The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter, Dan Stevens, Richard Lewis, Wallace Shawn, Sigourney Weaver, Justin Kirk, Kristen Johnston, Malcolm MacDowell, Marilu Henner
Written & Directed by: Amy Heckerling
Music by: David Kitaygorodsky
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 13, 2012
A comedy from the creator of Clueless and Loser, Vamps tells the modern day story of two young striking female vampires (Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter) living the high life in New York until love enters the picture and each has to make a choice that will jeopardize her immortality.
Vamps is the story of two sassy female vampires, Goody (Silverstone) and Stacy (Krysten Ritter) who are addicted to the night life, clubbing, hooking up and always looking for the next thrill, all the while keeping a big a secret-they happen to be modern-day vampires. But even with lifetimes of dating experience behind them, the duo realizes they still have a lot to learn about love when Stacy unexpectedly falls for the son of a vampire hunter, and Goody runs into the man of her dreams from decades earlier. With their destinies at stake, the girls are faced with a difficult choice: give up their eternal youth or continue to live their uncomplicated fabulously single lives forever. Both find the choice to be less than easy, as immortality isn’t all that it is cracked up to be, not to mention the path back mortality is fraught with consequences.
Vamps is more fun than I expected although not exactly deserving of high praise. Writer/director Amy Heckerling puts a playfully light modern day spin on the genre while purposefully referencing our societal reliance on technological gadgets. It gets a little preachy but primarily stays on point as it follows Goody and Stacy, a couple of affable ladies of the night that live off of animal (rats) blood, hit the clubs, and frequently attend vampire meetings along with others that don’t feed on human blood. The narrative is set up using a situational comedic style that sort of moves from one site gag/topic to the next which at times leaves it feeling more like a TV show than a movie. While that does infringe upon the flow it gives it a breezy flavor that coincides with the theme and character design.
There is a sprightly charm to the story, despite moments of schmaltz and overplayed nostalgia, and the cast including several well placed cameos is on the money. Vamps doesn’t resonate like the better works we have seen from Amy Heckerling but its refreshing tone and satire is enough to merit a watch when you’re in the mood for a little offbeat comedy.
The rating is for violent images, some drug material, sexual content and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Vamps comes to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 1.8 Mbps.
This high definition video presentation looks solid and boasts vibrant primary colors that are warm and inviting. Fleshtones are balmy with appreciable texture and limited complexional description among the majority of the cast members. Images are well resolved and filmic in quality. Detail in close ups is revealing of subtle variations in facial features and patterns in the weave of clothing. The wide angle pans of the cityscapes/skyline have appreciable dimension and depth. The video lacks definitely resolute definition but offers varying degrees of lucidity and never appears flat or soft. Black levels and contrast strike a good balance between light and dark onscreen elements. Bright sequences and colors have plenty of pop while dark sequences exhibit quiet, dynamic blacks and distinguishable shadow detail.
The DTS-HD MA sound quality is about what you might expect from a dialogue driven comedy however there are times it would have benefited from a more involving surround mix as the bulk of the presentation is delivered via the front three channels. Imaging and channel separation is good but the soundstage sometimes feels compressed. Voices are rendered clearly through the center channel as dialogue maintains a prominent position within the soundfield. There is little surround activity other than occasional ambient bleed that mildly extends the front soundstage. This is a satisfactory but unremarkable audio presentation that neither adds nor detracts from the source material.
There are no bonus features
Vamps doesn’t resonate like the better works we have seen from writer/director Amy Heckerling but its refreshing tone and satirical wit is enough to merit a watch when you’re in the mood for a little offbeat comedy. It comes to Blu-ray in a barebones offering that features good high definition video, satisfying lossless sound and no bonus content. Vamps is worth a rental when you’re up for a quirky comedy set to the beat of Amy Heckerling’s drum.
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