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Blu-ray Review: PUMP UP THE VOLUME

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PHOTOGRAPHY
PUMP UP THE VOLUME
Blu-ray review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 102 minutes, theatrical trailer
VIDEO: 1.85:1 (anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH

STUDIO: Warner Archive/ New Line Cinema/ SC Entertainment International
RELEASE DATE: 2-23-2021
Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) is a shy student by day in a small Arizona town, but at night he is a cynical uncensored radio DJ Hard Harry who has his own pirate radio station. Hard Harry is idolized by his classmates, but Mark's alter ego is hated by the people in charge of the school because he threatens to expose the corrupt school principal. A pretty teenage girl (Samantha Mathis) notices Mark and starts putting together the clues to who hard Harry is. The school calls in the FCC to find and shut down the pirate radio station.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME is a movie I discovered first on VHS in the early 1990s and it shows that Christian Slater was a likeable actor even early in his career (but I also see Christian plays basically himself in almost every role). It is a movie about free speech and how politics and power want to squash those voices if you want to rock the boat even when there's something wrong. It is interesting to see this movie today since one big thing happened that would really change PUMP UP THE VOLUME and that is the internet. The internet allows people to have a presence via YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Patreon, and podcasts. The internet has made free speech even harder to squash and the FCC can't take you down (but sometimes terms of service can and will).

The only extra is the original theatrical trailer, but I wish the movie had an audio commentary. I did take a look at the filmography of director Allan Moyle and was pleasantly surprised he also directed a couple of other films I really love- EMPIRE RECORDS and WEIRDSVILLE. I also looked into the making-of info about the movie and wondered what this film would have been like if actor John Cusak didn't turn down the lead role. Also I wonder what PUMP UP THE VOLUME would be like if it was remade today to incorporate the internet landscape since I believe Hard Harry would be using the internet instead of radio today.

PUMP UP THE VOLUME still holds up after all this years (thirty years) even though it is also a nostalgia deep dive too. If you're looking to support physical media, this classic is a great addition to your library.

This review is (c)3-13-2021 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com and check for further content at http://enterlinemedia.tumblr.com