17 Again (2009)

Genre(s): Comedy / Fantasy
Warner Brothers || PG13 - 102 minutes - $28.98 || August 11, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-08-12


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Burr Steers
Writer(s): Jason Filardi (written by)
Cast: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Matthew Perry, Michelle Trachtenberg


Theatrical Release Date: April 17, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35), Full Frame (1.33)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Plot: Mike (Perry) once had it all - a beautiful wife, two great kids, and a job he was expecting to get a promotion in... and then it all falls apart. Divorce papers are ready to be signed, his kids hate him and he gets passed over for the promotion. Hoping to relive his glory days of Basketball he goes back to his old high school where he meets a magical janitor who turns him, yep, you guessed it, 17 Again! With a new name, Mark (Efron) seeks out help from his friend as he tries to right the wrongs and make his kids and wife happy.

This is one of the movies I look upon and go 'Damn, this actually exceeded my expectations'. While the plot has been done so many times before (in TV and Film) itís nice to have a little spin on a familiar genre. The movie packs family-friendly comedy throughout that kids will enjoy with slight nods that adults will get a kick out of. Like last yearís Get Smart, I've been pleasantly surprised by these titles Warner keeps putting out.

Gotta give it up to Zac - he really knows how to act. I pretty much wrote him off after the three High School Musicals came out because he seemed like a one-hit wonder for the Disney crowd but gees this kid can act. Not only did he probably watch all ten seasons of "Friends" over and over, but he pictures up nearly all of Matthew Perry's little 'ticks' and pulls them off perfectly. This kid has skills.

While I enjoyed the performances of Leslie Mann (finally appearing in a film not written/directed by her husband), Melora Hardin and Matthew Perry, I'm a bit disappointed with Trachtenberg who (at no fault of her own) is pretty much given the role of making out with Hunter Parrish' character for almost the entire film. It seemed like she could have been a better storyline to follow instead of her brother Alex.

My only one issue with the film is the fact that no one notices that Mark (Efron in 2009) looks identical to Mike (Efron from 1989) from the late 80's. How can someone not remember what that person looked like when they've known each other for 20 odd years? I could see if maybe Mark had a different haircut (like a mullet) but he was sporting the exact same hair style. Have the kids never seen pictures of their father when he was younger? Does Scarlett not have a wedding picture around the house?

And please don't try and add up the years in your head since that makes no sense at all either (how can Maggie be 17/18 in 2009 yet she was obviously conceived in early 1989?).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Warner has decided to include Special Features only for the Blu-ray release. This appears to be a tactic they will be using in the coming months. Sorry guys...nothing is on the disc.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

17 Again is presented in 2.35:1. Wow, talk about a noticeable downgrade from the Blu-ray. The DVD looks pale and not very colorful. I can't tell if this is on purpose (to kill off DVD owners) or if the Blu-ray just looks that friggin' good.

Warner has included an English 5.1 Dolby Digital track for this release. Since the film is a comedy most of the dialog and action is supported by the front speakers while the rears get some action during the basketball game and various pop songs.



.::OVERALL::.

Warner surprised me with 17 Again - solid script, solid cast and it appeals to both kids and adults. Seems like little Troy Bolton may have found himself a career at this acting gig after all.