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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Miami Connection [Blu-ray]

 

(Y.K. Kim, Woo-sang Park, 1987)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Drafthouse Films

Video: Image Entertainment

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:26:33.021

Disc Size: 35,470,789,858 bytes

Feature Size: 20,698,945,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 11th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary by Y. K. Kim and Joe Diamand

Friends Forever - The Making of Miami Connection(19:16)

• Alternate Ending (2:23)

• Deleted Scenes (11:45)

• Dragon Sound Reunion Concert from Fantastic Fest 2012 (10:03)

• Who is Y. K. Kim? (1:49)

• The New American Dream (22:03)

• Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: The year is 1987. Motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade, viciously annihilating anyone who dares move in on their turf. Multi-national martial arts rock band Dragon Sound have had enough, and embark on a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice. When not chasing beach bunnies or performing their hit song “Against the Ninja,” Mark (kung-fu master/inspirational speaker Y.K. Kim) and the boys are kicking and chopping at the drug world’s smelliest underbelly. It’ll take every ounce of their blood and courage, but Dragon Sound can’t stop until they’ve completely destroyed the dealers, the drunk bikers, the kill-crazy ninjas, the middle-aged thugs, the “stupid cocaine”...and the entire MIAMI CONNECTION!!

 

 

The Film:

Rescued from obscurity by Drafthouse Films and issued to a cult audience hungry for bizarre cultural flotsam, Miami Connection, a cheapo 1987 vehicle for tae kwon do grandmaster Y.K. Kim, hits the sweet spot between stunning ineptitude, hilariously dated period touchstones, and a touching na´vetÚ that gives it an odd distinction. As with the other so-bad-it’s-good sensations that have toured the midnight circuit over the last few years—The Room, Birdemic, Troll 2—its awkwardness comes partly from a foreign-born auteur making an American film, and the culture clash plays out for all to see. Here’s a director and star who sincerely believes that tae kwon do—and the peace-enhancing principles at its honorable core—has the power to heal the world, or, barring that, at least clean up the mean streets of Orlando. Yes, Orlando. In a movie called Miami Connection.

Excerpt from Onion AV Club located HERE

A hard-rocking band comprised of musicians who are also martial artists take on a dangerous ring of drug-dealing motorcycle... ninjas in this obscure schlock film from director Y.K. Kim. Miami, Florida: 1987. Thanks to their hit song "Against the Ninja," Mark (Kim) and his band Dragon Sound are the hottest act in town. But when their fans get hooked on something a lot harder than rock 'n' roll, Dragon Sound stop rocking, and start fighting. When the fists start to fly, you'll laugh so hard you'll cry.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

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

An opening title card before Miami Connection describes how the film's negative was almost lost in a Hurricane in 2004. This transfer was, supposedly, compiled from the best existing elements - but inconsistencies do occur. I can concur - there are some lengthy scratches and visual weaknesses - but actually I think this adds to the film's camp-factor... which is really its main attribute.  The Blu-ray from Image Entertainment is hard to critique but this is a dual-layered transfer with a high bitrate and it looks like they did the best with what they had. Limitations exist in both the source and original production. This Blu-ray never really looks HD, yet I don't doubt this seems a suitable homage to its mid 80's roots.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Image Entertainment hasn't taken advantage of supplying with lossless sound. We only get a puny Dolby Digital stereo track. It is weak, especially, it seems, when Y. K. Kim is talking. I imagine most of the inferiorities are part-and-parcel with the source limitations - as well as the production.  There isn't much range or depth, but there are optional subtitles. The 'Friends Forever' song is hard to get out of your head. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'.

 

Extras :

There are plenty of supplements including a commentary by director/producer Y. K. Kim and Joe Diamand - which maintains the film's obtuse feel. There are videos on the Making of..., an alternate ending, deleted scenes, a short bio piece on raconteur Y. K. Kim, a Reunion Concert, trailers and an advert for The New American Dream, Kim's motivational business.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Well this was pretty odd, but if you can last through it - there are some strangely appealing features to Miami Connection. It's so hokey - and believes in itself (no dissimilar to an 'Ed Wood' production). I don't think I've seen a film like this before. All at once goofy, but innocent and well meaning... but as a piece of cinema - well, it's just awful. A unique oddity but still... awful. The Blu-ray does the best with the elements it had and supplies plenty of extras, they lose a point for the lack of lossless audio. If this sounds like its for you - it might be worth indulging, just don't blame me. 

Gary Tooze

December 11th, 2012


 

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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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