The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Miramax - 1996
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jon Favreau , Vince Vaughn, Ron Livingston, Heather Graham
Directed by: Doug Liman
Music by: Justin Reinhardt
Written by: Jon Favreau
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 23, 2011
"Get a nightlife."
Hip and hilarious – critics and audiences alike are raving about this must-see comedy hit that's so money, it catapulted Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau to stardom! It's the laugh-out-loud look at a fun group of friends who spend their days looking for work and their nights in and out of Hollywood's coolest after-hours hangouts!
My Take:Hey you beautiful babies. It's been 15 years since idie flick 'Swingers' brought the names Vince Vaughn (Old School, The Wedding Crashers) John Favreau (Iron Man, Couples Retreat) and Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) to the cinema going conscious. I am happy to replort that 15 years later it still is so money.
'Swingers' is about Mike (Jon Favreau), a struggling actor/comedian, who moved away from the security of home and the love his life to try to make it big in the city of angels. It is semi-autobiographical, as Favreau based his character on a relationship he had left behind and used his real life friends as the supporting cast. In the special features they talk about how they were playing caricatures of themselves, using lines they rattled off as they hung out as buddies trying to make it in Hollywood. Mike's smooth-talking buddy Trent (Vince Vaughn) and crew decide to do whatever it takes to shake Mike of his blues. From an impromptu road trip to Vegas, hitting on beautiful babies in hip Hollywood lounges or drunken dancing on a greasy spoon's table, wherever these guys go there is bound to be laughs, girls and emotion.
'Swingers' still holds up and you can easily see why these guys careers took off after the films release. The great supporting cast of characters that adds to its appeal, including Ron Livingston (Office Space), Heather Graham (The Hangover) and Brooke Langton (Melrose Place). What makes the film a success is its counterbalance of realism, humor and emotion. Doug Liman's direction makes these accessible guys even more accessible as his camera work makes the viewer feel like you are one of the buddies tagging along for the ride. 'Swingers' also seems a bit ageless, as its backdrop of the retro-swing movement of the 90s doesn't feel retro at all. Out of the 90s independent cinema revolution, this is one of the tops, and I am glad to report it held up like new.
Rated R for language throughout
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:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
'Swingers' debut on Blu-ray is not quite as impressive as Good Will Hunting and Rounders, also released by Miramax/Lionsgate on August 23rd. Shot with hardly any budget in locations where they used the rooms normal light sources and far from optimal microphone placement, it is surprising 'Swingers' came out as good as it did. director Doug Limans guerrilla style filming gave the film a less polished and detailed look as high budget flicks, and he seemed to embrace that and make it part of the story. Colors tend to be a bit hot, and the image on-screen a bit soft. Close-ups did show some nice facial details, but the over-all look never got that depth a blu-ray can afford. What I found impressive was how well its 2.0 DTS-HD MA imaging was as it worked better than some multi channel mixes, The always intelligible dialogue looked spot-on to its on screen location. Unfortunately that also lended to a pretty narrow mix, keeping things on screen, never widening the experience. Then I realized something, there was also a 5.1 mix! So be warned, it defaults the the DTS 2.0. The 5.1 mix widened the experience, but was not night and day over the 2 channel. It had more separation and better dynamics, with the same great imaging. The low end was very pleasing, but the track never calls for anything too deep.
- Illustrated Action Commentary with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn
- Audio Commentary with Director Doug Liman and Editor Stephen Mirrione
- "Making it in Hollywood" Original Documentary
- “Swingblade” short film
- Original theatrical trailer
- (HD) Previews: Rounders, Hostage, Good Will Hunting, Warrior
Go for it. Take a trip back to 90s Hollywood and the boys of 'Swingers'. It holds up well over time, and the films humor is still strong as it doesn't rely on jokes as much as awkwardly fun, but real situations for its laughs and emotions. Favreau and Vaughn both show why they made it while Liman ties it all together with his unique direction. Lionsgate fills the release with watchable extras, including a 50 minute "Making it in Hollywood" documentary and multiple commentary tracks. 'Swingers' comes highly recommended as it is still so money, baby.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-X3 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Marantz AV7005 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 200 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Trio On-Wall (5.1)
Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Solitaire 10"