Dazed and Confused 4K UHD Review: It Looks Better Than All Right All Right All Right
4K doesn’t clear the ‘70s haze with which Richard Linklater managed to imbue Dazed and Confused in the ‘90s. But, the Criterion Collection 4K UHD is a portal into that era, both the era Linklater recreated and the era in which he was filming in Austin, Texas.
The Austin sun glows in the daytime but most of Dazed and Confused takes place at night. The pitch black sky is most visible on the baseball diamond with stadium lights illuminating the characters. The night sky rears clearly again atop the moon tower, though the rest of the party is under the trees..
The drive through and Austin streets are lit up at night for the cruising cars. Those talks in moving cars create a thin line of light in the dark road, occasionally passing under some lights that illuminate the whole car.
1993 prints had Dolby SR soundtracks but the mix has probably been upgraded on the several home video formats before 4K. It contributes to the atmosphere as the fluorescent lights buzz in the rear in the opening school scenes. The school bell rings like it’s in your house. Car sounds surround the entire film. The soundtrack rocks the whole room, and even the menu screen has surround bong hits and car noise.
Bonus features are far more elaborate than previous Blu-ray releases. Now there are 25 minutes of deleted scenes, though I don’t know which 10 are new.
Have the auditions appeared before? Matthew McConaughey’s has but the others are new to me. Michelle Burke’s smile pierces the VHS quality tape. Adam Goldberg turns his antics on right away after speaking normally just prior to recording. Wiley Wiggens and Christin Hinjosa are sweet together.
Beer Bust at the Moon Tower is a series of interviews and B-roll shot in 1992. They interview the actors about their character, but they’re answering for the sake of the film, not an EPK promo piece. Linklater is workshopping scenes behind the scenes and the costume designer models the iconic women’s clothing, the guys’ too.
Making Dazed was produced for AMC in 2005 but it is also included here, as is Linklater’s previously recorded commentary track.