09/02/2014  
The Goldbergs: The Complete First Season on DVD Sep 9The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 16Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on DVD & Blu-ray Sep 2Last Passenger on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9Person of Interest: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray Combo & DVD Sep 2Willow Creek on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 9

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

DWTS Season 19 Cast Revealed by Rumor ...
The Goldbergs: The Complete First Season on DVD Sep 9...
Box Office Charts From Yahoo! Movies Aug 29 - Aug 31...
5 summer box office takeaways: Marvel rules, China rise...
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Blu-ray & DVD Se...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay Entertainment presents
Class of 1984 (1981)

"Life is pain. Pain is everything."
- Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: February 20, 2006

Stars: Perry King, Merrie Lynn Ross, Timothy Van Patten
Other Stars: Stefan Arngrim, Michael J. Fox, Roddy McDowall
Director: Mark Lester

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (graphic violence, language, nudity, strong sexual situations)
Run Time: 01h:37m:43s
Release Date: February 21, 2006
UPC: 013131306897
Genre: cult


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B AA-A- B

DVD Review

As far as seminal cult classics go, Class of 1984 is one of the more influential of the lot. If this movie had not been made and subsequently praised by film critic Roger Ebert, similar fare (The Substitute, Dangerous Minds) might never have been conceived. This tale of violent gangs in the classroom isn't exactly the first of its kind (Blackboard Jungle first springs to mind), but looking back now, over 20 years later, it's an entry that has held up surprisingly well.

New teacher Andrew Norris (Perry King) descends upon Lincoln High on his first day. He's the new head of the music department, who, after bonding with fellow teacher Terry Corrigan (Roddy McDowall), walks into his classroom and straight into hell. Wrecking havoc in the room is the school's most powerful gang, headed by Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten), who doesn't take any crap from anyone, whether they're a student or an adult authority figure. This initial encounter sets the tone for the hate/hate relationship between Norris and Stegman, one that could threaten all of those close to the teacher, including his wife, Diane (Merrie Lynn Ross).

From the opening shots of the high school in turmoil (complete with what had to be some of the first in-school metal detectors), the perfect tone is set for director Mark Lester to craft his grand guignol of revenge. Usually, in films like this, the "bad" kids pick on the "good" ones, and physical harm is rarely an issue. But here, these gangs don't discriminate, using knives, guns, or whatever they can get their hands on, to actually murder other people, often in gruesome ways. This gore and graphic violence has always been a major draw for fans of this film, but for the uninitiated, there's much more to it than just intense slasher violence.

The Stegman character is beyond evil, but Lester gives him the slightest bit of sympathy; he's also a talented pianist, and we see that his mother truly loves him. Still, just when Stegman earns our sympathy, Lester pulls the rug and Stegman commits an even more heinous act of terror towards Mr. Norris or any other innocent that gets in his way. Timothy Van Patten does a nice job bringing Stedman to life, and Perry King's work as Mr. Norris is powerful, despite quite a bit of over-acting. We are also treated to one of the earliest performances by Michael J. Fox (credited here as Michael Fox), who shows us just how talented he is, even at such an early age.

Lester gets the best out of all of his actors, but it doesn't get any better than Roddy McDowall's performance as the mild-mannered biology teacher. He is involved in what is arguably the centerpiece of the film; a shocking sequence involving a teacher with a gun that immediately follows an even more jarring series of events. In this 15 minutes or so, McDowall makes the seamless transition to a revenge-seeking madman, filled with nothing but rage after the core of his daily work is destroyed by Stegman and company. McDowall's performance toes a fine line between serious emoting and pure camp, but he handles this task quite well.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.77:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This anamorphic 1.77:1 widescreen transfer gives us Class of 1984 in the best presentation it's ever enjoyed. Quite a bit of clean-up work has been done, with almost no grain and dirt left. The color-rendering is excellent, bringing out each and every hue of the wild '80s fashions, and avoiding any blemishes such as bleeding. The image isn't as sharp and detailed as newer films, but this is more than forgivable, given the overall stellar transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The new Dolby Digital 5.1 track features surprisingly active surrounds that provide a great deal of depth to the proceedings. Wide dynamic range brings quite a bit of ambient sound to all of the speakers, and there's deep, aggressive bass during the action scenes. The dialogue is integrated well into the overall mix, and is always easy to hear and understand.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Vice Squad, Bad Boys, Heathers
2 TV Spots/Teasers
Screenplay
1 Documentaries
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Writer/director Mark Lester and DVD producer Perry Martin
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Poster & Still Gallery
Extras Review: This decent extras collection begins with Blood and Blackboards, a 35-minute documentary about the making of Class of 1984. We get interviews with cast (including Perry King) and crew, during which they discuss the evolution of school violence from the days of Blackboard Jungle, to the shooting of Class of 1984, and through the extreme cases we see today.

An audio commentary track includes writer/director Mark Lester and DVD producer Perry Martin. This covers much of what we hear in Blood and Blackboards, but there are some new tidbits about the cast and what it was like to deal with such sensitive subject matter.

There's also the great theatrical trailer, a pair of TV spots, a poster and stills gallery, Mark Lester biography and filmography, trailers for other Anchor Bay DVD releases, and a DVD-ROM feature that grants access to the film's screenplay.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

With the Columbine Massacre still looming over us, watching a film like Class of 1984 today is still moving and scary. This dark look at school violence rings even more true now, and Anchor Bay's excellent new DVD captures this powerful movie in the best way it has ever been presented on home video.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, reality, dancing with the stars, abc, janel parrish, jonathan bennett, sadie robertson, lea thompson, lolo jones, comedy, box office, movies, guardians of the galaxy, zoe saldano, rocket racoon, bradley cooper, chris pratt, vin diesel, biography, history, horror, drama, movie, rosewater, maziar bahari, jon stewart director, gael garcia bernal, celebrity, joan rivers, comedian, cardiac arrest, mount sinai hospital, 81 years old, full house, revival, john stamos, candace cameron bure, jody sweetin, andrea barber, bob saget, dave coulier, pierce brosnan, the november man, luke bracey, james bond, olga kurylenko, roger donaldson, kids, music, justin timberlake, iceland, 90 minutes, korinn auditorium, shake your body, take back the night, movies. richard attenborough, actor, director, brighton rock, gandhi, oh what a lovely war, jurassic park. in which we serve, simpsons, marathon, fxx, itchy & scratchy & marge, miley cyrus, dominican republic, banned, moral grounds, wrecking ball, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, teenage mutant ninja turtles, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact