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Anchor Bay presents
Hiding Out (1987)

Andrew: "Hey, I used to be just like you; a short, horny, hopeless dork."
Patrick: "Yeah, and now look at you."
Andrew: "Well, I'm not short."

- Jon Cryer, Keith Coogan

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: December 25, 2001

Stars: Jon Cryer, Keith Coogan, Annabeth Gish
Other Stars: Timothy Patrick Quill, Oliver Cotton, Marita Geraghty
Director: Bob Giraldi

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for (language, some violence)
Run Time: 01h:33m:00s
Release Date: October 09, 2001
UPC: 013131140293
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- B-A-B+ D+

DVD Review

During the 1980s, actor Jon Cryer was sort of the odd-man-out of the so-called Brat Pack of young actors at the time. It seems, whether intentional or not, he desperately attempted to succeed as either a serious character actor or an effective teen-comedy actor. Hiding Out is probably the best of Cryer's solo efforts, mainly because it doesn't seem to be trying to top other teen "classics" of the day. It also puts an interesting spin on the whole high school genre by making its central character a guy who's already been through it all once, but is forced to do it again.

Cryer plays Andrew Morenski, a successful New York stockbroker at the height of his career. Unfortunately, his firm unwittingly helped launder money for an infamous mobster who's about to go on trial. The FBI wants Andrew and his colleagues to testify, which they figure is no big deal, but when one of his co-workers winds up dead, he finds himself in protective custody. In a major screw-up, the FBI almost gets Andrew killed, and he he heads upstate to hide from mob hitmen lwith his aunt. When he arrives in his aunt's hometown, he realizes that he must keep a low profile, or else he might get members of his own family killed should the mob find him. So, he befriends his closest cousin, Patrick (Keith Coogan), and decides not to involve his aunt. Taking the name Maxwell Hauser, he enlists himself as a student in the local high school, where he has to blend in to survive. What he discovers is that the trials of school in the 1980s is a far cry from his days in the 1970s.

Some of the really stupid and obvious jokes are avoided here and Hiding Out is, for the most part, a genuinely entertaining comedy. Because Andrew is not meant to be some kind of teen hero, the film's gimmick of him being much older than he seems actually works. His intelligence and adult savvy earns him easy friends and supporters, but he never turns into some cocky, exaggerated "Ferris Bueller" wannabe. The film is hard to believe, obviously, but getting past that, it still grounds itself more in reality than wild, comic insanity. The mob subplot is worked in awkwardly, but since it is the excuse for Andrew being here, it's unavoidable. Eventually, Andrew develops a strange, romantic interest in a classmate (Annabeth Gish) that complicates things, but again, is only used to a limit for its comedic potential and is done rather tastefully given the time. Wisely, Hiding Out doesn't go overboard with repetitive, stale jokes about "Oh gee, isn't THIS funny when you're an adult and have to do things in school!"

The one, major stumbling block in Hiding Out is that since it's solevel-headed and honestly funny, there seems to be a tremendous amount of energy spent on making sure that Andrew's cousin, Patrick, picks up all that garbage that is left out of the center of the film. All those dumb teen movie jokes and stereotypical, older-than-dirt routines about how funny it is to be young are put into agonizing portions centering around Patrick. At first he's kind of funny and provides an excellent way of introducing Andrew to modern high school, but he quickly wears out his welcome by time the subplot about him trying to get a driver's license and find a date arrives. It screeches the film to a halt whenever he replaces Andrew as the central character, and seems an afterthought to make this "teen" movie more teen. Thankfully, these portions are brief enough that they don't ruin the rest of the film, which is nicely acted and generally amusing. It is dated in many ways (especially the 1980s' pop soundtrack), but it's a better movie than most fish-out-of-water stories about adult teachers trying to understand kids.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Fans should enjoy this amazing new transfer, which really surprised me. The source print is very clean, with barely any signs of negative damage or other problem spots. Digitally, there is an absence of compression artifacts, pixelation, or any other distracting errors. Anamorphic enhancement hasn't brought out any major aliasing, and the film-like image has a lot of depth and rich color reproduction without feeling like a film from 1987. At times, the transfer is striking considering the relatively average cinematography and lack of true visual flair. It's really more than I expected, and feels like a great deal of care was taken in its creation.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Very theatrical and emphasized, the Dolby 2.0 Surround audio track provides a goodexperience given the limitation of the movie itself. Most pronounced is the constantlyvarying soundtrack of artists of the day. The score itself (by Art Of Noise's Anne Dudley) also feels very immersive and powerful. The lack of any "action" in the film means little use of the surround channels (basically none) and not a whole lot of directionality. Dialogue is crisp and nothing is ever flat or harsh, though, making this a generally good track with a nice, near-field feeling to it.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: A widescreen theatrical trailer is on the disc and the keepcase includes a cardstock replica of the original poster for the film. Apart from this, no other major features are present, although there are some nice, themed menus.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

Hiding Out is basically a teen comedy that is neither too serious or too ludicrous. This was basically Cryer's last hurrah in this type of role, things drastically changing after his next film, the dark and bizarre Penelope Spheeris project Dudes. It isn't perfect, but it seems to have never really gotten much credit for being as solid as it is, making it a good simple comedy rental.

 


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