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Young Adult Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Audio Description Dolby Digital 5.1, French & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: R
  • Run Time: 93 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray + UltraViolet)
  • Studio:  Paramount Home Media Distribution
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • List Price: $29.99

[amazon-product]B005FITILO[/amazon-product]

Purchase Young Adult on Blu-ray+UltraViolet at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Writer Diablo Cody (TV’s The United Sates of Tara; Jennifer’s Body; Juno) mines the dark side of the human soul once again in this Jason Reitman directed dark comedy starring Charlize Theron. Young Adult is a straight, no chaser journey through depression, regret, and midlife crisis. Theron plays Mavis Gary, a ghost writer for a popular young adult series of books and recent divorcée from Minneapolis who returns to her small town in Minnesota to woo her high school boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) away from his wife and newborn daughter.

The miserable and hard drinking Mavis can’t seem to find satisfaction in her big city life, but she hates the small town of her youth even more, except that, in her own stunted state of young adulthood, she can’t seem to give up the fantasy of being with her old beau. Seeing his happiness only makes her more miserable and more determined to win him back. Meanwhile, in her hometown, Mavis finds a friend in misery, the disabled Matt (Patton Oswalt) who happened to share the locker next to hers in high school and was known as “hate crime guy.” Even as Matt tries to dissuade Mavis from her plan to derail Buddy’s marriage and leave the past alone, he himself is stuck with the burden of the past and the brutal attack in high school that left him disabled.

While Young Adult is brilliantly scripted and well acted by Theron as well as Oswalt in his supporting role, the only glitches in an otherwise fine film are the sometimes stifling direction by Reitman and the heavy veil of darkness that never lifts, even at the end. We never come away with a sense that any of the characters have actually learned anything or grown as a result of their actions in Young Adult, but perhaps that is the point. Life isn’t always wrapped up in a neat package and tied off with a bow. It’s sometimes sloppy and people do often make the same mistakes over again. We get the feeling Mavis might be headed down that path.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Young Adult was originally captured in HD on the Arri Alexa cinematographic HD camera with Cooke S4 Lenses and arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p/24 transfer in an AVC/MPEG-4 encodement. As one might expect from a modern HD production, it is clean and detailed, has relatively strong contrast with good color reproduction and natural flesh tones.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The audio mix, in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is mostly front-heavy and dialogue-driven. On that count it does the job well providing clean dialogue and a decent amount of dynamic range for its musical soundtrack. There are some small atmospheric effects in the surround channels that add just a slight bit of spaciousness to the sound.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

All video supplements are provided in 1080p/24 and include interviews with the cast & crew. The best one to go through is the Q&A session, but the audio commentary also offers up some interesting if repetitive tidbits.

The supplements:

  • Commentary by director Jason Reitman, director of photography Erica Steiberg and first assistant/director associate producer Jason A. Blumfield
  • Misery Loves Company: The Making of Young Adult (00:17:27)
  • The Awful Truth: Deconstructing a Scene (00:06:23)
  • Q&A featuring Janet Maslin & Jason Reitman at the Jacob Burns Film Center (00:46:05)
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • You Busy?
    • Good Boy
    • I’m Blocked
    • Munchies
    • Huge Shared Dream
    • Are you happy, Mavis?

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A fine dark comedy from a big studio that almost has an indie feel, Young Adult pulls off making an enjoyable film with a lead character with no redeemable characteristics. Diablo Cody proves herself once again in tune with the rhythms of speech and the painful realism of the human psyche.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005FITILO[/amazon-product]

Purchase Young Adult on Blu-ray+UltraViolet at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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