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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Miami Blues [Blu-ray]

 

(George Armitage, 1990)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Tristes Tropiques

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:36:54.517

Disc Size: 22,697,759,701 bytes

Feature Size: 17,932,234,752 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.16 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 28th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Interviews (26:01)

Trailer (2:11)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Brace yourself... this intoxicating "cocktail with rum and cyanide", (Time) is at once "brutal, funny, unpredictable and a bit unhinged", (Newsweek)! Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in this offbeat black comedy about a murdering thief, his simple-minded wife and the denture-wearing cop closing in on his trail.

Veteran criminal Frederick Frenger, Jr. (Baldwin) has moved to Miami to get a fresh start... at robbing a whole new set of people. But when his streetwalker-gone-straight wife (Leigh) begins to suspect his criminal behavior, and an obsessed cop (Ward) begins to close in, he will need a lot more than luck and a bogus badge to escape a crossfire hotter than the barrel of a smoking gun!

 

 

The Film:

Based on the late Charles Willeford's series of hard-boiled crime novels featuring Miami cop Hoke Moseley, the Jonathan Demme-produced Miami Blues opens with the prison release of Frederick Frenger Jr. (Alec Baldwin), a deranged killer who has barely de-boarded his plane before he's killed a Hare Krishna in the airport. Checking into his hotel, Frenger meets up with Susie Waggoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a young prostitute with dreams of domestic life, and the two quickly become romantically involved. Meanwhile, the Hare Krishna murder case is given to Moseley (Fred Ward), a grizzled vet who vows to hunt down Frenger, but may be getting too long in the tooth for the demands of his job.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Armitage's adaptation of Charles Willeford's Miami Blues is a movie introduction to Hoke Moseley of the Miami Police Department, a middle-aged Homicide sergeant harried by alimony and sporting a set of dentures made for him on the cheap by the technician who makes false teeth for the Miami Dolphins. Like Elmore Leonard's, Willeford's world is very precise about economics; when Hoke is hospitalised by the blithe psychopath Junior Frenger (Baldwin) - who steals his gun, badge and, cruelly, his teeth - he has trouble settling his medical bill. Meanwhile Junior plays cop in the metropolis and house with an infantile hooker, while Hoke tries to trap him. Ward is physically fine for Hoke, Baldwin a wired Junior, and best of all is Leigh's hooker, but it doesn't quite translate to the screen. Willeford didn't write genre, and the film washes about a bit finding a tone.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

Miami Blues looks solid on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory - significantly superior to the old SD DVD. It is single-layered with a low-ish bitrate but the film's darkness, overhanging much of the visuals, remains film-like with occasional crispness. It works well with the Floridian shops, restaurants and palm trees.  Certain colors are bolder and detail rises above SD-capability. Contrast is adept with frequent depth and some appreciated textures. There are no flaws - the video is clean and produces, what appears to be, a decent 1080P transfer. Not exceptional but a consistent presentation.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Shout! Factory use a linear PCM 2.0 channel transfer at 2304 kbps. There is quite a bit of aggression in the film with gunplay, some car action and airport noise include plane engines. It seems robust enough to add some depth to the varied soundstage. The score is by Gary Chang, and adds some decent flavor to the Floridian landscapes augmenting the violence with a quickening musical pace. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.

 

Extras :

We get 26-minutes worth of of recent interviews with Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh (separately) and they recall the production fondly with some details and mention of producer Jonathan Demme. There is also a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I liked Miami Blues - much more seeing it in 1080P than on DVD years ago. It has an oddness but suspenseful pacing and the 3 main performances are excellent. Each character has its weaknesses and they come crashing together in an interesting way.  The Shout! Factory Blu-ray produces a fine presentation - worthy of re-visitation and the film has definitely grown on me over the years. The interviews also add value. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 17th, 2015

 

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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