The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: New Line - 2009
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 102 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Matthew Perry
Directed by: Burr Steers
Music by: Rolfe Kent
Written by: Jason Filardi
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 11, 2009
"Who says you're young only once? "
If you somehow had the chance, would you do your life over? Thirty something Mike O’Donnell would. Then one mysteriously magical moment, Mike gets his chance. He’s suddenly back at Hayden High where he’s the star of the basketball team, a total hottie, and a classmate to his own teenage kids…which gives Mike a chance to go from not-so-good dad to really cool friend. Zac Efron and Matthew Perry are 17 Again and fabulously funny as the younger and older Mike in a good-time time-warp comedy that proves the best year of your life is the one you’re living right now.
Class of 1989, Mike O’Donnell (Efron) is a star on the high school basketball court with a bright future in his grasp. But instead, he decides to take a different path to share his life with his girlfriend Scarlet and the baby he just learned they are expecting. Now, 20 years later, Mike’s (Matthew Perry) glory days are behind him. His marriage to Scarlet (Leslie Mann) has fallen apart and he has been reduced to crashing with his high school nerd-turned-techno-billionaire best friend Ned (Thomas Lennon). But Mike is given another chance when he is miraculously transformed back to the age of 17. Unfortunately, Mike may look 17 again, but his thirtysomething outlook remains intact and is totally uncool among his 2009 classmates (which include his own kids!).
Frankly, I didn’t have high expectations going into this review. I saw the trailer for this film and its derived and formulaic premise didn’t inspire me to rush out and see it. After watching it I wouldn’t say that it completely changed my outlook however I liked it more than I thought I would. I think that this was primarily due to Zac Efron’s fresh, energetic and genuine performance. I was impressed by him and thought his portrayal was reminiscent of a young Michael J. Fox when he was at this stage early in his career. The contrived plot didn’t yield any surprises but what made it funny and interesting was to watch Efron as he dealt with the various situations encountered by being a 37 year old father/husband who has to cope with the daily problems of a 17 year old while trying to balance both. It reminded me of several films that ran along similar lines but was just different enough that it didn’t offer a direct comparison. It tells a warm and fuzzy story about self discovery and second chances. Humor and light drama is smartly interwoven and flows naturally. I got a kick out of Thomas Lennon as Ned, and thought that it was refreshing to see Leslie Mann in a part that allowed her to display more of a serious side. Regardless of its derived elements I think that in the end 17 again succeeds at being an entertaining and sentimental comedy that offers a positive and enjoyable perspective on life and the possibility of second chances.
The rating is for language, thematic material and teen partying.
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:
17 again comes to Blu-ray Disc from New Line/Warner featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 16 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.3 mbps.
High definition detail is notable as images are firmly resolved, with defining sharpness and two dimensional depth. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation tonal warmth and vibrant textures. This is especially apparent during the sequences shot at Ned’s house and in the school Gymnasium. Fleshtones appear descriptive with discernible complexional variety that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast. Blacks are a solid shade of deep black with excellent dynamic range and discernible highlights. Contrast is well balanced which enriches both light and dark onscreen elements.
The lossless audio soundtrack rendered clear, well articulated dialogue that maintained a notable position of prominence within the front soundstage. Sound effects had good dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and definitive. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere from time to time. The mix excelled at reproducing sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field’s acoustic environment. Detail was rendered with aplomb which attenuated slight environmental cues and augmented the subtle texture of voices and sound effects. There was no real deep bass associated with the sound track but its good dynamic quality gave it impact where appropriate.
- (HD) Zac goes back featurette – 12 minutes
- (HD) Going back to 17 – Cast/crew teen retrospective – 3 minutes
- Way cool Tell-all Trivia Track – Interactive Bonusview pop-up feature
- (HD) Breaking character outtakes – 3 minutes
- Zac’s dance flashback – Deleted sequence
- 13 additional scenes
- Warner BD-Live enabled
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc
17 again doesn’t break new ground within its genre but that doesn’t prevent it from being charming just the same. Star Zac Efron takes full advantage of the opportunity to carry the ball here and shines. New Line/Warner brings it to high definition on Blu-ray disc in good fashion as it looks and sounds great. The bonus content is rather bland and will probably appeal more to those solely interested in Afron. On the plus side it is all offered in high definition and includes WB BD-Live access (that should include additional features) and a digital copy so fans can take it on the go. Worthy of a rental for the Zac Efron fan in your family.
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