Mystic Pizza Blu-ray Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, French Dolby 2.0 Mono, Spanish Dolby 2.0 Surround
- Subtitles: English SDH, French
- Region: A (Region-Locked)
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: MGM
- Blu-ray Release Date: April 5, 2011
- List Price: $19.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
What a difference a couple of decades makes. In 1988 when Mystic Pizza first released to theatres, who knew that the charming young lady with the big smile who had second billing would go on to be the biggest star to come out of this surprise hit? Annabeth Gish and Lili Taylor also star in this film set in the quaint, Northern Connecticut seaside town. It might have been easy for me to say that the reason I remember this romantic comedy from the days of my youth is because of the young Julia Roberts, but the truth of the matter is I hadn’t seen this film in years and I actually forgot that Ms. Roberts was even in it. No, the real reason I remembered that Mystic Pizza even existed as a film is because, being from the North East myself, a New Yorker to be exact, I’ve had occasion to go to Mystic. I remember thinking the town was no more than a tourist trap, but when Mystic Pizza came out, it made me ponder more deeply the lives of the so-called “townies.” You know, the folks who actually live in small towns like Mystic and make their living there, depending on the ebb and flow of the tourist season, and in the case of Mystic, of the fishing trade.
It’s not that Mystic Pizza is particularly special in shedding a light on the lives of the people of Mystic, however. It’s typical romantic comedy material following the lives of three young women coming of age as they work in a pizzeria where the pizza is deemed to be so good, it’s like there’s something “mystic” in the sauce. Two sisters Kat (Gish) and Daisy (Roberts) and their friend JoJo (Taylor) both enter into complicated relationships that put strains on their lives and their friendships. Kat, the do-gooder soon off to Yale on scholarship falls for a married professor for whom she’s been babysitting while his wife is away, Daisy meets and begins a relationship with a rich young preppie college dropout that seems doomed to failure, and JoJo leaves her hardworking fisherman fiance at the alter; she loves him, but she just can’t commit. You can imagine the melodrama that ensues from these individual subplots based on every other romantic comedy you’ve ever seen.
The movie does have its charm, especially with the wonderful Julia Roberts who lights up any screen and the energetic young Annabeth Gish who, unfortunately, did not go on to be as a big a star as Roberts. There are some genuinely funny moments, but mostly Mystic Pizza is filled with cliché characters and common scenarios that are easy to spot.
Like the recent crop of MGM catalogue releases that have been hitting Blu-ray lately, Mystic Pizza doesn’t look like too much effort has been out into the high definition transfer. Source damage is rampant in the opening scenes and the quality varies throughout the presentation from acceptably detailed and sharp to soft, noisy, and heavily grainy. Flesh tones are sometimes too reddish and in darker scenes there can often be a bit of crush.
There’s a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo track provided alongside French 2.0 Mono and Spanish Dolby 2.0 Surround soundtracks. The English stereo track sounds rather dull with narrow dynamics and a narrow stereo soundfield, but dialogue is mostly clear, even though it does have some occasional crackle.
The only thing included is the original theatrical trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24)
The Definitive Word
Here’s an 80′s film that is probably more enduring due to its cast members, most notably Julia Roberts, and its touristy setting than the strength of the film itself. It’s a watchable film overall and it has a passable transfer from MGM.
Additional Screen Captures