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Young Adult

Blu Ray

  • Score
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Young Adult shines with superb performances and technical prowess, a unique Drama-Comedy blend that's dark yet accessible. Divisive yet Recommended.

    Young Adult Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
  • Young Adult's 1080p transfer excels in clarity, detail, and color, capturing nuances from makeup to textures with precision, enhancing character depth without flaws.

  • Audio
  • The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack excels in clarity and ambient sounds, though dialogue volume is low, requiring adjustment for a clear listening experience.

  • Extra
  • Young Adult's special features delve into technical aspects and character development, with director-led commentary, insightful featurettes, and a deep-dive Q&A, alongside brief deleted scenes.

  • Movie
  • 'Young Adult' intertwines the melancholy journey of a woman clinging to her past with stellar performances, led by a nuanced Charlize Theron, in a Diablo Cody-scripted drama that defies RomCom expectations.

    Video: 75

    The Blu-ray release of "Young Adult" presents a faithfully detailed 1080p video quality that prioritizes clarity and color accuracy, ensuring viewers experience the film in a manner almost akin to its theatrical presentation. While not laden with grandiose set pieces or digital effects that typically showcase the prowess of high-definition, this transfer excels in its consistency and sharpness, effortlessly bringing to life the unmistakably precise and sometimes uncomfortably intimate visual nuances of Mavis’ world. From the distinct texture of her excessively applied makeup to the minutiae of daily life reflected in the surroundings, every detail is rendered with painstaking clarity. Paramount's HD transfer does well in avoiding a digital gloss-over, thus preserving the natural aesthetic of the film.

    Colors within the film are vivid yet realistic, striking a pleasant balance that enhances without overwhelming, ensuring scenes maintain their intended mood whether under the harsh daylight or the subdued ambiance of a local bar. Skin tones are reproduced with an impressive fidelity, contributing further to the authentic feel of the film's visuals. The video’s handling of black levels is commendable; deep and true without falling prey to crush, adding a depth to shadows that enriches every frame. The visual presentation manages to highlight every intentional flaw and detail on screen, from the wear on Mavis' laptop to the intricacies of Matt's action figures, showcasing a level of detail that serves as a critical storytelling mechanism in itself.

    This Blu-ray offers an immersive viewing experience that stands out for its focus on the inherent realism of the story’s visual elements. Noise and other digital artifacts are notably absent, allowing for an uninterrupted enjoyment of the film’s meticulously crafted imagery. Although it may not boast the 'pop' of more visually aggressive releases, its technical proficiency and unwavering clarity make it a near-exemplar of how a film should be presented in high definition. Fans and new viewers alike will appreciate the attention to detail and the quality of this video presentation, which elevates the viewing experience of "Young Adult" to new heights.

    Audio: 68

    The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack of "Young Adult" provides a nuanced auditory experience, though it navigates a narrow path between subtlety and the need for a more pronounced dialogue presence. The opening's near-silence and subsequent low-volume ambience challenge the listener to tune into the film's subtle sound landscape. Ambient sounds such as background music in a restaurant or the buzz of city life are captured with precision, enhancing the sense of place without overtaking the primary audio elements. The film's score finds a solid footing within this mix, offering full-bodied musical cues that envelop the listener, ensuring that the music is one of the soundtrack's standout components.

    However, dialogues—the film's cornerstone—sometimes require the audience to reach for the volume control. Characters' lines, particularly those delivered in hushed tones or mumbles by protagonist Mavis, sometimes don't pierce through the mix as effectively as they might. This has led to some viewers experiencing difficulty in catching every word without adjusting their setup, an aspect that slightly detracts from an otherwise carefully curated audio presentation. The balance between dialogue and the rest of the auditory spectrum seems to favor subtlety, perhaps at the expense of clarity for some audiences.

    Notwithstanding these dialog-centric concerns, the overall auditory experience of "Young Adult" is lauded for its high fidelity and atmospheric depth. It faithfully recreates intimate settings and character interactions with a meticulousness that largely compensates for its few shortcomings in dialogue audibility. The soundtrack's deliberate underplay of ambient surround sounds further emphasizes the film's focus on its characters' internal and interpersonal narratives, framing its audio presentation as one carefully crafted for an authentic portrayal of life's quieter moments, albeit with room for refinement in dialogue delivery.

