ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 enhanced for widescreen televisions
RUNNING TIME: 104 minutes
AUDIO: English 2.0 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Surround, French Mono
SUBTITLES: English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, French
SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailer
The lives and loves of three girls working at a pizza restaurant in coastal Connecticut are explored. Annabeth Gish, Julia Roberts, and Lili Taylor play the girls, and look for Conchata Farrell (Two and a Half Men) as Leona, owner of Mystic Pizza. Matt Damon even appears in a small role, sporting an oddly-shaped head. Thank God he got that fixed.
Mystic Pizza has grown a huge following over the years, and it is easy to see why. Instead of a sappy, corny romantic comedy, we get an earnestly funny tale that isn’t afraid to look at both the ups and downs of love. Julia Roberts, in her first major role, gets a lot of the press, but Annabeth Gish is the heart and soul of the film, as the otherwise level-headed Kat gets into a relationship she comes to regret.
Besides the trappings of love, the film also delves into class and wealth issues, but handles it all with sly wit and a dose of honesty. Gish, Roberts, and Lili Taylor have plenty of chemistry together and deliver fine performances, while Vincent D’Onofrio heads a strong supporting cast. This is too often branded as a “chick flick,” but most men will be able to sit through the film and might even grudingly admit to enjoying it. I only wonder why Gish and Taylor never became bigger stars, because they are great here.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The video transfer reflects the age of the 1988 film, so there is some considerable grain in the image. Overall, however, the video has been cleaned of dirt and scratches, so the upgrade in quality over previous video releases is considerable. The 2.0 DTS mix is somewhat limiting, in that it won’t give an immersive sound experience, but voices are clear and easy to discern from the front channels.
There’s only a trailer included here, which is too bad, because fans will want more.
BUY IT OR NETFLIX IT?
OVERALL GRADE: B-
Mystic Pizza fans will enjoy seeing the movie in high definition, even if the transfer is not the greatest. A movie with this much of a following should have had more extras, which puts this movie-only release in the “rent” category for most of us. It’s an enjoyable film and worth a watch, but Mystic fans may want to wait until it goes on sale before adding this to the video library.
Mystic Pizza is now available on Blu-ray from Fox Home Video.