My Cousin Vinny [Blu-ray]
(Jonathan Lynn, 1992)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Video: 20th Century Fox
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,811,022,199 bytes
Feature Size: 22,349,475,840 bytes
Video Bitrate: 18.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 4th, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3540 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3540
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English, English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
• Commentary by director Jonathan Lynn
• Original Theatrical trailers + TV Spot
Description: Two carefree pals (Ralph Macchio and Mitchell Whitfield) traveling through Alabama are mistakenly arrested, and charged with murder. Fortunately, one of them has a cousin who's a lawyer - Vincent Gambini (Joe Pesci, Lethal Weapon 3, Home Alone), a former auto mechanic from Brooklyn who just passed his bar exam after his sixth try. Vinny's never been in court - or in Alabama - and when he arrives with his leather-clad girlfriend (Marisa Tomei in her Oscar® winning Supporting Actress performance), to try his first case, it's a real shock - for him and the Deep South!
Pesci plays Vincent La Guardia Gambini, proud Brooklyn attorney-at-law, who gets called South to Wahzoo City to defend his college-kid cousin (Macchio) and pal (Whitfield), falsely accused of a convenience store murder. Trouble is, Vinny ain't no expert on criminal law, having just completed his bar exams. Still, the majesty of the law doesn't over-impress this self-made guy; but then his shades, white shoes and total ignorance of procedure don't exactly impress by-the-book Judge Haller (Gwynne). Vinny fears he's gonna get found out, the kids fear they're gonna fry. Pesci's variation on New Jersey machismo (vulnerable in this case) isn't enough to fill a comedy; but Dale Launer's script luckily provides some fine routines for the supporting cast, notably the scene-stealing Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito, Pesci's sharp-tongued girlfriend. It's a small, surprisingly gentle affair, prone to fits and starts, but fun.Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE
The image on My Cousin Vinny on Blu-ray isn't overwhelming in any of the usual visual facets that we find remarkable with 1080P. While it's certainly superior to SD - the image has a texture that inhibits it from achieving any high standard of detail. It's not so much that the single-layered transfer is ineffectual (although the video bitrate is at the lower end at 18.99 Mbps) - it's more that the 1992 film wasn't shot with immaculate care for the appearance beyond the acceptable - after all it's a comedy - and a good one. On the positive - it's fairly smooth in motion, blemish-free, and exhibits some, infrequent, depth. Nothing is exceptional visually-speaking - but it does look consistent throughout. I can't see anyone bothering with digital manipulations and I doubt dual-layering would have produced a vastly superior presentation. This probably isn't too far from how it looked theatrically - and that's fine, just not stellar.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3540 kbps is more than capable of handling this fairly docile soundtrack. The instances of factory whistles, loudly grunting pigs and forest animals that inhibitVincent and Mona Lisa's sleep seem abnormally loud and caused me to turn down the volume - returning it to normal position for the ensuing dialogue - which is clean and consistent. There are English, French and Spanish optional subtitle choices and my Momitsu's identifies this disc as being region FREE capable of being played worldwide on Blu-ray players.
Nothing new with thesame supplements from the last DVD edition. Director Lynn's commentary is pretty good but there are gaps where he lets the film run. He seems like an intelligent chap and I liked what he had to say although some may find him dry. There are also two trailers and two TV Spots in SD... but that is all.
July 24th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Gary W. Tooze