Van Wilder on Blu-Ray
Francisco Pizarro | Puerto Rico | 11/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The National Lampoon's series of films have brought us all types of comedies with varying degrees of success. From true american classics like Animal House and the Vacation franchise, to less-than-stellar (Loaded Weapon I and Barely Legal comes readily to mind). Van Wilder, in my humble opinion, is a very deserving entry to the series.
The film's title is extremely appropiate for this film as not only is the story centered around the titular character but Ryan Reynolds is the anchor that holds the entire thing together. Talk about perfect casting, Reynolds truly shines with a combination of physical(his facial expresions throughout the film are priceless) and verbal comedy. Kal Penn, playing his assistant delivers as well. This film probably earned him his future leading roles. The film at its core is all about the classic college stereotypes and one man's crusade to bring them together. If this sounds overly dramatic in the context of this film, don't think for a second that I'm somehow trying to elevate this film above what it really is. The film is a comedy and a raunchy college comedy at that. It is what it is. But in a genre drowining in imitation and cliches, Van Wilder shines because it takes those cliches and makes a really funny (and yes, gross at times but still funny)film. Speaking of cliches, I found it extremely fitting that Curtis Amstrong (Booger on Revenge of the Nerds) and Tim Matheson (Eric Stratton in Animal House)appear in the film playing straight-up, downright nerdy, older characters in the films. It is a nice little nod to the past of the genre and kind of a passing of the torch moment I really enjoyed.
As far the quality of the Blu-Ray disc, its prettymuch par for the course. Nothing groundbraking here. While this is by far the best the film has looked on Home Video, (and frankly theaters as well)it falls a bit short compared to other releases of the same time. The film was released in 2002 so it is pretty new compared to other catalog titles but then again I would suspect that this film was not a priority in the "qulity transfer" queue for the studio.
If you don't already have this on DVD and are a fan of the genre I highly recommend this release. In fact, watch in succession with Animal House and see how much (or how little it would seem at times) this genre has evolved(?) through the years."