The Big Chill is a 1983 comedy-drama film co-written, produced, & directed by Lawrence Kasdan (Body Heat, Silverado, Wyatt Earp, & Dreamcatcher). It was co-written by Barbara Benedek (Sabrina, Immediate Family, The Line, & Men Don’t Leave). It was produced by Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, A Fish Called Wanda, Feeling Minnesota, Gattaca, & Django Unchained). Kevin Costner played Alex in the film but the role was completely cut out besides one quick shot of the body. It was adapted into a television series under the name Hometown in 1985. The budget was $8 million & it grossed $56.4 million worldwide at the box office!!!!
Harold Cooper (played by: Kevin Kline from A Fish Called Wanda, Silverado, The Ice Storm, & Fierce Creatures) & Dr. Sarah Cooper (played by: Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction, Damages, Dangerous Liaisons, & Mary Reilly) receive a phone call at their Richmond home telling them that their friend Alex has committed suicide. At the funeral, Harold & Sarah are reunited with college friends from the University of Michigan. They include Sam (played by: Tom Berenger from Platoon, Sniper franchise, Major League 1/2, & Training Day), Meg (played by: Mary Kay Place from Big Love, Captain Ron, Being John Malkovich, & Girl, Interrupted), Michael (played by: Jeff Goldblum from The Fly, Jurassic Park franchise, Independence Day 1/2, & Thor: Ragnarok), Nick (played by: William Hurt from Body Heat, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Incredible Hulk, & Dark City), & Karen (played by: JoBeth Williams from Poltergeist I/2, Dutch, Wyatt Earp, & Dexter). Also present is Chloe (played by: Meg Tilly from One Dark Night, Psycho II, Impulse, & Valmont), Alex’s young girlfriend. After the burial, everyone goes to Harold & Sarah’s vacation house. They all stay together for the weekend. They bond & morn over their friend Alex during this time. As they reunite with each other, they all learn about secrets & failures since they have been together. Feelings come back & trouble starts brewing between the group. Can their friendship survive this reunion weekend? or Are they all just strangers now????
The Big Chill has one of the best casts & probably the greatest soundtrack of all time in movie history. The script is damn near perfect for this. It has a great balance of comedy & drama. Most people can relate to this & it still holds up after all these years. The tone of the feature gets really dark at times but that’s not a shocker considering what brings them all together. Every main character is completely different here & they all have their own current problems that they are all dealing with. The Big Chill has some depressing moments mixed in there with all the fun that happens during their weekend. It shows how people & friends change over the years. The performances from the entire cast is top notch & it increases the overall quality of the production. There’s not a single weak link in this. Everyone brings something different to the table. Their chemistry is amazing, I am talking about everyone which is a rarity when it comes to cinema. Meg Tilly is the ultimate eye candy in this. The music is so important for this film. It’s like another character for The Big Chill & it sets the mood for the scenes. It’s loaded with familiar tunes. It’s my personal favorite reunion film ever made & I think it gets better every time that I revisit it. HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Via Vision! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a brand new 4K restoration, it’s the same one as the Criterion Collection release. I’ve seen this movie so many times over the years & it’s a huge improvement compared to all the older home video releases. It’s definitely worth the upgrade. It has two different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 & English: LPCM 2.0 on this release. If you know The Big Chill, then you can guess what the highlight is when it comes to the technical aspects of this blu ray. Probably the greatest movie soundtrack of all time with so many classics & it sounds amazing here. It puts your home set up to the test. The dialogue is very clean for this. It also has English SDH subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Via Vision! “The Big Chill : A Reunion” is a 56 minute documentary directed by Laurent Bouzereau about the film. It has interviews with director Lawrence Kasdan, writer Barbara Benedek, actors Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, William Hurt, JoBeth Williams, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, Jeff Goldblum, & various members of the production. They chat about how they came up with the concept & story for The Big Chill. They talk about how they put together the soundtrack for it & why they picked the songs. They bring up how it was hard to get financed & turned down by everyone at first. They finally convinced Columbia do it after several meetings. They breakdown the main cast, characters, & why they picked the actors for these roles. The cast brings up their experience from it & the roles that they originally wanted to play. They go over the rehearsal techniques used to get them to bond during the production. They chat about what they did for fun after shooting & pulling pranks on each other. They analyze the opening scene from The Big Chill. They all share some great stories about the movie. It has almost 10 minutes of “Deleted Scenes”. Sorry, still no Kevin Costner footage from the The Big Chill. It has some decent moments but I am not surprised that these all got cut or shortened for the final version. It has the “Theatrical Trailer”. It’s missing a few extras from the Criterion version but it includes the most important ones from it. This might be a good alternative if you can find it for a great price. This is a Region Free release. It’s available everywhere in Australia & most spots online. CHECK IT OUT!!!!
It’s available right now @ https://viavision.com.au/shop/the-big-chill-blu-ray/