SRP $34.95 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 SONY
 
SRP $43.95 1.85:1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1/PCM 5.1 SONY
 

SONY is releasing the hit comedy, "SUPERBAD" on dvd in various versions, as well as a "2 disc Unrated Version" on blu-ray. While this reviewer must admit having been completely disinterested in seeing the film upon viewing the mediocre theatrical trailer, the actual film is extremely entertaining, and highly recommended.  As raunchy as the film is and this "unrated" version "is" even more raunchy than the theatrical version, it's got a genuine sweetness underneath, and even a message that warns us about the downside of growing up too fast and the loss of innocence.  Of course, all kids want to grow up too fast, but fairly recently "society" is asking and expecting them to, without considering the cost.

The plot, focusing on kids about to finish their last year of school together, before heading off to college, examines the anxiety of a friendship that appears to be coming to an end, as one friend is going to attend a different college than expected, thus preventing the assumed roommate for life expectation of another. Of course, there are plenty of other youth-oriented jokes and some great gags, including fake id's, trying to "score," attending a cool party, and reinventing one's image, but unlike most "teen-targeted" comedies, of the past 20 years,  these things all work in "SUPERBAD!"

SONY has provided the correct 1.85:1 transfer for both formats, with 16:9 enhancement for dvd. The blu-ray offers 1080p/AVC MPEG-4.  The theatrical image had a grainy look that appeared intentional. Both dvd and blu-ray have a softer image than the theatrical presentation, and grain is only mildly intrusive. Colors are rich and vibrant and while contrast has some shortcomings in darker scenes, the blu-ray offers deeper blacks and grays, providing greater depth. The blu-ray has plenty of scenes that have that "jump off the screen" detail.

SONY has provided both a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix and a PCM 5.1 mix for the blu-ray, and a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the dvd.  The standard mix has a greater amount of surround/discrete effects than a typical comedy mix tends to offer.  But both the Dolby TrueHD and PCM mixes on blu-ray are more aggressive. The hi-def mixes are generally comparable, but the PCM mix offers better bass and the TrueHD mix offers better dynamic range. These hi-def mixes are proving to be subjective in preference. Dialogue is always intelligible on all formats, and the great music tracks are well complimented, with greater fidelity on blu-ray than dvd.

There are loads of extras on this 2 disc set, including a terrific commentary. While some may generally not find the time for these commentaries, this one's well worth listening to. It's hilarious from beginning to end. 

There are some great improv scenes featuring the cops as well, with some faring better than others, but all of them entertaining.  There are also deleted/extended scenes, audition tapes and more. For those who've already enjoyed the film, this special edition is a treasure chest of riches!

An "Exclusive to Blu-ray" extra is the "SUPERBAD SUPER METER!"  This allows viewers to keep score of the sexual references and bad language throughout the film.