WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
Around the time Tom Cruise starred in the movie that would rocket him to stardom—Risky Business—he also made the football drama All the Right Moves. Although its tone is very different from Cruise's breakthrough film, All the Right Moves has a story that in many ways is a parallel to that of Risky Business. In both, Cruise plays a young man yearning for a bright future, trying like hell to get into a good college. In both, he struggles mightily with teen hormones and the cruelty of fate. And in both, he finds success and a feel-good ending by finally standing up and being himself.
Cruise plays Stefen Djordjevic, a high-school senior football star in search of a college scholarship. His father and brother are following the old family line of working at the local steel mill, and Stefen wants out. Unfortunately, his coach (Craig T. Nelson) has a bit of a god complex and provides Stefen's primary stumbling block in his quest for a ticket out of town. Lea Thompson and Chris Penn join Cruise in a trio of marvelous performances from up-and-coming young actors.
All the Right Moves is a somber film that holds your attention throughout. Although it has a dated quality—even in its storytelling—it's not as dated as others from the period, such as TAPS. Its story remains compelling. Even its major themes are still timely—for example, the folly of our nation's academic institutions' focus on sports over smarts. This is a strong film that holds up.
HOW'S IT LOOK?
Fox presents All the Right Moves in anamorphic widescreen, preserving the film's original 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. Unfortunately, the print is dirtier than I had hoped, and the film's intentionally muted color palette comes across as murky and somewhat unsatisfying. The transfer is generally soft, but some sequences look sharper than others. Close-up detail is fine but backgrounds suffer. Sharpness and detail seemed to come alive during the pivotal game.
HOW'S IT SOUND?
The new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is OK, but I found no real reason for the upgrade. Surround activity was almost non-existent, and even the front soundstage was centered at the screen. Fidelity has suffered over the years, and occasional highs tend toward distortion. Bass is relatively strong.
WHAT ELSE IS THERE?
You get the film's theatrical trailer, in both English and Spanish, both versions in anamorphic widescreen. That's it. I wanted more.
WHAT'S LEFT TO SAY?
This disc is a nice bargain. I cautiously recommend picking it up, but my recommendation would be stronger had the disc offered a better transfer and better supplements.