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Canít hardly believe that it has been a whole decade since CAN'T HARDLY WAIT ($29) played in theaters. Sure, its not great cinema, but still a fun little high school coming of age comedy that featured the lovely Jennifer Love Hewitt. The film brings back a lot of memories, and if you are like me, or went to high school within the last thirty years, there is a lot to relate to the story. CAN'T HARDLY WAIT is set at a post high school graduation party with all the teenaged stereotypes in attendance. You have the jocks, the nerds, the cheerleaders, the stoners, the bimbos, the wannabes, the clueless and the social outcasts all brought together for this once in a lifetime event. During the course of the evening, romances blossom, lives are changed and good times are had by almost all.

While CAN'T HARDLY WAIT has an ensemble cast and follows a number of divergent stories, the plight of one Preston Meyers (Ethan Embry) is the centerpiece of the film. Preston has been in love with Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt) since the moment he laid eyes on her in freshman year. Despite Prestonís undying love, Amanda has spent the last four years as the girlfriend of the schoolís football hero. Preston looks upon the party as his final opportunity to make a play for the girl of his dreamsÖ after fate leaves Amanda suddenly available. CAN'T HARDLY WAIT features a number of very funny performances including Seth Green as the "homeboy" wannabe and Charlie Korsmo as the nerd who reinvents himself. The cast of CANíT HARDLY WAIT also features Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Michelle Brookhurst, Jenna Elfman, Jaime Pressly, Donald Faison, Erik Palladino, Clea DuVall, Jerry O'Connell and Melissa Joan Hart.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made CANíT HARDLY WAIT available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is certainly nice, but it isnít anywhere near demonstration material. This isnít a flaw in the transfer, its just that the originally photography wasnít all that impressive. CANíT HARDLY WAIT was a modestly budgeted teen comedy, and that all it looks like even in high definition. In general, the cinematography is very inconsistent; some portions of the film appear to have been shot with diffusion filters over the lens, while others appear unfiltered. Sharpness and detail are variable, but even the filtered portions of the film have a clarity and dimensionality that screams the virtues of high definition. Colors are generally warm and provide a good level of saturation. Blacks are accurate and the whites are crisp. Contrast is just fine, as is shadow detail. Grain is noticeable throughout, but is not excessive to this type of material.

CANíT HARDLY WAIT is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. No surprises here, CANíT HARDLY WAIT features a dialogue driven comedy mix. There is plenty of popular music integrated into the mix, so it gets the biggest boost from the lossless encoded. As for the sound design, the outlying channels see limited activity, with occasional active effects across the front, while it is primarily ambience and musical fill falling into the rears. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue is totally understandable. French and Portuguese Dolby TrueHD soundtracks are also present, as is a Thai Dolby Digital 5.1 channel track. Subtitles are available in English, French, Indonesian, Korean, Thai, Spanish, Chinese and Portuguese.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the discís interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplemental materials. Starting things off are two running Audio Commentaries; the first is from the original DVD release and features co-writer/directors Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, producers Jenno Topping and Betty Thomas and actor Seth Green. The second commentary is a 10 Years Later reunion track that features co-writer/directors Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, along with actors Seth Green, Peter Facinelli, Joel Michaely, and Donald Faison. Special K's 411 Track Yo offers pop-up trivia. Featurettes include Huntington Hills High Class Of '98 Reunion (twenty six minute retrospective), Can't Hardly Wait: The Making Of A Teen Classic (fourteen minute co-writer/directors reflection) and The Life Of The Party (nine minutes on the teen party movie). You Know You're '90's If... tests your knowledge of the 1990s. Deleted Scenes, Bonus Trailers and the is the Smash Mouth music video for Can't Get Enough Of You Baby close out the main body of supplements. CANíT HARDLY WAIT is also BD-Live enabled.

Even at its ten-year reunion, CANíT HARDLY WAIT remains a fun teen comedy. The Blu-ray release isnít demo worthy, but it still looks pretty sweet in hi-def. Recommended to longtime fans of this flick.



Can't Hardly Wait [Blu-ray] (1998)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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