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Dazed And Confused Criterion 4K UHD Review

“Dazed And Confused” is as good as it gets.

Set in Austin in 1976, “Dazed And Confused” is an ensemble comedy set on the last day of high school before summer break. The free flowing story jumps around from character to character and focuses on Mitch (a soon to be Freshman) and his sister Jodi, Randall (who is pondering his football future), Slater (a stoner), Wooderson (a graduate who still hangs out with the youth), the so-called nerdy guys (Tony and Mike), the hazing obsessed O’Bannion, among others. Throughout a single, we (the audience) see the characters hanging out, smoking, cruising, drinking, flirting, chatting, hazing Freshmen, and, of course, attending the big beer bust which closes out the film.

If you’ve visited DVDCorner over the years, you may have noticed me mentioning Richard Linklater more than a few times as he’s one of my favorite filmmakers. Ever since “Slacker,” Linklater has crafted so many incredible stories about characters. He doesn’t worry about story or plotting. Instead he focuses on what often feels like very natural moments and situations and down to earth characters. He’s a slice of life guy and nobody tells stories like him. 

With ”Dazed And Confused” (which has rightly become a cult classic since its release 30 years ago), Linklater takes a snapshot of a time and a place. Granted, the film may owe a lot to coming-of-age stories that came before it like “American Graffiti” and “Diner,” but it can be argued that ‘Dazed’ is even better than those classics. It is clear with every frame of this movie that it feels like a stroll down memory lane from Linklater’s past. The attention to time specific details, the carefully curated music, and the depiction of high school life in the 70’s looks and feels authentic. It almost feels like you’re watching a documentary at times which is often the case with a Linklater film. There’s a real vibe to it all and it feels like you’re just spending a little bit of time with these characters (and perhaps are left wanting more). 

Speaking of the music, this film has one of the all-time great soundtracks with the likes of Alice Cooper, Foghat, War, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Dr. John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more being played from start to finish. The classic rock music is most certainly a character in this film as well as it’s the life blood of the movie. 

The cast is loaded with would be stars Ben Affleck, Anthony Rapp, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, and Joey Lauren Adams. Of course, everyone remembers this movie for being McConaughey’s breakout role (and the film where his iconic “Alright, alright, alright” line came from), but, truth be told, everyone is perfectly cast here. Parker Posey is hilarious as the bitchy Darla, Ben Affleck makes an impression as the bully O’Bannion (who gets his comeuppance), Wiley Wiggins shines as the soon to be Freshman whose life is ahead of him, the sadly forgotten Jason London does a fine job essentially being the “lead,” Anthony Rapp and Adam Goldberg are delightful as best friends, and Rory Cochrane is one of the screen’s most memorable burn outs as Slater. Really, every single cast member with a sizable role deserves praise here. Everyone simply commits to their roles in ways you don’t often see. 


Presentation: 1.85:1 2160. How does it look? It’s not the glossiest 4K disc, but there are subtle improvements here over the Blu-ray release that will impressive home video enthusiasts who are looking to upgrade this movie.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Would it have been nice to see a higher quality audio track? Yes, but this one still satisfies (especially when the soundtrack gloriously kicks in).

* A poster
* A booklet with credits, essays by Kent Jones, Jim DeRogatis, Chuck Klosterman, John Spong, notes, character profiles
* A 2006 commentary by Richard Linklater.
* 17 deleted scenes
* Trailer
* Audition videos for Michelle Burke, Rory Cochrane, Adam Goldberg, Cole Hauser, Christin Hinojosa, Nicky Katt, Jason London, Deena Martin, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Rapp, Marissa Ribisi, and Wiley Wiggins.
* “Making Dazed”- A 2003 AMC 50 minute doc that includes behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot and footage of the 2003 10 year reunion.
* “Beer Bust At The Moon Tower”- A 3 part extra. 1. Character interviews with Sabrina Davis, Don Dawson, Cynthia Dunn, Randall “Pink” Floyd, Jodi Kramer, Mitch Kramer, Darla Marks, Mike Newhouse, Fred O’Bannion, Benny O’Donnell, Tony Olson, Ron Slater and Shavonne Wright. 2. Cast and crew interviews with Richard Linklater (before and after the film shoot), Parker Posey, Ben Affleck, Affleck and Cole Hauser, Nicky Katt and Adam Goldberg, Rory Cochrane, Wiley Wiggins and Catherine Morris, Wiley Wiggins, Michelle Burke and Christine Harnos, Christin Hinojosa, and Linklater, Matthew McConaughey and Don Phillips. 3. 14 separate behind-the-scenes footage segments of everything from the cast, scenes, car driving lessons, props and more.


February 9, 2023 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , ,

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