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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Dragnet [Blu-ray]


(Tom Mankiewicz, 1987)





Coming to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory in October, 2018:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Universal Pictures

Video: Fabulous Films Limited



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

Runtime: 1:45:50.385 

Disc Size: 24,200,846,938 bytes

Feature Size: 23,951,001,600 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 6th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1623 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1623 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






Production Notes Cast and Filmmaker's Biographies (text screens)
Trailer (1:28)





Description: This is the city...and only Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks can save it in this hilarious box-office blockbuster that pays homage to the famed original police drama of the 50's and 60's. Aykroyd is at his comedic best as the namesake nephew of Detective Sgt. Joe Friday. Like his uncle, he's a blue suited, by-the- rules cop who reluctantly joins forces with his footloose partner Pep Streebek (Hanks) to rescue the City of Angles from the machinations of a power-mad Reverend and corrupt Police Commissioner. And those are "just the facts" of this hysterically funny action-comedy.


No-nonsense Los Angeles detective Sgt. Joe Friday (Dan Aykroyd) is partnered with the wisecracking Pep Streebeck (Tom Hanks), a hip upstart cop, and the mismatched duo is ordered to investigate a strange series of ritual killings. Though Friday and Pep do their share of quarreling, they eventually trace the clues to an ominous cult, and the officers interrupt a violent ceremony. Friday then begins a romance with near-victim Connie Swail (Alexandra Paul), but it could hinder his police work.



The Film:

The contemporary perspective is even less kind to '50s TV's sententious Sergeant Joe Friday than to Elliot Ness. Aykroyd really has the character down, too - the stolidly purposeful walk, the endless uninflected speeches about decency and proper procedure, punctuated with time checks - but where Jack Webb was little more than the Mount Rushmore of public service, Aykroyd's big soft nellie features and prissy mien trawl for laughs. All of which is wonderful, but little else is. Friday's new partner, Hanks, is not so much a character as an unnecessary intermediary between us and the joke. He is here to point up the risibility of the procedural rule book, so he's been issued with instinct and major dishevellment. Porn king Coleman and evangelist Plummer plan to rig the struggle of good against evil for profit, which somehow involves sacrificing an Orange County virgin on the altar. Entertaining enough, but a pity they didn't draft in more of the Eisenhower context.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Aykroyd, shaped these days like a pizza box, looks the perfect square in the part of Joe Friday's namesake nephew. He's Friday by the book -- jaw set in concrete and face locked in a law-and-order stare. Only his blue-black hairline moves when he is irked by the evils of the '80s. These include, to Friday's way of thinking, hip new partner Pep Streebek, pleasantly played by Tom Hanks.

There's enjoyable chemistry between the two, but not the sort that sequels are made on. Aykroyd's straight man gets most of the laughs with his hilarious variation on the late Jack Webb's hard-bitten dialogue, with Hanks playing less often off the priggish, ever-positive Friday.

Excerpt from TheWashinton Post located HERE

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

Dragnet appears to have a serviceable transfer to Blu-ray from Fabulous Films in the UK. It looks significantly better than my old DVD with brighter colors and tighter lines. It is neither glossy nor pristinely sharp but shows some depth and I would guess the 1.85:1 aspect ratio 1080P transfer is a decent replication of the theatrical appearance some 30-years ago. This Blu-ray doesn't make the jokes any better but the 1080P makes it more pleasing to watch.
















Pep Streebeck: You probably love this stuff.
Joe Friday: Vitamin D, calcium, essential for good strong bones and healthy teeth. But that's all Greek to you, isn't it, Mr. Gingivitis?





Joe: Not that it's any of your business, Mr. National Enquirer, but I spent a quiet evening in the company of Connie Swail.
Pep: Connie Swail...Don't you mean the virgin Connie Swail?


Audio :

Fabulous Films offer a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track with minor depth supporting some of the effects. The score is credited to Ira Newborn (Into the Night, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) but most will note the constant 4 notes of the Dragnet theme plus other tunes from the older series composed by Walter Schumann and Miklós Rózsa or more modern variations by The Art of Noise and some ugly rap music etc. There are no subtitle options and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.



Extras :

Not much at all - some text screen bios on the cast and filmmakers and a poor quality trailer.



Dragnet is only a good comedy thanks to Dan Aykroyd's performance and his wonderfully extensive dialogue.  But that is enough for me and I have had this on my 'keeper" shelf (in the form of DVD) for years - now to be replaced with this Blu-ray. Aykroyd must be a guy who takes his craft seriously and obviously did some extensive research for his part. I think it's his best role. Other than that there are some silly scenes and Hanks is just tagging along, mostly. I always enjoy revisiting this film solely for Aykroyd although Harry Morgan, Dabney Coleman and Lenka Peterson cue in some good lines as well. It's imperfect but fans who appreciate it as I do - may want to indulge. 

Gary Tooze

April 12th, 2017





Coming to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory in October, 2018:



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