    Extra: 63

    The Blu Ray extras for “Young Adult” serve as a comprehensive deep-dive into the film’s production, narrative themes, and character analysis, albeit with a missed opportunity to hear directly from writer Diablo Cody and leading actress Charlize Theron. The audio commentary led by Director Jason Reitman, alongside his production team, offers insight into the technical aspects of filmmaking, such as shooting locations and schedules, while somewhat exploring the film’s deeper themes. However, more character-driven insights are found in the featurettes and Q&A session. “Misery Loves Company: The Making of Young Adult” and “The Awful Truth: Deconstructing a Scene” provide a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s creation and specific scene breakdowns, respectively, albeit with some repetition of content. The most enriching content comes from the “Q&A Featuring Janet Maslin & Jason Reitman,” which delves into the film's nuanced character development and thematic elements extensively. The deleted scenes offer a glimpse into the editing room’s choices but lack substantial content to impact the overall narrative significantly.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Audio Commentary: A technical and thematic exploration with Director Jason Reitman and his team.
    • Misery Loves Company: The Making of Young Adult: A dive into the film's creation process, highlighting script evolution and cast performances.
    • The Awful Truth: Deconstructing a Scene: Diablo Cody discusses character motivations, followed by a detailed scene breakdown.
    • Q&A Featuring Janet Maslin & Jason Reitman at the Jacob Burns Film Center: An in-depth discussion on all facets of "Young Adult," from conceptualization to audience reception.
    • Deleted Scenes: A collection of six short scenes cut from the final film.
    • UV Digital Copy: A digital version of the film for portable devices.

    Movie: 73

    Young Adult," helmed by the dynamic duo of director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody, known for their acclaimed work on "Juno," reconnects to explore the less-traveled road of middle-aged desolation through the lens of a faded high school queen bee, Mavis Gary, portrayed by the ever-capable Charlize Theron. Unlike the hopeful tones of adolescent tales, this narrative plunges into the tumultuous life of an adult grappling with unfulfilled desires and the stark realizations of a life that hasn't panned out as dreamt. Mavis, a writer of YA novels, embarks on a misguided quest to reclaim her high school glory days and an old flame, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), unveiling a journey not of romantic rekindling but of confronting personal demons and unattainable pasts.

    The film astonishingly pivots from the expected tracks of romantic comedy to deliver a poignant, even jarring, exploration of stunted growth and the haunting specter of nostalgia. Theron's Mavis is intricately sketched as both detestable and pitiable—a woman lost in the echoes of her adolescent prime, unable to navigate the unrecognizable terrain of her present life. Supporting performances, particularly Patton Oswalt's portrayal of Matt Freehauf—an old classmate bearing physical and emotional scars—offer a grounding counterbalance to Mavis's spiraling delusion. Oswalt's casting is spot-on, providing both comic relief and a sober reflection of acceptance in contrast to Mavis’s denial and regression.

    Technically, "Young Adult" strikes a delicate balance between sharp wit and bleak realism, manifested through Cody’s biting script and Reitman’s nuanced direction. The film sidesteps cliché and sentimentality, opting instead for a raw, unembellished presentation that challenges the audience to engage with its unwieldy protagonist and her fraught journey to self-awareness. Its authenticity is further amplified by keen performances that reveal the intricate layers of defense characters wield against their realities. This collaborative effort crafts an experience that's as thought-provocative as it is uncomfortable, making "Young Adult" an unexpected gem that excels in its courageous depiction of flawed humanity wrestling with the shadow of a glorified past.

    Total: 70

    Young Adult" emerges as a cinematic endeavor that bridges the often distinct realms of heavy drama and light-hearted comedy with exceptional finesse. Its narrative stands out for its unique treatment of complex themes, allowing audiences to engage with the darker aspects of the storyline amidst a seemingly upbeat ambiance. The movie triumphs not only through its innovative storyline but also via the outstanding performances that bring its characters to life. The exceptional technical execution complements Diablo Cody's unparalleled scriptwriting, solidifying her position at the peak of her career, with this piece arguably surpassing her acclaimed work in "Juno". The contribution of Jason Reitman further enriches the film, placing it near the top within his illustrious career. On the Blu-ray front, Paramount delivers an impressive presentation, featuring excellent video quality and robust audio. The addition of a comprehensive suite of extras further elevates the overall viewing experience, making this release highly recommended.

    However, it's worth noting that "Young Adult" might not resonate with every viewer. The central character, portrayed as deeply flawed and somewhat irredeemable, establishes a narrative that deviates from conventional redemption arcs, potentially dividing audience opinions. This unconventional approach reflects a bold departure from typical life-altering resolutions found in similar genres, offering a fresh perspective for those particularly drawn to the works of Reitman and Cody. Despite its divisive nature, it remains a recommended watch, especially for viewers seeking depth and originality in their cinematic experiences.

    In conclusion, "Young Adult" on Blu-ray stands as a testament to the collaborative brilliance of Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, offering a blend of sharp wit and profound storytelling. While its appeal may not be universal due to its challenging protagonist and deviation from traditional narratives, it presents a quality viewing experience underpinned by excellent production values on Blu-ray. For those attuned to its distinctive approach, this release not only entertains but also provokes thought, securing its place as a noteworthy addition to any film enthusiast's collection.