Blu-ray
Skip It
2 stars
List Price
$14.99
Amazon
$12.69 (15%)
3rd Party
$6.95
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Overall Grade
2 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
2.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
2 Stars
HD Audio Quality
1.5 Stars
Supplements
0.5 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Skip It

Bachelor Party

Street Date:
May 6th, 2014
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
May 29th, 2014
Movie Release Year:
1984
Studio:
20th Century Fox
Length:
105 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated R
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

I remember watching edited TV-friendly versions of 'Bachelor Party' when I was a kid. Re-watching it now as an adult, I realized how graphic (nudity-wise) the R-rated cut of the movie is, how many jokes and comedic bits went right over my head as a youngster, how many movies have used the bachelor party theme since then (at least one 'American Pie' and all three 'Hangover' movies), how iconically '80s the movie is and, sadly, that it's not as great a comedy as nostalgia would have us believe.

A very young Tom Hanks stars in the leading role of 'Bachelor Party' as Rick Gassco, a Catholic school bus driving odd-ball whose actions are just as inconsistent as the morals of the movie itself. When Rick tells his best buddies that he's engaged to his girlfriend Debbie (Tawny Kitaen), they offer to throw him a wild sendoff party. Debbie is worried about what Rick might be made to do at the party, but stops worrying when he charmingly convinces her that he's a good guy, that she has nothing to worry about. While he sincerely means it, there's no knowing or preparing for what lies ahead.

The scariest part about 'Bachelor Party' is that throughout the special feature interviews, the writers and producers all brag about how the events of the bachelor party in the movie actually happened at the bachelor party of one of the producers. The debauchery – sex, drugs, hookers, grand theft auto, a donkey show – is comedic in the movie, but knowing that those events really happened is another thing. And making matters worse, the way the producers talk about it in the special features is as if they're still high-fiving one another for that one crazy night.

Rick is a complete clown to his future in-laws. Her hoity-toity tennis-playing rich folks don't like him – and it's blatantly obvious. Her father tries to pay him to leave her, but when that doesn't work, he hires Debbie's successful and preppy ex-boyfriend do whatever it takes to get rid of Rick. The movie bounces around from bachelor party shenanigans to thwarting the ex's cockblockery to pranking the women while at their bachelorette party.

As an adult, 'Bachelor Party' is much zanier than I remember it being and contains fewer laughs than I recall. If anything works in the movie, it's solely because of Tom Hanks, he's really the only thing keeping the 'Party' afloat.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

Fox has placed 'Bachelor Party' and all of its brief DVD special featurettes on Region A BD-50, slapped it in a standard single-disc Elite keepcase and placed nothing but a vanity reel prior to the disc's static main menu. They did the literal bare minimum to make this 30-year-old movie worth investing in. Check out the technical and special features sections below to read why.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Bachelor Party' receives a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode, but almost nothing has been done to make this old movie look good.

This Blu-ray reminds of the format's awful early days when studios would simply place DVD-quality movies onto BD-25 just to have a "high-definition" library on the shelves. The video quality is chock full of scratches, abundantly covered with specs and grime and almost constantly jutters. An edge enhancement tool was used to sharpen things up in a few scenes, but its fleeting use ultimately leaves the picture looking worse. Those are the only moments where crisp lines appear. Textures and fine details are completely absent and aliasing abounds in instances where it shouldn't.

Black levels are blown out, resulting in crushing galore. The color variance is limited, feeling like there are only a few primary colors present. And even when colors show up, they're blown out, appearing oddly vibrant and saturated – which was typical for the neon '80s, but still strange here.

The Blu-ray's picture quality is definitely not worth re-investing in. If you already own the DVD, the upgrade isn't worth it.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

'Bachelor Party' steps into High-Def with a terrible 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track that literally sounds like some Fox intern clicked "play" on the original audio reel, clicked "record" on a lossless DTS machine and let it play out as-is for all 105 minutes.

Get ready for the most flat, improperly mixed and flawed monotone uncompressed track that you've ever heard. The high-end levels are consistently distorted or muffled – be it music, vocals or effects. An occasional hiss even arises from time to time.

The mixing itself is diabolical. Here's the hierarchy: effects trump all, music trumps vocals and vocals are the worst. All sounds ultimately blend into one annoying fluid noise that can't be made to sound good - no matter how expensive the set-up may be.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

All of the special features found on thids disc seem to have been filmed not only on VHS, but on a tape that someone use over and over again to record missed television episodes. Each featurette abruptly cuts off, as if a larger single making-of feature was randomly split into multiple sections. Some of them randomly end with a several second long freeze frame. It's very odd to watch.

    • Behind the Scenes (SD, 3:10) – This first video feels like a promo video. A voice-over explains the movie and introduces snippets of cast and crew interviews.

    • An American Tradition (SD, 2:51) – The producers explain the idea of bachelor parties, but what they describe is much different and less acceptable than any bachelor party I've ever heard of.

    • While the Men Play (SD, 1:43) – The story of the movie's females is broken down in this featurette.

    • Tom Hanks Interview (SD, 2:44) – Cut into tiny snippets, when you "play all" on this very brief feature, you'll hear Hanks describe 'Bachelor Party' and the switch from television to movies. Some of the content is repeated from other featurettes.

    • Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:07)

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no HD bonus features.

Final Thoughts

I love the comedic timing that Tom Hanks showed off in many of his early roles, but as good as he is here, 'Bachelor Party' simply isn't the great R-rated '80s comedy that nostalgia has lead us to believe it is. It's a fickle tale filled with odd extremes – suicide, heavy drugs, hookers galore, infidelity, attempted murder, and so on. Truthfully, it's just not that fun to watch. And if it wasn't for Hank's oddball performance/character, the movie wouldn't be worth watching at all. Sadly, this weak and lazy Blu-ray transfer doesn't help the cause. The video and audio qualities are highly flawed, showing no signs of any work being put into restoring the movie. The special features, none of which are new, are entirely bad on their own. If you didn't know any better, you'd think that the 'Bachelor Party' Blu-ray was part of the first wave of movies to go Blu in the mid-2000s – and because of those collective issues, I recommend skipping it entirely.

Technical Specs

  • Region A BD-50

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.85:1

Audio Formats

  • English 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Spanish 1.0 Dolby Digital
  • French 1.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH
  • Spanish

Supplements

  • Behind the Scenes
  • An American Tradition
  • While the Men Play
  • Tom Hanks Interviews
  • Theatrical Trailer

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about our gear.

Puzzled by the technical jargon in our reviews, or wondering how we assess and rate HD DVD and Blu-ray discs? Learn about our review methodology.

List Price
$14.99
Amazon
$12.69 (15%)
3rd Party
$6.95
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»

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