PictureSony have provided a theatrically correct 1.85:1 aspect anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TV's and mastered in high definition. Overall I felt this picture was little more than average, its main problem coming from the detail level. Unfortunately it did tend to wander between the soft and hard edges, it was never overly distracting but noticeable. Colours are well represented and suitable bold especially the reds, with skin tones looking natural. Contrast and brightness were set to give a decent blackness level though the film hardly uses them. Digitally there were no compression problems but I did feel that edge enhancement was unnecessarily high in places; there was no original print damage noticed, but a smattering of film grain was visible in places. In all not a bad picture by any stretch yet is doesn't have the associated lustre of the top pictures around.
SoundThree Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks to choose from, English, French and Portuguese. The English track never really makes full use of the six channels preferring to concentrate on the front three. When the rears do come into play, such as during Thriller in at the party, there is some wonderful ambiance and a reflection of how good this track could have been. However what separation there is, is good and clear. There is a good range present, predominantly middle, but the aforementioned Thriller demonstrates a full bass sound not prevalent throughout the rest of the film. Of course the film hardly needs a full on bass heavy mix and what we have suits the film well enough, dialogue is clear and precise without distortion or hiss. The score makes the best use of the six speakers and at times can give some decent effects, sadly there are few others to write about. After the credits were rolled I felt that the sound mix was a match for the picture, never bad but always satisfactory.
ExtrasThis being the 'fun and flirty' edition the extras are geared towards fun rather than technical information, for example this edition is missing the commentaries found on other releases.
First up we have an alternate beginning and an alternate ending, well not so much alternate rather the original shooting removed after negative audience reaction to the two actors chosen as the leads. At least they get their moment of fame here. As for story line there is very little difference, a few tweaks to the scrip have made the material used slightly more sharp, particularly the ending.
Next up there are eighteen deleted scenes that can be played individually or all together with the play all button to a run time of some twenty minutes. Most are very brief scene extensions, with the surrounding material filling out the time, but there are one or two new scenes running form a few seconds to two minutes. Most add nothing to the actual plot and one assumes were removed for pacing as there is no indication given for their excise.
The Fashion Flashback featurette has the costume designer of the film plus various teenage models and other stylist commenting on the fact that the eighties fashions are becoming vogue again. Not that surprising fashion usually goes in twenty five year cycles. Probably aimed at the girl youth audience, I found very little to interest me.
Making of a Teen Dream is the behind the scenes featurette of the film, it is predominantly made up of press interview segments, a little behind the scenes filming and talking heads with most of the principle cast and crew, very little padding from the film clips. It is the usual gushing about how good everyone was and how good everyone got on, though the sound bites from Winick about how he approached the story were very interesting. Other than that very little here.
I was a teenage geek featurette sees the majority of the cast look back at the awkwardness of their youth and the inadequacies they felt about growing up and fitting in, accompanied by some early photos; they all turned out ok theough. Insightful to some, interesting to others, boring to me.
Bloopers is a selection of fluffs and gaffs made by the cast, been there seen that.
The Fun and games section is two interactive games played with the remote, first to select clothes for two girls to wear, the other I couldn't even bring myself to look at.
The two original music videos look absolutely terrible, grainy, washed with damage and video drop outs, luckily the songs are of a calibre to get your foot tapping so you close your eyes. I dunno, I've always had a thing for Pat Benatar.
Finally and I realise this is not exactly an extra, but the DVD case is made of a shocking pink colour and actually smells of bubblegum; yes smells of bubblegum. No idea who this is supposed to be aimed at but it's a first for me....
Verdict13 Going on 30 is a reasonable watch, perhaps a little to long in the run time but the charm of Garner seems to pull it off. Advertised as a perfect date movie, probably. As a DVD a distinctly average picture with average sound is surrounded by average extras, making this an average purchase.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.