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Say Anything...
(Blu-ray)

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 100 minutes

Starring: John Cusack, Ione Skye, John Mahoney, Lili Taylor

Written and Directed by: Cameron Crowe

 

 

Studio: Fox

Retail Price: $39.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Cameron Crowe, John Cusack and Ione Skye, An Iconic Film Revisited: Say Anything... 20 Years Later, A Conversation With Cameron Crowe, I Love Say Anything...!, To Know Say Anything... Is To Love It! Trivia Track, 10 Deleted Scenes, 13 Extended Scenes, 5 Alternate Scenes, Featurette, Cameron Crowe's Personal Photo Gallery, TV Spots, Theatrical Trailers

Specs: 1.85:1 Widescreen 1080p High Definition, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dolby Surround, Spanish Mono, French Mono, English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Portuguese Subtitles, Cantonese Subtitles, Scene Selection (20 Scenes)

Released: November 3rd, 2009


 

 

"Say Anything" is presented in 1080p High Definition, in a widescreen presentation with its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Given the film's age, there is a softness to the transfer. It's to be expected, but it's nothing terrible. The source used for this transfer is also rather clean, and there's only really a piece of dirt here and there. Detail is rather excellent, and probably the biggest selling point to this transfer. Black levels are fine and colors are well saturated — no smearing, and they look natural. Fleshtones are quite good too. The transfer as a whole shines for a catalog release, and while it may not be able to compete with more recent films, this is the best "Say Anything..." has ever looked. 

 

"Say Anything..." has been remixed into a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. It certainly is an improvement over the DVD's Dolby Digital 5.1 track. The rears are used a lot more here, and there's a sharpness and much fuller sound on this Blu-ray release. The movie is dialogue driven, so all the words spoken come in firm, clear and always easy to hear. Subwoofer use is decent, as is dynamic range, but fidelity is high. Surrounds won't take your breath away, but they can be encompassing — namely during the graduation and party scenes. All the music sounds great though, especially that iconic song that comes out of the boom box. The track is suitable, and thankfully, more robust than I was expected.

An English Dolby Surround track is included, as well as mono tracks in Spanish and French. Subtitles in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Cantonese are included as well.
 




"Say Anything..." is now two decades old, and to celebrate, Fox has commissioned some bonus features. To Know Say Anything... Is To Love It! is a trivia track worth going through if you're a fan of the film. An Iconic Film Revisited: Say Anything... 20 Years Later runs about 22 minutes and features Crowe and much of the cast reflecting on the movie. Keeping in with the love fest is I Love Say Anything... where celebrities profess their affection for the movie. And running about 10 minutes is A Conversation With Cameron Crowe, where the writer/director talks about making the movie, such as his involvement and encouragement from producer James L. Brooks.

Everything else is ported from that 2002 DVD release, which is great news — it was a case of quality over quantity. Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Cameron Crowe, John Cusack and Ione Skye. Yes, they're all in the room together on a sunny August afternoon and this is a wonderful, well-rounded track that I really, really enjoyed and fans of the film are sure to eat up. Before the film, there is a twenty minute audio introduction from the three played against still photographs from the film and Crowe shot. This introduction is quite nice and sets the tone of the track. Crowe does much of the talking in the introduction, while Cusack and Skye have remarks here and there, but they mostly giggle and ask questions. But the two talk about them getting involved in the project and their own origins with the movie while Crowe recalls their first meeting. Crowe also discusses the origin of the film and how he was inspired and what he wanted in it. From a Southern man who bugs Crowe with his love of kickboxing, advice from the hearty James L. Brooks and what Crowe wanted to tell in the story. Crowe also references his other films as well. And that's just the introduction. Once we get into the actual film, everyone opens up. Cusack talks about creating the character of Lloyd, Ione shares a lot of her thoughts about the film itself and Diane and Crowe... a whole lot of stories, his thoughts and just a lot of great stuff about making the movie. Everyone here is rather insightful as when it comes to why they wanted to make the film, the themes of the story, working and characters. There's a lot of information to absorb in this track and a lot of fun production stories are told throughout, which actually made me feel not only more knowledgeable about this fine film, but like I was actually there during the production. I can go on and on... but I won't and I'll save most of the good stuff. I really loved this track as there is a sense of sweetness all throughout, just like the movie and it's really one of the best and most endearing I've heard in a long while. It really doesn't get any better than this. I thought Crowe was going to dominate the track and Skye and Cusack would just chime in here and there, but everyone is pretty much equal, which is a great thing. When actors do some commentaries, they usually (not always, but usually) don't have much to say, but here... Skye and Cusack offer a lot and that made me really happy (this track ranks as one of the best I've heard as far as actors go). There are no real pauses or dull moments either. 

Next up, we have a bunch of all sorts of scenes and total nearly fifty minutes (some of the footage comes out in black and white). The scenes are broken up into three sections and each have their scene numbers. First, we have five Alternate Scenes. These scenes are scenes just like in the actual film, but the dialogue or how it's done is mostly bit different. After watching these (including two different versions of the boom box scene), it's clear that what is in the final film is a bit better. Crowe was supposed to do commentary on the alternate scenes, but I could not find that so I'm assuming it was left off the disc. There are ten Deleted Scenes which add up to a little over thirteen minutes. We can see why they were cut. They're not terrible, but they would ruin the flow of the film and perhaps some ideals a little. They're fun to watch, and one has a cameo from Homer Simpsons himself, Dan Castellenta (I'm pretty sure that's him...). Finally there are thirteen Extended Scenes. Yes, these are scenes from the movie but their original cuts... new footage has been added back in to flesh them out a bit. Personally, they're nice to watch and add some little things to the scenes, but the edits in the film are fine since what's here doesn't always add much more to everything. Very cool additions here.

There's an EPK Featurette that lasts nearly seven minutes and has behind the scenes footage and clips from the film, plus interviews with Skye, Cusack, Mahoney and Crowe. Very fluffy... in addition to that marketing, there's two Theatrical Trailers, each in anamorphic widescreen. Finally, there are eight full frame TV Spots. Also is a brief Photo Gallery with photos taken by Cameron Crowe himself.

 

"Say Anything..." is really such a phenomenal film, so I'm glad Fox has honored the film with this 20th anniversary release. Not only does this Blu-ray include all the features from the original 2002 DVD release, but they have included some great new material. The film also looks and sounds great, so if you're a fan of Cameron Crowe's classic, then this is a must buy.