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Overboard (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 24, 2011 by  



“Overboard” is among the many ’80s films that people grew up watching on cable television.  Critics panned it, audiences love it… but if you are wanting a fun romantic comedy with ’80s sensibilities, then definitely give “Overboard” on Blu-ray a chance!

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Images courtesy of © 1987 Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Overboard

FILM RELEASE DATE: 1987

DURATION: 112 minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1), English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Mono, French Dolby Surround, Subtitles: English, Spanish and French

RATED: PG

COMPANY: Twentieth Century Fox/MGM

RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2011

Directed by Garry Marshall

Written by Leslie Dixon

Produced by Alexandra Rose, Anthea Sylbert

Executive Producer: Roddy McDowell

Associate Producer: Nick Abdo

Music by Alan Silvestri

Cinematography by John A. Alonzo

Edited by Sonny Baskin, Dov Hoenig

Casting by Joanne Zaluski

Art Direction by Jim Dultz, James Shanahan

Set Decoration by Tom Bugenhagen

Costume Design by Wayne A. Finkelman

Starring:

Jason Lee as Paul

Julia Stiles as Becky

Selma Blair as Karen

James Brolin as Ken

Shawn Hatosy as Jim

Lochlyn Munro as Ray

Diana Scarwid as Sandra

David Koechner as Buck

Julie Hagerty as Dorothy

Thomas Lennon as Pete

Jackie Burroughs as Aunt Budge

It’s the craziest mix-up ever! Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell dazzle the screen in this buoyant and screwball comedy of memory-making and memory-faking.

Among the films I can easily remember growing up as a teen and seeing it played over and over on HBO, it was the 1987 film “Overboard” starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.  And with a lot of talk about the upcoming remake starring Jennifer Lopez and Will Smith, it doesn’t surprise me that the film is now being released on Blu-ray.

“Overboard” is one of Director Gary Marshall’s (“Pretty Woman”, “Beaches”, “Runaway Bride”) earlier films, written by Leslie Dixon (“Mrs. Doubtfire”, “Hairspray”, Limitless”) that was a flop in the box office but pretty much became a cult film because of its popularity on cable and even 25-years-later, I still see this film while channel surfing late at night and I have no doubt in my mind that people of today’s generation are enjoying this late ’80s film.

The film revolves around a wealthy and very rude woman named Joanna Stayton (played by Goldie Hawn).  Bored staying on her luxury yacht with her husband Grant Stayton III (played by Edward Hermann), she calls redneck handyman named Dean Proffitt (played by Kurt Russell) for an emergency but when he shows up, she wants him to build her a closet and shoe rack on her yacht.

Immediately, she begins insulting him but because he has four children, is a single father who just moved to Elk Cove, he needs the money.

So, Dean builds the closet but because Joanna doesn’t like Oak and wants it in Cedar, Dean becomes very enraged because she never told him what kind of wood to use.  And now, she is unwilling to pay him the $600 that is owed to him.

Joanna refuses to pay and in return Dean insults her.  Joanna pushes him off the yacht and throws his tools overboard and Dean can’t believe that this wealthy woman has not only ruined his tools but also took away any chance of him making money.

We also learn that many babysitters have quit their jobs in taking care of Dean’s kids because they are not disciplined, love to get into trouble and are pretty much bad boys because their father lets them do what they want.

That night, Joanna remembered she forgot her wedding ring in the front of the boat.  When she goes to get it, she accidentally falls overboard and is rescued by a garbage scow and put in the hospital.  She is suffering from amnesia but still has a bad attitude. Her husband Grant goes to pick her up from the hospital but notices how she is still a pain and lies and says that Joanna is not his wife and decides that time away from Joanna, he can now have fun with other women.

When the local news starts showing her picture about a woman who is lost and needs identification, Dean, who is still angry at Joanna, catches the news report and figures this is his chance to get revenge on her for destroying his tools and hurting his livelihood.

So, Dean and his children create a plan to pretend that Joanna who they gave the name Annie is actually Dean’s wife and mother of his children.

Dean’ is able to successfully make up a story that Annie is his wife and because the employees of the mental institution can’t wait to get rid of her, Annie is released in Dean’s custody.

When Annie arrives to the broken down home of Dean, she can’t believe that she lived in a poor lifestyle and nothing makes sense.  She tells Dean that she can’t remember him, nor her having children but Dean and the kids continue their ruse that she is the wife and mother.

And we see how life becomes very difficult for Annie as she tries to cook and clean but also become a mother of her kids.  But overtime, her being there starts to become a positive thing as Annie becomes a loving mother by disciplining the kids but also being a mother that they wish they had.  And the kids start to embrace her as their own mother.

