DAZED AND CONFUSED
MOVIE: * (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
I know I’m treading on sacred ground for some people, but “Dazed and Confused” is not a good film. Like “That 70s Show” (which I really did enjoy, by the way), “Dazed and Confused” isn’t as much about the 70s, but rather about what the kids from the 90s thought the 70s were and idealized. It’s a mean-spirited, nihilistic slop of characters who have very little redeeming value and behave like a pack of animals. Meant to show teenagers finding themselves on the last day of school in 1976, “Dazed and Confused” glorifies bullying and tries to balance it with pseudo-intellectual contemplation. If you’ve been to college, you know that guy (or group of guys) who spent much of their days baked in their room, thinking their inane conversation was actually a thoughtful contemplation of the universe. This movie is the cinematic equivalent of that.
I know this film has a lot of love from people who found it to be a go-to party movie during their youth, but it’s nothing great, in my opinion. Part of it is Richard Linklater’s random hodge-podge directing style. It’s clear this is from the director of “Slacker,” only without the wacky conspiracy theories and Madonna pubic hair.
The Blu-ray includes a U-Control feature to spotlight the soundtrack (which actually is quite good, by the way… but that credit goes to the music of the 70s rather than the film itself), plus access to BD-Live and Pocket Blu. There are also some deleted scenes and random retro public service announcements (including the crying Indian). Finally, “The Blunt Truth” is a fake retro filmstrip about “the dangers of partying.” And you should read that as “partying” meaning “smoking pot.” This fervent defense of the bud throughout the film and bonus features makes me realize how high Linklater and probably much of the cast was when they were making this movie. I’m just guessing here, but I calls it as I sees it.