Eccentric and heartfelt, this Oscar-winning coming-of-age story deserves rediscovery.
Dennis Christopher is Dave, cycling enthusiast. Since the world’s greatest cyclists are Italian, Dave tries to become Italian, much to the low-key bemusement of his parents. Dave and his friends (played by Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earle Haley) are from the working class end of town, and are constantly at odds with the college boys, and this class rivalry ultimately climaxes…in the town’s big bike race.
The surround mix is something of a mixed bag. Granted, this is a 1979 film, so some allowance must be made. The music certainly sounds fine, and the sound effects get off to a promising start as the sounds of nature surround us in the quarry scene. On the whole, however, the effect is much closer to mono when the music is not playing, and I noticed numerous lost opportunities (such as a football game) to use the rear speakers.
The picture is solid. It won’t blow you away, but that has more to do with the look of the film itself, which has that gritty, slightly washed-out approach favoured by numerous films of the 70s. The print itself is in good shape, and the you have the choice of watching the film in either the original 1.85:1 widescreen or 1.33:1 ratios.
Not much: the trailer and two TV spots, and even at that, the theatrical trailer is in 1.33:1, and showing signs of age. If you’re interested, there are also trailers for fellow Family Feature releases Baby’s Day Out, My Bodyguard, Rookie of the Year, and The Sandlot. The menu too is very basic.
As with My Bodyguard, this Family Feature is aimed at older viewers. The content is rather mature for young children, who would also likely be bored by the some of the subtler character development. For its intended audience, however, the film is superb.
Special Features List
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spots