Blu-ray Review: Blast from the Past

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A new catalog title issued for the first time on Blu-ray, Blast from the Past is a "fish out of water" comedy from 1999. Originally distributed by New Line, the new Blu-ray has been released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The cast makes this one as entertaining as it is, though the film is ultimately a rather middling experience. Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek portray Calvin and Helen Webber, the always well-meaning parents of Adam. Calvin is a doomsday-prepping scientist who decided to hole up with his family in a bomb shelter back in 1962.

A disruption in his communications system leads Calvin to believe nuclear annihilation occurred. So they stay down in their shelter, hiding behind timer-controlled locked doors (that won't open up to let them survey what has become of the world until 35 years have passed). Helen was pregnant then, so Adam winds up being raised in isolation with no context of how society developed. Predictably, comedy ensues when the doors open up and the Webber's must confront the "future," which is actually the present day for everyone else.

Luckily the comedy is mostly breezy, good-natured fun. Much of the credit goes Brendan Fraser, who plays Adam as such a likably naïve "man out of time" that Blast from the Past remains worth a look. Of course there's a love interest. She's played by Alicia Silverstone. This is also a winning performance, perhaps aided by the fact that Silverstone was at, or at least near, the peak of her popularity at the time. Director Hugh Wilson helmed a second Brendan Fraser comedy that same year, Dudley Do Right. That was a much more expensive production than Blast that wound up making far less at the box office. Wilson hasn't done much filmmaking in the intervening years, though his legacy is secure: he is the creator of the classic sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati.

Blast form the Past arrives on Blu-ray as an unremarkable, though technically sound, high definition presentation. The image is clean and sharp throughout, while the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix is pretty simple but free of problems. This bare-bones catalog title includes only the film's theatrical trailer as a bonus feature.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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