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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Bryan Gordon
USA 1991

 

Written by John Hughes, the legendary screenwriter of National Lampoon’s Vacation, Mr. Mom, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone, comes this hilarious film with maximum comedy at minimum wage! The town con (Frank Whaley, The Doors) and the town beauty (Jennifer Connelly, The Hot Spot) team up to outwit a half-wit pair of would-be burglars, real-life brothers Durmot Mulroney (Young Guns) and Kieran Mulroney (Nowhere to Run). Whaley stars as Jim Dodge, a smooth-talking small-town guy with a knack for putting up a front―but no talent for holding down a job. But Jim’s life suddenly takes a turn for the fantastic when he finds himself locked inside the local department store one night with Josie McClellan (Connelly), the daughter of the town’s wealthiest citizen, and two bumbling criminals. Directed by television veteran Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and co-starring Barry Corbin (My Science Project), William Forsythe (Raising Arizona) and comedy legend John Candy (Spaceballs) in an unbilled cameo.

***

Josie, the daughter of the town's wealthiest businessman, faces problems at home and wishes to leave town but is disoriented. Her decision is finalized after she falls asleep in a Target dressing room. She awakens to find herself locked in the store overnight with the janitor, Jim, the town "no hoper" and liar.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 29th, 1991

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Review: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:23:05.981        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 27,546,383,342 bytes

Feature: 26,035,562,496 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1559 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1559 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 27,546,383,342 bytes

Feature: 26,035,562,496 bytes

Video Bitrate: 37.90 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Chicago Critics Film Festival Producer Erik Childress
Theatrical Trailer (02:15)


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 22nd, 2021
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (June 2021): Kino Lorber now brings Bryan Gordon's Career Opportunities to Blu-ray, on a new single-layered disc. The film's 2.35:1 1080p image boasts a completely maxed-out bitrate, which benefits the image while in motion. No further information is given regarding the source material used for this transfer, and given the somewhat digital look of the presentation, one can assume that this is not, say, a 2K or 4K master from the original camera negative, and is more likely a digital master. There is a bit of digital noise, and when shots are not static, there is some bleeding of fine details which comes across as fuzzy with some halo effects. Caveats aside, when the camera is still, some fine details can be discerned, although colors still seem to bleed a bit. In short, this is not the finest Blu-ray transfer but surely miles ahead of any previous SD DVD representation of the film.

Kino's
Blu-ray of Career Opportunities sports a 16-bit 2.0 DTS-HD Master audio track. Not much to say here other than the dialogue is clear and intelligible and the music sounds fine. Nothing too dynamic, and there isn't any audible distortion. Thomas Newman (Erik Brockovich, In the Bedroom, American Beauty, Shawshank Redemption) is responsible for the film's score, while the film's soundtrack features a cornucopia of sampling from I Wanna Stay Home performed by Jellyfish, Lawrence Welk's Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, The Jeopardy! Theme, Ennio Morricone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme, Johnny Clegg's Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World, Where Are You Baby performed by Betty Boo and more late 80's / early 90's one-hit-wonders. There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'A' Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

The main bonus feature on Kino's new
Blu-ray of Career Opportunities is a new audio commentary from Chicago Critics Film Festival producer Erik Childress. Right off the bat, I was fascinated by Childress's rather honest takes on the behind-the-scenes curiosities regarding this production (not to mention its release and distribution). Childress is not afraid to go into details regarding John Hughes' disowning of his project (Hughes wrote the screenplay and apparently even re-shot some scenes due to the film being a mess, though these scenes likely never saw the light of day). Also of note, Childress talks of the film's curious lack of scenes in the trailer, as well as the pretty abridged running time (surely a lot of tinkering and cutting was done behind many of the film's creators' backs). Even still, Career Opportunities is an enjoyable picture, and only really falls apart when you juxtapose the film against the backdrop of Hughes' pretty successful canon. Childress also speaks of the film being shot in 1989 and not being released until 1991, suspiciously after the wild success of John Hughes' "Home Alone". Also of interest is learning about director Bryan Gordon's early success (Academy Award short film winner) and his later TV-directing fame (Gordon worked on 'The Office', and many episodes of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'). Speaking of TV, Childress makes the astute comparison of Frank Whaley's character and Aziz Ansari's character Tom on TV's 'Parks and Recreation'. A highly informative and fun commentary track, surely benefiting from Childress's having no direct links to the film himself. Also on Kino's Blu-ray is the film's trailer (featuring the Fine Young Cannibals track "She Drives Me Crazy".) Some other trailers round out the extras on this Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

I have fond memories of Career Opportunities, the film being something of a cable TV staple in the mid 90's. Kino Lorber's
Blu-ray features a decent 1080P presentation, and a fabulous audio commentary. Recommended to John Hughes, and Jennifer Connelly, fans.

Colin Zavitz

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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