Director Richard Linklater's "DAZED AND CONFUSED" has certainly won an audience and CRITERION recently created a very special "special edition" to please its many fans. This reviewer is certainly "not" one of them! It's not because the film didn't have a plot. "AMERICAN GRAFFITI" didn't have one, but it was a fine film in many ways. It's probably because the kinds of people Linklater chose to focus his film on, are just not pleasant in any way to be around, let alone for over 90 minutes. While not against pot, the only way this reviewer wants to watch potheads, is while seeing "UP IN SMOKE". The jocks, freaks, and others depicted in this film, may very well be accurate depictions of people Linklater knew, but it doesn't mean they're interesting or fun to be with.
Set on the last day before summer break in high school, the film introduces and follows various characters from different echelons of school grades. While it definitely captures "a" certain atmosphere, it doesn't really present issues of any substance, as another vastly superior film, "BREAKING AWAY" did.
Sure, there are many that love this film, and as with all films, it's a matter of personal preference. This critic "hates" the film. There are those that "love" it!
UNIVERSAL has presented "DAZED AND CONFUSED" as a HD-DVD combo presentation with the HD-DVD on one side and the dvd on the opposite side.
UNIVERSAL has preserved the film's 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Nothing about this release screams "HIGH DEFINITION" but it's a fine transfer, and colors are rendered far better than on the decent looking standard dvd version. Detail is superior to the dvd version too, with the dvd alternating between gritty and soft in appearance. The contrast on this HD-DVD is a little disappointing with blacks and grays lacking the deepness found on many superior quality HD-DVDs already released by UNIVERSAL.
UNIVERSAL has presented a DOLBY DIGITAL PLUS 5.1 mix. This is a front-heavy mix, with surround effects virtually non-existent, except during songs, wherein the bass kicks in with great impact. Dialogue is well balanced, although dynamic range is fairly limited throughout. The DTS mix offered on the standard dvd offers slightly better fidelity.
A variety of deleted scenes is included, but they're all in very poor condition.