Blu-ray Review: Teen Movies Don’t Get Better Than ‘The Spectacular Now’

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Average: 3 (2 votes)

We are surrounded by fiction about teenagers that treats both its subjects and its target audience like idiots. So few filmmakers understand the problems and emotions of young people that when a film as great as “The Spectacular Now” comes along (my #13 of 2013), it’s a small miracle. Reminiscent of the best of Cameron Crowe, James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel (from a script robbed of an Oscar nod by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber) is a fantastic drama about a kid realizing that he may be peaking in high school. The Blu-ray is well-accompanied by a fantastic commentary from Ponsoldt, 20 minutes of deleted scenes, and featurettes. Blu-ray rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

What’s in those 20 minutes? Proof that the editing process is essential to the success of a final film. “The Spectacular Now” at 115 minutes with these scenes included would not have been as strong of a film. There are beats that really work and I wish Ponsoldt could have somehow saved the line, delivered by Bob Odenkirk, “You’re a great guy but you don’t have much of a grasp on the idea of consquence,” as it says so much about Sutter (Miles Teller), but most of these scenes are either repetitive or flatly delivered. Shailene Woodley is fantastic in a post-coitus scene in which she talks about her first time but I think it was the right call to cut that scene narratively. It’s also joy to hear someone as passionate about his art as Ponsoldt do an audio track. The guy knows and loves movies.

The Spectacular Now was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 14, 2014
The Spectacular Now was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 14, 2014
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Sutter Keely (Miles Teller), a high school kid with effortless charm and the self-proclaimed “life of the party,” is having the perfect senior year - until he loses both his girlfriend and his part-time job. But when he meets Aimee (Shailene Woodley), the “nice girl” next door, an unlikely romance begins as Sutter and Aimee struggle to overcome their differences and help each other through the many challenges of growing up.

Special Features:
o Deleted Scenes
o Then To Now: Making The Spectacular Now
o Inception: Defying Hollywood
o Cast: Finding The Voice
o Aesthetic: Authenticity Counts
o Real: Bringing It All To Life
o Audio Commentary With Director James Ponsoldt

“The Spectacular Now” stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler, and Bob Odenkirk. It was released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 14, 2014. content director Brian Tallerico

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Love this film!

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