Universal | 1983 | 89 min | Rated R | March 27, 2014
PRIVATE SCHOOL COVER
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (28.00 Mbps)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Single disc (1 BD)
Private School Blu-ray Review
You won't believe what goes on and what comes off in ... Private School
Reviewed by TripleHBK, January 30th, 2015
If the 80’s taught me one thing it’s that it’s my god given duty to chase woman and party hard. Seeing as how I never really did either of those things growing up I feel like on some level I failed as an adolecent, but that’s neither here nor there. Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House, Porky’s, all stand at the forefront of classic 80’s Comedy known for their partying and womanizing. Not far behind these juggernauts stands a plethora of other lesser known films, among them is Private School. A somewhat lesser known title that share a great deal of similarity to the aforementioned films, but comes off as a bit sleazier in it’s presentation (in my opinion of course.)
Rather than write a long winded narrative of the film, I’ve decided to include this very short and sweet synopsis from IMDB;
“The film deals with the social interactions between girls from Cherryvale and the young men from the nearby Freemount Academy. Of course when I say "social interaction" I mean sex. Simply put, the guys are trying to either score with the ladies, or at least get a good Polaroid of them coming out of the shower. The film has a serious undercurrent in how it deals with the relationship between Christine Ramsey (Phoebe Cates) and Jim Green (Matthew Modine). They are trying to lose their virginity under the best possible circumstances, but there are of course complications and misunderstandings. Christine's next door neighbor, the lovely and talented Betsy Russell, is out to steal Jim for herself using methods that would certainly grab any young man's attention. The resulting action plays out in the most satisfactory of ways. -- TOMASBBloodhound”
The real reason anyone will bother reading my review in the first place is to see the more technical aspects of this release, so that’s where I’ve spent the majority of my time. Private School is very much an 80’s male comedy. Filled to the brim with nudity and oddball antics, if you’re a fan of 80’s teen comedies, then Private School has your name written all over it.
Private School Blu-ray, Video Quality
3.5 out of 5 stars
Private School is presented on a 25GB BD-R courtesy of TeamBlu with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1. With the understanding that Private School was never a crystal clear viewing experience, and is unlikely to ever receive any sort of special treatment, let alone a full domestic retail release, this presentation is highly commendable on several levels and at times bordering on Outstanding. Colors are nicely saturated and accurate looking throughout much of the film, with primaries being especially notable in their pop and vividness. Contrast is surprisingly solid and consistent throughout much of the presentation. Day time scenes exhibit a 3 dimensionality that’s downright surprising given the low budget origins and age of said film. Night scenes suffer from problems typical of films from this time and lose much of the luster that the day scenes strive so hard to project with the image appearing flatter, less detailed, and exhibiting signs of black crush, but this is again to be expected. Sharpness is appropriate and not overdone, with minor details evident though without ringing or being surrounded by halos. Close-ups, provide excellent levels of fine detail in things like the fibers in sweaters, car seats and individual strands of hair. A nice layer of Grain is evident though never intrusive throughout the presentation. A healthy bitrate helps to ensure that little to no compression artifacts crop up though the print has its share of White speckles. These are infrequent and unobtrusive in most instances, but evident none the less. Brining down the rating slightly are aspects of the dorm room scene and parts of the beach scene at the end of the film which suffer from a loss of resolution and appear hazy at times compared to much of the film. Not a deal breaker, and I’m happy to report these instances are brief, but they were noticeable enough for me to knock off half a star.
Private School Blu-ray, Audio Quality
2.5 out of 5
Private School comes with a single audio option, a very average though unspectacular Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Dialogue is clear if not a bit shallow and lacking in the lower range. This is a satisfactory sound mix for a dialog heavy comedy of this sort, but there’s no doubt it that it could be improved if an official release was ever given the attention it deserves.
Private School Blu-ray, Special Features
4 out of 5
- Private Lessons (1981) (480i; 1hr 27min) – Special features are sparse with Private School, but what is there is well worth the effort. Private lessons a 1981 mostly forgotten adult “comedy” is the primary feature. Presented in full frame (1:33:1) the film is a nice addition to an already stellar disk. Included is the directors commentary track to go with the Dolby 2.0 audio.
- Private Lessons (1981) Special Features: In a move that only TeamBlu and other film preservationists could pull off, included with Private Lessons are it’s very own special features. Included in this sub menu are a Theatrical trailer for Private Lessons, as well as a segment entitled Sherman: Love Expert. This feature is broken down further in several short segments. “How to get the most out of touching a woman’s breast” (51 Seconds); “Determining if a Woman is your wife, or a whore.” (51 Seconds); “Did you make it to 2nd base? A Checklist” (26 seconds); and “Avoiding Marriage (But still getting the perks)” (35 Seconds). Watched alone, these sequences are amongst the funniest (and most disturbing) moments taken from the film as Sherman offers up his advise on woman, life, and other finer topics.
- Teaser Trailer (480i; 1:19) A Taste of what to expect from Private School after mentioning that this film is more or less the sequel/follow up to “Private Lessons”.
- Remastered Theatrical Trailer (1080p; :49)
Private School Blu-ray, Extra Polish
As with all TeamBlu releases, Private School came packed with amazing Cover art, reverse cover art, disk art, and an Outstanding Menu system that never ceases to amaze me in its level of quality. The menu itself is multiple layers deep and outshines all but the very best retail releases these days. Things are laid out logically, yet menus go far deeper then the average one or two clicks, thanks to the addition of an additional special features menu tucked away within the Private Lessons sub film. The menu’s are high quality and show real thoughtfulness in their design. Utilizing a hand with chalk in front of the chalkboard the user selects their options as they listen to the main theme of the film. When a selection is made the “chalk” crosses off the selection on the list to note which selection was made. It’s a simple looking feature that looks wonderfully and fits well with the presentation. The Pop up menu shares in it’s originality as when pressed during the film a clip board rises from the bottom right corner with further selectable options. It’s again a nice touch that shows the amount of thought and effort that goes into these releases.
Overall my only qualm with the design of the menu/disk/cover is that it lacks a UPC. Nothing worth losing points over, but it’s the one thing that separates retail releases from the quality releases TeamBlu puts out. This is likely an intentional decision to help prevent unauthorized sales and it’s by no means a big deal, but it’s something I notice that I’d like to see on future releases.
Private School Blu-ray, Closing thoughts
Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the pieces are individually worth. This is easily a 5 out of 5 presentation despite what my previous ratings may have indicated. I’m confident when I say that this film will never have a better looking, more complete presentation than what Teamblu has assembled for us all here. This is simply 5 star quality work for a film that honestly probably doesn’t deserve this level of attention. Video shortcomings and audio complaints aside, this release is simply stellar and you’d be a fool to pass on it. Its well worth the change a blank BD-R costs these days, and the time/bandwidth required acquiring it. This is easily one of my favorite TeamBlu releases, and I can’t recommend it enough. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.