Dazed and Confused – Flashback Edition

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Rating: R

Starring:
Jason London as Randall ‘Pink’ Floyd
Rory Cochrane as Ron Slater
Wiley Wiggins as Mitch Kramer
Sasha Jenson as Don Dawson
Michelle Burke as Jodi Kramer
Adam Goldberg as Mike Newhouse
Anthony Rapp as Tony Olson
Matthew McConaughey as David Wooderson
Marissa Ribisi as Cynthia Dunn
Shawn Andrews as Kevin Pickford
Cole Hauser as Benny O’Donnell
Milla Jovovich as Michelle Burroughs
Joey Lauren Adams as Simone Kerr
Christin Hinojosa as Sabrina Davis
Ben Affleck as Fred O’Bannion

Special Features:
Nine Never-Before Seen Deleted Scenes

The Blunt Truth

Retro Public Service Announcements

Production Notes

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language Track
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 94 Minutes

Synopsis:
This film was originally released in 1993. The following is the text from the DVD cover:

“This critically acclaimed cult favorite, written and directed by Richard Linklater (The School Of Rock), explores the last day of school – and one wild night – in the lives of high school students in 1976. Complete with bongs and bell bottoms, macramé and mood rings, and featuring classic rock music by Aerosmith, Black Sabbath and KISS, this superb ensemble cast of up-and-comers (Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey and Milla Jovovich) delivers an enduring film that Rolling Stone called ‘spectacularly funny!’ 1976 was a time they’d never forget ‘if only they could remember’”

Dazed and Confused is rated R for pervasive continuous teen drug and alcohol use and very strong language.

The Movie:
If I had to describe Dazed And Confused, it would be “American Graffitti set in 1976″. They both feature small town teens running loose one night in a period setting. They both feature a large cast of characters and an array of stereotypes. They both feature soundtracks with tons of songs from the era. Finally, they both feature a number of young actors who went on to become big stars.

One of the first noticeable things about the film is the cast. A large number of these actors are now major names in Hollywood. They include Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Cole Hauser, Joey Lauren Adams, and Milla Jovovich. Even some of the other actors will probably be recognizable to you including Michelle Burke and Marissa Ribisi (Giovanni Ribisi’s twin sister). Rarely has an ensemble cast of unknowns produced such a large number of well known stars. If you’re a fan of any of these actors you’ll want to see them in these early roles.

The story is funny, too. While I can’t really point out any one major plotline through the film, there are a lot of little things here and there that are amusing. There’s also a colorful cast of characters that you quickly care for. There are the jocks, the stoners, the geeks, the cheerleaders, the eternal seniors, the freshmen, and the bullies. While the hazing and partying would hardly be acceptable today, they are funny in the 1976 setting. The ongoing game of the seniors chasing the freshmen down and spanking them with paddles drives a lot of the story. And since this was set in a small Texas town near where I live, I found it even more fun to watch.

If you like classic rock then you’re going to love this soundtrack. It features Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan, Kiss, War, Peter Frampton, and many more. As a fan of this kind of music I got quite a kick out of hearing my favorite tunes in this film. They usually set the tone of the scenes perfectly, too.

Unfortunately, the only drawback of the movie happens to be the same thing that drives most of the story. The teens are shown constantly smoking weed, drinking, and making sexual advances. A lot of this happens while they are driving. Throw in this dangerous mixture of alcohol, pot, sex, and reckless driving and you’d hardly have the happy ending that Dazed and Confused offers. More realistically you’d have a couple of the girls knocked up, a few of the kids dead in a car wreck, and others in jail or moving on to harder drugs. At least that’s how it went in my school.

Anyway, Dazed and Confused falls firmly under the category of “teen comedy”. If you like that genre, you’ll enjoy this film. I think it will also help if you grew up in the 70′s or early 80′s. It’s easy to see why this is a cult classic.

The Extras:
This “Flashback Edition” of the DVD is surprisingly light on the extras. Here are the highlights:

Nine Never-Before Seen Deleted Scenes – None of these deleted scenes are that spectacular, but they are included for your enjoyment. One features Cole Hauser’s character making racist remarks about Asians in their small town. Another scene features Parker Posey and Joey Lauren Adams making jokes about their mothers. A third scene features Cole Hauser and the seniors catching some freshmen and making them tell where they can find Mitch Kramer. Finally, one scene shows Ben Affleck’s character showing up at the party all cleaned up, cooled off, and free of paint.

The Blunt Truth – This is a parody educational video warning of the dangers of smoking pot. It’s amusingly cheesy and about 5 minutes long.

Retro Public Service Announcements – Two real public service announcements are included. One features the Indian crying over litter. The other is a musical about VD.

The Bottom Line:
Dazed and Confused is essentially American Graffitti set in 1976 and featuring more sex, drugs, and classic rock and roll. If you like that concept or if you’re a fan of Ben Affleck, Cole Hauser, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, or Adam Goldberg, then you’ll enjoy this.

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