This Blu-ray disc is packed with extras.
The story feels a little worn.Mike O'Donnell is not happy with his life. He isn't a good father, husband, employee and all of this comes to a head when he gets a chance to return to the best days of his life as a 17 year old kid. At this point his character morphs into Zac Efron and suddenly his world is thrown upside down. He is back in high school with his kids (only he is their age), he rules the basketball team, and (since he is Zac Efron) he has the ladies coming after him. However, out of this mishmesh of stories that seem to merge It's a Wonderful Life, 18 Again and Like Father Like Son, we get a solid story that reminds us that our lives are never as bad as we think they are.
Also helping 17 Again it is cleverly scripted by writer Jason Filardi. It incorporates just enough geek wisdom to make this movie feel like it is speaking to all audiences.
The following features are exclusively in High Definition
Zac Goes Back
Alright, I understand why this featurette that focuses exclusively on star Zac Efron is on here, but this seems to be a bit excessive. Do we really need what is a essentially a high definition electronic press kit on this actor? Why in the world does anybody really care what he has to say about anything? I know that the marketers of this DVD will laugh and say that this featurette isn't meant for me. It is meant for all the young girls that swoon over this guy. However, I don't think those young girls are buying Blu-ray discs.
Going Back to 17
Tell-All Trivia Track
While I didn't have time to watch this whole thing, I will say that what I did see was a lot of fun. We get to find out anecdotes about what happened on the set, information on the cast and crew and the best part is that we get this as we watch the movie. Now, if I was a young girl all of the information on Mr. Efron would probably make me giddy. As I am now a 36 year old mail, I was happy to see this stuff (it very seamlessly integrates itself into the viewing experience), but there wasn't much to really go too crazy about on my end.
BD Live Features
As my Blu-ray player isn't connected to the internet, I am sadly unable to access these features. However, here are the ones listed for this release:
- Zac's Commentary
- Tom Lennon and Melora Hardin - Unfiltered
- Zac Attacks
1080p High Definition - 16x9 - 2.4:1 - The special features are partially in 1080i High Definition and Partially in 480i Standard Definition. This film looked really sharp on my Blu-ray player. I was really impressed with how strong all the colors were in every scene. There was no difference between the interior or exterior shots. Director Burr Steers and his Director of Photography Tim Suhrstedt have done a fine job in capturing all the nuances of things happening on screen. There weren't moments where things felt overly cooked in any areas, and I was really taken with a lot of the simple, though well put across, shot compositions.
Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 - Dolby Digital: English 5.1 - Special Features are in stereo. Subtitled in English and Spanish. The audio for this movie was also well put together. Now, anybody expecting some incredible sound design are going to be terribly disappointed. There isn't too much happening with the audio. It has merely been created to underscore the events of this film. That said, what we have here is a solidly put together track that gives us nuances, site gags and the general atmosphere of each scene.
Zac Efron, in half kid and half grown-up clothing, is presented on this front cover. That is it... that is all the studio felt they would need to sell this movie (and apparently they were right as it grossed upwards of $54 million and $130 million worldwide). The back cover features a shot of Efron and Leslie Mann, a description of what this movie is about, a Special Features listing, a cast list and technical specs.
When the powers that be at MovieWeb gave me this release to review, I took it and sort of wondered why? Then a friend of mine at MovieWeb, whose opinion I usually trust, told me that it was a good movie. So I put it in my player and only expected to be marginally impressed. Now, I am not saying that 17 Again is the best movie I have ever watched. I guess I just realized the age old axiom that one should never judge a book by its cover. This movie is rich with strong writing, solid characterizations and ultimately a good message that things can look bad, but they can always get better. It is because of this that I rank 17 Again as high as I do.
There are many other better movies that came out this year (Sin Nombre, Tetro, Moon), and these films are mere blips on the radar compared to 17 Again. However, it is easy to see why this movie connected more with a larger audience.