Jan 102016
 

Smooth Talk is an interesting albeit imperfect drama that culminates with a dark and creepy finale that, even though it went on a bit too long, still was incredibly effective. The performances from Laura Dern and Treat Williams also stand out and make it worth checking out.

 

 

Smooth Talk
(1985)


REVIEW NAVIGATION

The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

Genre(s): Drama
Olive Films | PG13 – 92 min. – $29.95 | November 24, 2015

Date Published: 01/10/2016 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Joyce Chopra
Writer(s): Joyrce Carol Oates (short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”); Tom Cole (screenplay)
Cast: Treat Williams, Laura Dern, Mary Kay Place, Elizabeth Berridge, Levon Helm
DISC INFO:
Features:
None
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: None
Disc Size: 22.5 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE – 3.0/5

Plot Synopsis: High school sophomore Connie Wyatt (LAURA DERN), a 14-year-old girl on the verge of becoming a woman, is anxious to escape the boredom of family farm life before the school year starts. Feeling tethered to her home and under the thumb of an overbearing mother (MARY KAY PLACE), Connie will find herself in dangerous waters when a flirtatious day out at the mall leads to a meeting with the mysterious, charismatic, and much older, Arnold Friend (TREAT WILLIAMS).

Quick Hit Review (w/ SPOILERS): Smooth Talk is a very well acted, especially on the parts of Laura Dern and Treat Williams, but ultimately unsatisfactory dark coming-of-age drama. The first 70-minutes or so is set-up with Dern’s Connie hanging with her two best friends before the meat of the plot really kicks into gear in the third act. Williams’ Friend character is indeed charming but disturbing at the same time, showing up to Connie’s home asking to ride with him and his shy friend.

What follows is a lengthy back and forth conversation as Friend attempts to persuade the naïve Connie but what started off utterly creepy, became more tedious before going back on course to finish out the movie, albeit far lighter than how the short story ended.

All in all, it’s a fine movie that has the all-too-familiar elements of the 1980s none more so than the distracting and laughable synthetic score at the hands of James Taylor whose music is used well enough but the score came across as amateurish, dropping out in one instance like an old, cheap movie from the ‘70s. That being said, it is well worth checking out for the performances and portions of the story.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5

Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, no features were included.

 


VIDEO – 3.5/5

Olive Films releases Smooth Talk onto Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a respectable if not flawed 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). The picture has some good detail and is relatively sharp but I did notice numerous instances of artifacts, specs and scratch marks, some even seen in the screen captures (see screen caps #1 and #11). Still, for a movie going on 30 years old, it’s not entirely bad.

 

AUDIO – 3.0/5

The disc comes with a standard DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo track that seems to act more like a singular track with the bulk of the sound coming via the center channel. Dialogue levels are decent though it does tend to top out a few times but the music does provide some decent enough depth.

 



OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, Smooth Talk is an interesting albeit imperfect drama that culminates with a dark and creepy finale that, even though it went on a bit too long, still was incredibly effective. The performances from Laura Dern and Treat Williams also stand out and make it worth checking out if not on the Blu-ray released through Olive Films, which has no bonus material unfortunately, at least on DVD.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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