Bonnie & Clyde, Blu-ray (2014)

by | Feb 17, 2014 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

Bonnie & Clyde, Blu-ray (2014)

Cast: Emile Hirsch, Holiday Grainger, Sarah Hyland, Holly Hunter, William Hurt
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 43314 (1/28/14)
Video: 1.78:1 for 16:9 1080p HD color
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1. PCM stereo
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Extras: “The Story of Bonnie & Clyde,” Becoming Bonnie, Becoming Clyde, “A Legendary Story Revisited” (all on second Blu-ray)
Length: 174 minutes (feature)
Rating: ***

When this arrived in the mail for review I thought at first it was one of the many remasterings of classic features which have made their way to Blu-ray lately. (Namely the 1967 classic with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.) Then I was disappointed (and it turns out rightly so) to find it was instead a recent TV miniseries about the Depression-era outlaw couple. It is a two-disc set, with the second disc being not a DVD version but the lengthy extras, also in Blu-ray.

I think that rather than planning for all the extras the makers of this miniseries should have paid more attention to some basics of filmmaking, such as continuity. It might appear that the longer running time of a TV miniseries would have some new enlightening information about the wild pair and their exploits.  Instead, it not only added nothing but took away some interesting elements of the classic version, including the odd sexual hangups of Clyde.

The biggest fault is the often absurd continuity. There are scenes where Clyde is being brutalized in prison and then suddenly he is out and on the rampage again, with no explanation. It’s very odd that the History Channel was involved in this production and its airing (as well as A&E and Lifetime channels), since so many of the details of the story are glossed over or wrong. They play up more than once the pair’s arguments over whether it should be Bonnie & Clyde or Clyde & Bonnie (don’t know if that’s true; probably not).

Bonnie is portrayed as the really bad one who eggs on the decent and principled Clyde, who is aghast when the first person is killed during their robberies. She’s just interested in the publicity and making a big name for herself. Both Holly Hunter as Bonnie’s mother and William Hurt as the fabled Texas ranger who has come out of retirement to track down Bonnie & Clyde are standouts acting-wise, but nobody in this one would probably receive any acting awards. One online reviewer called this the worst ever film in the history of entertainment; I wouldn’t go that far, but the original (as with Psycho and others) is so much better.

—John Sunier

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