Lost In America Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Check out Lee Weber’s review of the Criterion Collection release of “Lost in America,” a hysterical satire of Reagan-era values, written and directed by Albert Brooks.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

80

Details:

Studio and Year: Criterion – 1985
MPAA Rating: R
Feature Running Time: 91 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English LPCM Mono
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty
Directed by: Albert Brooks
Music by: Arthur B. Rubinstein
Written by: Albert Brooks, Monica Mcgowan Johnson
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 25th, 2017

 

 

“Say it! Say it! Say “I lost the nest-egg.” Go on, say it!”

From Criterion:
“In this hysterical satire of Reagan-era values, written and directed by Albert Brooks, a successful Los Angeles advertising executive (Brooks) and his wife (Julie Hagerty) decide to quit their jobs, buy a Winnebago, and follow their Easy Rider fantasies of freedom and the open road. When a stop in Las Vegas nearly derails their plans, they’re forced to come to terms with their limitations and those of the American dream. Brooks’s barbed wit and confident direction drive Lost in America, an iconic example of his restless comedies about insecure characters searching for satisfaction in the modern world that established his unique comic voice and transformed the art of observational humor.”

Lost in America is considered Albert Brooks best film, and I have noted many times in the last twenty years that I think he is underrated as a Writer/Director. His off kilter comedies are always more insightful and honest than his peers, and his output of Defending Your Life, Lost in America and Modern Romance spanning the eighties are all bullet sharp criticisms of the meaning of life and love for middle-class yuppies. Most of you know Brooks as a character actor with memorable turns in films like Drive, Taxi Driver, and Broadcast news, however, If you want to experience a lost classic from the eighties check this one out.

Replay Value:

 

Parental Guide: Rated R for mild Language and sexual innuendo.

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 on a comparative made against other high definition media/Blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 78
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialogue Reproduction: 
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

 

Video: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones: 
  • Compression: 

 

Lost In America comes to Blu-ray Disc from Criterion featuring 1.85:1 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.2 Mbps and LPCM Monaural sound.

Criterion’s transfer is a new 2k restoration that was supervised by Brooks looks lifelike and vivid with deep vibrant colors. Details were noticeable, and film grain was noticeable leading me to believe this might be the best we have seen this movie in years. The audio was serviceable, but the track is nothing noteworthy, and its monoaural mix keeps things up front and a little tight. Thankfully it was mixed well, and all the individual elements are easily discernable.

*Note – Our Audio/Video score takes some factors into consideration (like LFE and Surround Effects) that deter the overall number a film this will garner.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) New conversation with Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
  • (HD) New interviews with actor Julie Hagerty, executive producer Herb Nanas, and filmmaker and screenwriter James L. Brooks
  • (HD) Trailer
  • An essay by critic Scott Tobias

Final Thoughts:

Criterion’s 2017 release of Lost In America was a rewarding visit to a film I haven’t seen in many years. I found it to be smart and hysterical without ever becoming pompous or having an agenda. It’s an excellent meditation on ex-hippies in the Regan era and showcases Brooks as a writer, director, and star, as well as a great turn by Julie Haggarty (Airplane). Rounded off by some worthy supplemental features and an insightful essay, fans will certainly be pleased.

 

Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

Sony VPL-VW667 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
Falcon Screens Horizon 138″ 2.35:1 Acoustically Transparent Screen
Da-Lite Pro Imager Projector Screen Masking System
Yamaha CX-A5100 AV Processor – Calibrated by Jeff Meier @ Accucal
ATI AT4000 Signature Series Amplifiers 11×200 Watts
Sony UBP-X1000ES 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IWHD Monitors x3 (LCR)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IW55 x4 (Surrounds)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IC44A x4 (Atmos)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-HV15 Sub
AudioQuest Wires

Sony 75XBR940E 75″ 4K Ultra High Definition HDR LED
Anthem MRX-520-AV Receiver
Sony UBP-X1000ES 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Next Level Acoustics- Fusion Cinema Trio
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IWSUR6.1
Next Level Acoustics- CI-HV10 Sub