Top critical review
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While I enjoyed the film, the overall Blu-ray release is barebones. But if you are a fan of this film, def. upgrade to Blu.
on August 1, 2011
Among the films I can easily remember growing up as a teen and seeing it played over and over on HBO, it was the 1987 film "Overboard" starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. And with a lot of talk about the upcoming remake starring Jennifer Lopez and Will Smith, it doesn't surprise me that the film is now being released on Blu-ray.
"Overboard" is one of Director Gary Marshall's ("Pretty Woman", "Beaches", "Runaway Bride") earlier films, written by Leslie Dixon ("Mrs. Doubtfire", "Hairspray", Limitless") that was a flop in the box office but pretty much became a cult film because of its popularity on cable and even 25-years-later, I still see this film while channel surfing late at night and I have no doubt in my mind that people of today's generation are enjoying this late '80s film.
"Overboard" is presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1). First, its important for me to mention that a lot of late '80s and also early '90s films were not shot with great film stock. In fact, more than likely you will noticed certain catalog titles looking its age in HD. For "Overboard", you will notice that there is a good amount of grain but also a lot of noise and also a look that is not exactly the most pristine and shows its age.
With that being possibly the bad news, the good news is that the film looks much better than what one would see on television, on VHS and on DVD. The other good news is that there are many scenes that actually do look good and brings out the detail of the film. While the opening title sequence may look its age, as the film progresses, it actually looks much better. Granted, you will see white speckles from time-to-time but one thing where this film is fortunate is that most of it is shot outdoors and thus the sunlight really makes certain scenes come out vibrant.
So, if you really love this film, Blu-ray is the way to go!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
"Overboard" is presented in English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Mono and French Dolby Surround. The soundtrack is front-channel driven. Dialogue and even the '80s synth music comes out quite clear. Overall, it's a good lossless soundtrack but I chose to watch this film with stereo on all channels (set on my receiver) for a more immersive soundscape.
Subtitles are in English, Spanish and French.
"Overboard" comes with the original theatrical trailer.
One thing that I remember about this film is when I was a teenager was that I felt that Goldie Hawn was a hot actress and with her and Kurt Russell being a real-life couple, that the two had amazing chemistry.
Watching it in 2011, Goldie Hawn looks beautiful in the film and interesting to see how Goldie back then and her daughter Kate Hudson (today) look so much alike and yes, she and Kurt Russell have amazing chemistry and for the most part, despite the film is a popcorn romantic comedy and as many critics have called it an updated "screwball comedy" with a redneck attitude.
Some love it, some hate it but at the time, when one of the younger children spoke like Pee-Wee Herman, maybe today it seems a bit overplayed but heck, even back then...everyone tried to speak and laugh like Pee-Wee Herman. Granted, parents probably may have not liked the stereotypical portrayal of the redneck family, especially with the young kids talking about a woman's bodyparts and looking at nudie magazines but the sex jokes and overall comedy was not for the refined movie-goer.
And probably that is why this film had so much success on cable. At the time, Americans were more in-tune of what was coming out from the more younger crowd ala the Brat Pack talents during the late '80s and Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell were not an exciting box office pairing (their previous film "Swing Shift" back in 1984 also didn't do that well). But like many Americans, once this film started showing up on cable TV, it was watched many times.
And the intriguing thing about this film is that if you bypass the critic reviews for this film, you will see so many people who actually gave the film high ratings within the last 25-years. And personally, I don't think this film can be remade it today's society, especially with the kids talk about T&A so freely. It's not going to happen. So, I can only imagine the remake being tailored for modern sensibilities and it'll be interesting to see how far the remake will go.
But most importantly, what made this film work is because both Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have great chemistry and the fact that they were a real life couple, the characters seemed real and convincing. Because these two talents are in love, you can tell on film that the characters that they play are really in love. It's all in the details and the emotions and it made this film quite enjoyable.
For parents who watched the trailer, bare in mind, this is definitely not a family film. Granted, the banality of naughty or misbehaved children has been overdone in movies but in the case of this film alone, these kids like to talk about women's boobs and their butt and read nudie magazines and speak profanity. It was rated PG back in 1987 but wouldn't be surprised if a film like this would receive a rated-R in today's movie rating system (as one or two words of profanity easily gets a film an "R" rating).
As for the Blu-ray release, this is a barebones release and the PQ is not the greatest but its probably the better of any video version that has been released thus far. If you are passionate about the film and still have that old VHS copy, then definitely upgrade to Blu-ray!
Overall, "Overboard" is a romantic comedy with likeable characters, a fun story and a typical happy ending. By no means is it the best when it comes to romantic comedies but it is a cheerful romantic comedy with that '80s style and if you loved the film back then, no doubt you will love the film today!