Cry Baby: Director’s Cut (1989)
Not Rated Dir: John Waters | Universal | 92 min.

Review By: Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012

Plot: What’s it about?

Wade Walker (Johnny Depp) is better known as Cry-Baby, for his ability to shed a single tear. He is also known for being the leader of the Drapes, a group of teen hoodlums that wear leather jackets, slick back their hair, and listen to rock music. Allison (Amy Locane) is not a Drape, in fact she is with the Squares, a group of clean cut teens who follow the rules. But she has grown tired of always being good and doing as she’s told, so she longs to see what life on the other side is like. Soon enough, she falls for Cry-Baby and their romance puts an already divided town at more severe odds. The Drapes accept Allison after some initial resistance, but the Squares refuse to give up on her, which leads to an all out assault on Cry-Baby. Will the romance be allowed to blossom, or will Cry-Baby shed his final tear for Allison?

At last, one of my all time favorite movies has been unleashed on DVD, in a director’s cut with a few extras, no less. I would rank Cry-Baby as John Waters’ crown jewel, a movie that takes what should be wholesome, but puts a nasty spin on the whole process. He has more famous movies, more infamous movies, and more notorious movies, but to me, Cry-Baby is Waters’ masterpiece. Then again, I am also a fan of the juvenile delinquent cinema of the 50s and 60s, so I am probably close to the film’s target audience. Cry-Baby doesn’t have all the graphic content that Waters is known for, but it still has a wicked mean streak. Johnny Depp leads an eclectic, but effective cast of unusual characters, while Amy Locane is golden as his love interest. I also love the music, which is a perfect fit for this kind of movie. A perverse take on 50s teen crime cinema, Cry-Baby is a blast to watch and is well worth a look, even if you hate John Waters.

Video: How does it look?

Cry-Baby is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The print is in good condition here, with only a minor amount of grain visible. The grain is not found in every scene and is never too thick even then, so I won’t knock the score too much, by any means. The contrast is even and never obscures detail, which is impressive, as this movie has a lot of darker scenes to contend with. No issues on the color side, as the hues look bright, but always with a natural, realistic scope. A few flaws aside, this transfer is very good and I doubt anyone will be let down.

Audio: How does it sound?

The audio here is good, but I would have loved a new DTS option. Or at least a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix, some kind of full on surround soundtrack. The music in this movie is excellent and while it sounds decent here, it deserves to be rich and immersive. As I said, the music comes through and doesn’t sound bad, but it should have a fuller sound than this. The other elements aren’t as restricted, but without question, the musical soundtrack is held back by this soundtrack. The dialogue remains clear and consistent, while sound effects come across as well as can be expected. This still rates as a solid treatment, but Universal could have done so much more. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This is a new director’s cut of the movie, so several new scenes have been added in and others have been extended. The end result is a more fleshed out movie, with some jokes better explained and an overall better cinematic experience, I think. Waters provides an audio commentary also, which proves to be well worth a listen, as he supplies some insightful recollections. This was first real studio picture and he discusses the benefits of that, as well as the negative elements. This disc also includes some additional deleted scenes, as well as a behind the scenes featurette.

Disc Features
  • (1.85:1) Aspect Ratio
  • Video Codec: MPEG-2
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy
  • 1 Disc Set
Cry Baby: Director’s Cut

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