Pump up the Volume

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Pump up the volume is one of those movies that was overlooked. Like the message of the film, it was speaking to a pretty select group of people (ok, so high school kids aren’t pretty select). But a lot of people can really identify with this movie, and that’s part of it’s charm. That and seeing Christian Slater in a good movie for a change, of course this is when he made good movies…Anyway. Christian Slater plays Mark Hunter, a shy new kid in school whose family has just moved from New York to a suberb of Phoenix, Arizona. And I’m sure that would be a shock to just about anyone! Behind his shy demeanor, he has a wild side that comes out at night. No, he’s not a werewolf or anything, he’s the provacative pirate DJ “Hard Harry”. Mark uses his short wave radio set, that his father bought him as a way of communicating with his friends back east (and I can’t help but think that if this movie were made today, it wouldn’t make any sense due to the advent of email) but instead uses it to let everyone know what’s on his mind. And what is on Harry’s mind, you ask? Anything from masturbation to fielding suicide calls. And it’s the latter that starts the beginning of the end for Harry. He takes a call from a serious student who claims to want to end his life, it happens and the “perfect school” in which he attends is in an uproar. It’s then that the school starts rallying around Harry, as he’s given them something to care about. No longer are they mindless drones who do what their parents want, they’re free to listen and do what they want. It’s not long after this, though that the media and the FCC get involved and end up trying to track Harry down so they can “end this nonsense”. I don’t want to give too much away, but this is a good film. Look for an early appearance by Seth Green (Scott of Austin Powers) does this guy age? Geez…he looks the same now as he did ten years ago? Anway, check this one out, as New Line has made it worth watching…

Video: How does it look?

Pump up the Volume is presented in a 16:9 transfer of 1.85:1. The film looks pretty darn good, there’s some elements here and there, but nothing to get all hussy fussy about (yes I said “hussy fussy”). There’s a bit of bleeding, too, but that is short lived. Overall a great transfer of a 10 year old movie that should find new life on DVD.

Audio: How does it sound?

The soundtrack was remastered in 5.1 and sound fairly good. It’s nothing that you should demo to your friends and say “listen to this, man” but it serves it’s purpose. There’s a few moments when all five channels are active and it’s sounds pretty darn good, but other than that it’s basically a dialogue driven flick.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Nothing too special from New Line, but they make even their “worst” efforts better than most. Included are cast bios, a trailer and if you look real hard, a trailer for “Bed of Roses”. Also included is a full frame version of the film.

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