Genre(s): Comedy, Adventure
Warner | R – 98 min. – $19.98 | May 21, 2013
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Writer(s): John Hughes (screenplay)
Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall
Theatrical Release Date: July 29, 1983
Features: Commentary, Documentary, Introduction, Theatrical Trailer
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 1.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 28.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
Plot Outline: The Griswolds are going on vacation. In the driver’s seat is Clark Griswold (CHEVY CHASE), an Everyman eager to share the open road and wonders of family togetherness. Myriad mishaps, crude kin (RANDY QUAID), encounters with a temptress (CHRISTIE BRINKLEY), financial woes, Aunt Edna (IMOGENE COCA) on the roof, one security guard (JOHN CANDY) and 2,460 miles later, it’s a wonder the Griswolds are together. There’s never been a family vacation like it.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
This 30th Anniversary Edition ports over all the other features from the previous release and also includes one other which originally aired on television.
Introduction (0:44; SD) – Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Matty Simons introduce the audience to the 20th anniversary DVD release.
Audio Commentary – Director Harold Ramis, Stars Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron and Producer Matty Simons provide a fun track looking back at filming and providing anecdotal stories about their adventure on the road.
Inside Story: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1:24:49; HD) is a well made documentary chronicling every aspect of the production and includes new interviews with the cast (including Chase, D’Angelo, Hall and Barron) and the crew going over the highs and lows. If you haven’t seen it yet, this is the crown jewel of the set and well worth checking out…
Theatrical Trailer (1:25; SD)
VIDEO – 3.5/5
Given I don’t own the original Blu-ray (released August 2010), I can’t compare, but I suspect the transfers are the same… Vacation is presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio (it was released with a 1.85 to theaters) and a decent looking 1080p HD transfer. The video here isn’t anything outstanding or bold but more suitable for a film this old that I imagine didn’t receive much attention with a full restore. The picture itself looks a bit dirty in some shots (especially one’s showing the sky) and the detail levels vary from being OK with close-ups to a bit softer in the background elements.
AUDIO – 3.0/5
The disc includes the original DTS-HD MA 1.0 track which is adequate for a comedy but nothing more. The dialogue levels are fine while any on-screen action or even the music comes across flat as one would expect. It’s obviously not the ideal lossless track but it’s probably what’s best available given the source…
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, National Lampoon’s Vacation is as funny as ever with a great cast, hilarious jokes and an all around fun storyline filled with a mix of low-brow and even, for the time, risqué humor. The Blu-ray however might include the enthralling “Inside Story” documentary but I don’t believe the video has been remastered and is probably the same transfer as the 2010 release.