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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Slam Dance [Blu-ray]

 

(Wayne Wang, 1987)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Zenith Entertainment

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:39:57.992

Disc Size: 20,512,032,415 bytes

Feature Size: 20,256,374,784 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.95 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 20th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

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)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

Slam Dance trailer (2:08) / Modern Girls trailer (1:08)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Mastered in HD! An all-star cast-including Tom Hulce (Amadeus), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The January Man), Virginia Madsen (Modern Girls), Adam Ant (Nomads) and Harry Dean Stanton (Paris, Texas) livens the stark stylishness of this stunning, cold neo-punk tale of murder and madness. Underground L.A. artist C.C. Drood (Hulce) courts danger and excitement when he begins an illicit affair with a high-class call girl. But he gets more than he bargains for when she is found dead in his home, and he's being framed for murder! Now, pursued by crooked cops and with nowhere to turn, Drood makes a desperate attempt to reclaim his life... and stay alive! Directed by indie filmmaker Wayne Wang (Smoke) and written by Don Keith Opper (Android, Critters), who also co-stars as Buddy… leading a strong supporting cast that includes Millie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank) and Robert Beltran (Eating Raoul).

 

 

The Film:

In this off-beat and stylish mystery by director Wayne Wang, C.C. Drood (Tom Hulce) is an underground cartoonist who is separated from his wife Helen (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and daughter Bean (Judith Barsi). When his lover Yolanda (Virginia Madsen) is found murdered, Drood is the main focus of the police investigation. When Drood uncovers a sex scandal involving police chief Gilbert (John Doe) and Detective Smiley (Harry Dean Stanton), he realizes he is being made the fall guy for the crime. Singer Adam Ant plays Drood's buddy Jim.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Cynical cartoonist CC Drood (Hulce) has problems: his wife (Mastrantonio) has left him, his landlady opens his mail, and a mysterious girl he had a brief affair with (Madsen) has been found dead. Suspected of murder by Detective Smiley (Stanton), he is also the victim of brutal interrogations carried out by a hood named Buddy (Opper). Combining state-of-the-art stylishness with comedy and suspense, Wang turns an otherwise straightforward conspiracy thriller into a pacy, racy fable with distinctly oddball dimensions. The deft, dark humour (notably a supremely funny scene set in a police station seemingly populated by psychos) reinforces the shock value of its sudden incursions of crunching violence; while Drood's descent into danger involves a drastic reassessment of his shallow, self-regarding attitudes. Tautly scripted (by Don 'Android' Opper, who also turns in a bizarrely touching performance as Buddy,) stunningly shot and designed, the movie may not display the emotional honesty and complexity of Wang's earlier Dim Sum, but as polished adult entertainment it sparkles.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

Slam Dance arrives on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber looking bright with rich colors. You can see occasional depth and decent detail in the few close-ups. The source is clean with strong density. The flashbacks are purposely a little off-kilter - almost waxy. This Blu-ray gave me a pretty good HD presentation. Better than I was anticipating.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1559 kbps in the original English language. There are plenty of aggressive effects in the film - conflict, fist-a-cuffs, guns. and they come through flat but with a pinch of depth. The score is by Mitchell Froom and doesn't overpower the narrative but adds a bit of flavor with a smidgeon of the opera "Samson et Dalila" by Camille Saint-SaŽns. It all sounds fine with clear consistent dialogue. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only a couple of trailers; Slam Dance and Modern Girls. I think the film is good enough to have supported more.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Slam Dance takes a while to get going but once invested - you will start to appreciate the filmmakers intent.  Hulce is great - really the whole film - with everyone else being support. I always enjoy Harry Dean Stanton. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray gives their standard 1080P presentation - decent and superior to SD. This is an oddly-paced but still decent neo-noir film - and deserved a few extras. I really began to enjoy the atmosphere. Over 50% off pre-order at Amazon - and certainly recommended at that price! 

Gary Tooze

October 13th, 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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