As for her relationship with Dean, she becomes an asset as she is able to give him positive advice of what he should do in creating his dream of having a miniature golf course.  And in the process, of being a wife and mother, Annie is starting to accept the life and also fall in love with Dean, as he begins to fall in love with her.

But Dean knows its wrong and that the ruse has gone so far and he wants to tell her the truth that it was all a lie.

Meanwhile, Joanna’s mother is getting sick and tired of her son-in-law Grant Stayton III telling her that Joanna is gone and tells her that she is going to visit them.  Grant knows that without the love of his mother-in-law, he will not have his wealthy lifestyle, so he knows he must find his wife immediately.

And while Dean wants to tell Annie the truth and her real husband Grant is looking for her, Annie is starting to have her original memories come back.  What will happen when they do?

VIDEO:

“Overboard” is presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1).  First, its important for me to mention that a lot of  late ’80s and also early ’90s films were not shot with great film stock.  In fact, more than likely you will noticed certain catalog titles looking its age in HD.  For “Overboard”, you will notice that there is a good amount of grain but also a lot of noise and also a look that is not exactly the most pristine and shows its age.

With that being possibly the bad news, the good news is that the film looks much better than what one would see on television, on VHS and on DVD.  The other good news is that there are many scenes that actually do look good and brings out the detail of the film.  While the opening title sequence may look its age, as the film progresses, it actually looks much better.  Granted, you will see white speckles from time-to-time but one thing where this film is fortunate is that most of it is shot outdoors and thus the sunlight really makes certain scenes come out vibrant.

So, if you really love this film, Blu-ray is the way to go!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Overboard” is presented in English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Mono and French Dolby Surround.  The soundtrack is front-channel driven.  Dialogue and even the ’80s synth music comes out quite clear.  Overall, it’s a good lossless soundtrack but I chose to watch this film with stereo on all channels (set on my receiver) for a more immersive soundscape.

Subtitles are in English, Spanish and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Overboard” comes with the original theatrical trailer.

One thing that I remember about this film is when I was a teenager was that I felt that Goldie Hawn was a hot actress and with her and Kurt Russell being a real-life couple, that the two had amazing chemistry.

Watching it in 2011, Goldie Hawn looks beautiful in the film and interesting to see how Goldie back then and her daughter Kate Hudson (today) look so much alike and yes, she and Kurt Russell have amazing chemistry and for the most part, despite the film is a popcorn romantic comedy and as many critics have called it an updated “screwball comedy” with a redneck attitude.

Some love it, some hate it but at the time, when one of the younger children spoke like Pee-Wee Herman, maybe today it seems a bit overplayed but heck, even back then…everyone tried to speak and laugh like Pee-Wee Herman.  Granted, parents probably may have not liked the stereotypical portrayal of the redneck family, especially with the young kids talking about a woman’s bodyparts and looking at nudie magazines but the sex jokes and overall comedy was not for the refined movie-goer.

And probably that is why this film had so much success on cable.  At the time, Americans were more in-tune of what was coming out from the more younger crowd ala the Brat Pack talents during the late ’80s and Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell were not an exciting box office pairing (their previous film “Swing Shift” back in 1984 also didn’t do that well).  But like many Americans, once this film started showing up on cable TV, it was watched many times.

And the intriguing thing about this film is that if you bypass the critic reviews for this film, you will see so many people who actually gave the film high ratings within the last 25-years.  And personally, I don’t think this film can be remade it today’s society, especially with the kids talk about T&A so freely.  It’s not going to happen.  So, I can only imagine the remake being tailored for modern sensibilities and it’ll be interesting to see how far the remake will go.

But most importantly, what made this film work is because both Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have great chemistry and the fact that they were a real life couple, the characters seemed real and convincing.    Because these two talents are in love, you can tell on film that the characters that they play are really in love.  It’s all in the details and the emotions and it made this film quite enjoyable.

For parents who watched the trailer, bare in mind,  this is definitely not a family film.    Granted, the banality of naughty or misbehaved children has been overdone in movies but in the case of this film alone, these kids like to talk about women’s boobs and their butt and read nudie magazines and speak profanity.  It was rated PG back in 1987 but wouldn’t be surprised if a film like this would receive a rated-R in today’s movie rating system (as one or two words of profanity easily gets a film an “R” rating).

As for the Blu-ray release, this is a barebones release and the PQ is not the greatest but its probably the better of any video version that has been released thus far.  If you are passionate about the film and still have that old VHS copy, then definitely upgrade to Blu-ray!

Overall, “Overboard” is a romantic comedy with likeable characters, a fun story and a typical happy ending.  By no means is it the best when it comes to romantic comedies but it is a cheerful romantic comedy with that ’80s style and if you loved the film back then, no doubt you will love the film today!

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