One of the “GREAT” films of the ‘80s has just been released on dvd by MGM. “VALLEY GIRL” never got its due, but it’s won a cult audience on videotape and cable airings, always in full-frame, inferior presentations.
Thankfully, MGM has gone all out for this release, creating a “Special Edition. Nicolas Cage stars as Randy, a young, quirky teen smitten with Julie(Deborah Foreman). Julie’s friends don’t approve of Randy, and would rather see her with one of their own. With a wonderful visual style, a fine script, wonderful performances, and a terrific score, “VALLEY GIRL” pulls off its aspirations to be an ‘80s homage to “ROMEO AND JULIET”, albeit with an upbeat ending. Director Martha Coolidge has received a lot of praise for her later films, but “RAMBLING ROSE” and “WAYNE’S WORLD” aren’t as consistently appealing as this film manages to be.
Young and old(those that were teens in the ‘80s)should watch this one together, and it’s almost certain to bridge any age gaps in terms of its entertainment factor.
MGM has provided both a letterboxed(1.85:1, 16:9 enhanced) and full-frame transfer. It’s a wonderful transfer, in spite of some excessive grain in a few instances. “VALLEY GIRL” is a colorful film, and its production design is impressive. The quality of the transfer fully compliments the design, and offers rich colors, as well as providing excellent detail in most scenes.
MGM has remastered the release with a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. It’s a huge improvement over the previous vhs and laserdisc presentations. “VALLEY GIRL” has a terrific soundtrack(MODERN ENGLISH,etc) and the music sounds incredible, with great fidelity and balance. While surrounds are limited to select discrete effects, it’s still an enjoyable and entertaining mix. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
MGM has provided a running commentary with Coolidge, and fans of the film should enjoy her revisiting of events surrounding the film’s production. However, she’s not an engaging speaker, and it’s not one of the most exciting commentaries we’ve heard.
MGM has also provided several featurettes. These featurettes generally allow cast and crew to reminisce about the film’s production. Another featurette offers Cage and Coolidge discussing the film in more detail. The best featurette, “THE MUSIC OF VALLEY GIRL” offers a look into the film’s terrific soundtrack.
Also included are two
music videos, both great tunes from the ‘80s, “I MELT WITH YOU” and “A MILLION