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All The Right Moves

review by Zach B.

 

 

Rating: R

Running Time: 90 minutes

Starring: Tom Cruise, Craig T. Nelson, Lea Thompson

Written by: Michael Kane

Directed by: Michael Chapman

 

Studio: Fox

Retail Price: $19.98

Features: Theatrical Trailer, Spanish Theatrical Trailer, Fox Flix Trailers

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Mono, French Mono, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (26 Scenes)

Released: March 5th, 2002

 

 

Stefan Djordjevic (a young Tom Cruise) is dying to get out of his dirty, rotting Pennsylvania town who's main source of work is a steel mill. He's a great football player, and he's trying to get signed up for a college scholarship. Meanwhile, Stefan's coach, Coach Nickerson (Craig T. Nelson), also has his own, similar dreams of getting a college coaching job. Soon, the two end up clashing and as time rages on, they soon to knock each other down and their chances of getting out start to become and less and less...

"All The Right Moves" is classic 1980s fun at its finest. The cheesy music, the clothes and everything with it. Still, Michael Kane's script works pretty nicely for what it happens to be. It sets out what it wants to do, and that's something I don't mind. The story has been done over and over, and I must admit I'm a sucker for films like "All The Right Moves." It deals with fate in a sense, but moreso, the dreams and goals of people. It's interesting how are protagonist, and arguably, Nickerson as the antaognist, clash and how their own dreams and hopes clashing and coming down. It's pretty intriguing stuff, even if we've seen it before in other movies as people try to escape their own lives, the grimness of where they live and make a better life for themselves then what they may be forced to deal with. You can't help but root for those kind of characters (at least I can't). Still, how it's done in a different way as the story presents itself and takes interesting turns.

This was the feature directing debut from Michael Chapman, a long time cinematographer (so far, he's directed three other movies). He sets the pace of the movie nicely and captures the darkness and grimness of the film's location. The acting is also right on target. Craig T. Nelson is rough and stern as Nickerson (and wow, what a stretch! HE PLAYS A COACH DAMMIT, A COACH!). Lea Thompson (she's been in a loooooot of movies) shines nicely as Stefan's love interest, providing the perfect sense of care and love. And of course, there's Tom Cruise in one of his early lead film roles. I wonder how much money he got for this movie... and I wonder if he ever thought he'd be a major Hollywood player earning 20 million plus for movies twenty years later. Still, there's no denying that Cruise's delivery and performance shine with charisma throughout the film. He's perfect as Stefan (and Lea Thompson gets to make out with him!).

So if you love 1980s fun with morals and elements from the era complete with good acting, "All The Right Moves" uh, has all the right moves for this type of movie.

 

Presented in its original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, "All The Right Moves" looks pretty good. There is excessive grain to be found on the print, as well as tons of blemishes, scratches, pieces of dirts, nicks and the like. Detail is pretty good and color saturation is decent, such as the dirt tracks in the town, the locker room grimness and greens of the football field. Fleshtones are decent too. The film looks its age basically, and there isn't anything spectacular. Still, it's nice to see it in widescreen.

 

Remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1, the audio is pretty good for "All The Right Moves." The English 5.1 remix is pretty straightforward and doesn't pack a frenzy of surrounds. The classic 1980s music and score from David Campbell sound nice through the channels. .1 LFE is limited, while dynamic range isn't so great and fidelity is decent. As you'd expect, it's largely mono. The surrounds don't sound so full and are limited, such as crowds at the football games, hand slaps and the football action itself. Dialogue is a bit low, and there's some slight background hiss, but it's an overall decent remix. Also included are English and French mono tracks, English closed captions, Spanish subtitles and English subtitles.

 

Trailer heaven! The Theatrical Trailer in anamorphic widescreen, the Spanish Theatrical Trailer in anamorphic widescreen and your choice of Fox Flix trailers: "Less Than Zero," "Taps" and the Cameron Crowe classic Say Anything.

 

"All The Right Moves" is a fun, fine film from the 1980s dealing with those normal high school and jock pressures, all with your fine amount of drama and conflict. While it's nice to see the movie on DVD, the transfer and sound mix don't offer much and the extras are trailers. Still, the price is nice, and if you're a fan of this football teen classic, be sure to pick it up.