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My Girl (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 1, 2015 by  



mygirl

Enjoyable yet heartbreaking, “My Girl” is one of the more memorable films from the early ’90s and it sticks out because of its unexpected tragedy and many may have mistook this film to be a happy family film.  But “My Girl” will be remembered by its fine and natural performance thanks to the performances by Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin.

Images courtesy of © 1991 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: My Girl

FILM RELEASE: 1991

DURATION: 102 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese Dolby Surround, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Portuguese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish (Castillan), Swedish, Turkish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG

Release Date: March 17, 2015


Directed by Howard Zieff

Written by Laurice Elehwany

Executive Producer: Joseph M. Caracciolo, David T. Friendly

Produced by Brian Grazer

Associate Producer: Hannah Gold

Music by James Newton Howard

Cinematography by Paul Elliott

Edited by Wendy Greene Bricmont

Casting by Mary Colquhoun

Production Design by Joseph T. Garrity

Art Direction by Pat Tagliaferro

Set Decoration by Linda Allen

Costume Design by Karen Patch


Starring:

Dan Akroyd as Harry Sultenfuss

Jamie Lee Curtis as Shelly DeVoto

Macaulay Culkin as Thomas J. Sennett

Anna Chlumsky as Vada Margaret Sultenfuss

Richard Masur as Phil Sultenfuss

Griffin Dunne as Mr. Jake Bixler

Ray Buketnica as Danny DeVoto

Ann Nelson as Gramoo Sultenfuss

Peter Micahel Goetz as Dr. Welty


A coming-of-age comedy starring Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky. In MY GIRL, Chlumsky makes an extraordinary acting debut as Vada Sultenfuss, a precocious 11-year-old tomboy obsessed with death. Culkin is Thomas J., the boy next door who idolizes Vada. Their summer adventures – from first kiss to last farewell – introduce Vada to the world of adolescence. Now fully remastered in high definition, MY GIRL is a motion picture to cherish and share across generations.


From Howard Zieff, director of “Private Benjamin” and “The Dream Team” comes his 1991 film “My Girl”.

The film would star Dan Akroyd (“Ghostbusters”, “The Blues Brothers”, “Trading Places”), Jamie Lee Curtis (“True Lies”, “A Fish Called Wanda, “Freaky Friday”), Macaulay Culkin (“Home Alone”, Richie Rich”), Richard Masur (“Risky Business”, “The Thing”) and the film debut of Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”, “In the Loop”).

The film which was made for $15 million, would go on to make over $59 million in the box office and nearly 25 years since it was released in theaters, “My Girl” will be released on Blu-ray in March 2015.

“My Girl” is set in 1972 and revolves around a young girl named Vada Sultenfuss (portrayed by Anna Chlumsky), a tomboy who’s best friend is Thomas J. Sennett (portrayed by Macaulay Culkin), a boy who is allergic to “everything”.

Vada’s father is Harry Sultenfuss (portrayed by Dan Akroyd), a widower who runs a funeral home and because of that, Vada has had an obsession with death but also has made her a hypochondriac.  The two also live with their ill grandmother, Gramoo (portrayed by Ann Nelson) who is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and Harry’s brother Phil (portrayed by Richard Masur) often visits the family to lend some help, whenever he can.

Harry is needing someone to put makeup on the deceased, so he hires make-up artist Shelly DeVoto (portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis).

As Vada hangs out with Thomas, she also is infatuated with her teacher, Mr. Bixler (portrayed by Griffin Dunne) and wants to become a writer, so she wants to attend his adult writing class.  Needing money, she steals it from Shelly’s trailer and through the class, as Mr. Bixler tells her that she needs to write about what’s in her heart, Vada reveals her fear that she may be responsible for killing her mother (her mother died upon giving birth to Vada).

And as 1972 seems like a happy year for Vada, the year will also bring a lot of changes… but also unexpected tragedy.


VIDEO:

“My Girl” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio) and was mastered in 4K.  The film did have a few instances with white specks and there while the film does have its fair share of grain, the film also has its fair share of noise, so detail is not always as evident, especially during closeups.  The colors are also a bit soft but it lends to the film’s look of taking place in the ’70s.  The film does look much better than its previous DVD release with better contrast and natural colors.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“My Girls” is presented in English and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA and French, Italian, German, Spanish (Castilian), Japanese Dolby Surround. The film is primarily dialogue and music-driven, which are crystal clear through the front and center channels. I didn’t notice too much use of the surround channels during my viewing of the film but the soundtrack is clear and is appropriate for this kind of film.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Portuguese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish (Castillan), Swedish and Turkish.

SPECIAL FEATURES

“My Girl” comes with the following special features:

  • Commentary with writer Laurice Elehwany– Audio commentary by writer Laurice Elehwany.
  • A Day on the Set – (4:43) Featuring two video featurettes of behind-the-scenes on the filming of “My Girl”.
  • Original Behind the Scenes Featurette – (6:02) Featuring the behind-the-scenes promo feature for “My Girl”.
  • Theatrical Trailer – (2:20) The original theatrical trailer for “My Girl”.

EXTRAS

“My Girl” comes with an UltraViolet code to instantly stream or download the film in Digital HD for TV, computers, tablet or smartphones.


There was no doubt that “My Girl” was a film that reduced many to tears due to its surprising tragedy of a main character and there is no doubt that many people came to watch the film for Macaulay Culkin, a year after his role in the hit Christmas film “Home Alone”.

But “My Girl” was a film that showcased another child actor at the time and it was young Anna Chlumsky, in her first major feature role as Vada Sultenfuss.

The role called for a young actress who wanted to be closer to her father (who was often busy at the funeral parlor he owns), scared of death because her father had to work with the local deceased and the burden she holds within her, because her mother died during childbirth.  And thus, she is a hypochondriac and is often thinking something is wrong with her.

You wouldn’t know that this young girl would have so many fears and anxiety due to her happy childhood along with her good friend Thomas J. Sennett (portrayed by Macaulay Culkin).  Culkin does a great job of portraying a child opposite of Culkin’s “Home Alone” character persona, but more laid back and more distant because of his allergies.

But “My Girl” plays off as a year in the life of Vada, as life changes for her as she find herself in love with her teacher, her father finding new love and also going through body changes.

And as Culkin won hearts with his fun and enjoyable role in “Home Alone”, Anna Chlumsky who is put through various emotions, puts on a performance that rarely happens with child actors for their first film.

And it helps when you have movie veterans such as Dan Akroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis in the film!

But while the film will be known for its two child actors and the soundtrack feature ’60s and ’70s hits, the film will be best remembered for its unexpected tragedy.  So much, that it has been referenced in popular culture.

As the film receives its HD treatment on Blu-ray via a 4K mastering, the film does have its share of grain, but also a few white specks and at times, heavier noise than usual.  The colors are a bit muted and soft, but it does add to the film’s feel that its setting took place in early ’70s.  The Blu-ray does have a few special features including an audio commentary from writer Laurice Elehwany.

Enjoyable yet heartbreaking, “My Girl” is one of the more memorable films from the early ’90s and it sticks out because of its unexpected tragedy and many may have mistook this film to be a happy family film.  But “My Girl” will be remembered by its fine and natural performance thanks to the performances by Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin.






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