron Moler and a group of friends for fellow producer Bob Israel. How much of the events happened in real life is questionable, but if they did, then these men were privy to quite a night. These guys get to relive those moments forever through this film, and fans of this film can live vicariously through the characters, that is unless, they had a wild and crazy bachelor party themselves. In which case, many probably don't want to remember all the regretful decisions made on a bender.

The story is relatively thin, so to pad it out the filmmakers decided to throw in the Bachelorette party as well happening on the same night and a plot element that see Debbie's ex-boyfriend, Cole Whittier (Robert Prescott) trying to break them up and win her back, at the approval of her parents of course. Eventually both parties messily collide and some drama is thrown in when Debbie accuses Rick of infidelity. It's all too predicable especially towards the film's final act.

Like almost every adult comedy from this era goes for the gross-out gag, it's filled with depraved and often over the top humor. Upon release the film garnered mixed reviews, with some appreciating the humor while others called it out for its vulgarness. In many ways the comedy is also dated, they don't really make films like this anymore. Co-writer/director Neal Israel made a career for himself writing farcical comedies including "Police Academy" (1984), "Real Genius" (1985) and "Look Who's Talking Too" (1990) so if you've seen these movies you'll be familiar with his style. The key to his films are likeable characters, Hanks certainly delivers here, but the comedy lacks any sense of inventiveness, smarts and in many cases just not that funny. This film had its day in the eighties but by todays standards it doesn't quite fly. "Bachelor Party" could have been a true classic if it were clever, but instead its just another throwaway 80's era adult comedy.

Video

Presented in the film's original 1.85:1 widescreen mastered in HD 1080p 24/fps using AVC MPEG-4 compression. For a film of this era the transfer looks relatively good. There are some instances of softness here and there but detail and sharpness hold up well throughout the majority of the film. Some heavy grain is present especially in shots that take place at night, otherwise its a decent effort with finely balanced skin tones, black levels and shadow detail. The print is mostly clean without much dirt or specks.

Audio

Three audio tracks are included here in English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mono, French Dolby Digital 1.0 mono and
Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 mono. The film's original audio track is presented here, in an age where almost all audio tracks for older films are up-mixed at 5.1, it's nice to see original audio tracks included. Whether this is a case of Fox giving cinephiles what they want or that they simply didn't care to invest the money expanding the audio is another story altogether. In any case this isn't a complex audio mix to being with and the 1.0 mono is serviceable enough, dialogue is clean and clear, the score and music elements come across well, everything is front heavy as expected. Optional subtitles are included in English for the hearing impaired and Spanish.

Extras

Fox has released this film with a minor selection of supplements that include three featurettes, a collection of interviews and a theatrical trailer. Below is a closer look at these extras.

The "Behind the Scenes" featurette (480p) runs for 3 minutes 10 seconds, this is the usual studio produced EPK cli that highlights the basics about the production.

"An American Tradition" (480p) is the next featurette which runs for 2 minutes 51 seconds, another EPK clip that takes a look at the tradition of the bachelor party.

"While the Men Play" is the final featurette (480p) which runs for 1 minute 43 seconds and is a generic clip that takes a look at the cast.

There are three Tom Hanks interviews which runs for 2 minutes 44 seconds, as expected these are short clips with the actor talking about the film.

Finally the disc also included the film's original theatrical trailer (480p) which runs for 2 minutes 7 seconds.

Packaging

This disc is packaged in a Blu-ray keep case.

Overall

The Film: C+ Video: B- Audio: B Extras: C Overall: C-

 


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