Miami Vice, Blu-ray (2008, Original release 2006)

by | Aug 25, 2008 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Miami Vice, Blu-ray (2008, Original release 2006)

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Gong Li, Naomie Harris
Director: Michael Mann
Studio: Universal [Release date: Aug. 26, 08]
Video: 2.40:1 anamorphic/enhanced for 16:9, 1080p HD
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS 5.1, English DD 2.0
Extras: Bonus View PIP Commentary and Featurettes, Audio Commentary, Featurettes
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Length: 140 minutes
Rating: **1/2

I’m not a huge fan of the work of director Michael Mann; however, one of his films – The Last Of The Mohicans – is definitely on my short list of all-time favorite movies. The rest of his body of work has frequently left me scratching my head, and really makes me wonder how the same person responsible for such an amazingly classic film as Mohicans can generate what I consider an incredibly mixed bag of movies. I was never really a big fan of Miami Vice as a television series; I honestly almost felt guilty from any measure of enjoyment I achieved from watching it. In reality, though, it now strikes me as much more credible and considerably less cheesy than Miami Vice the movie. And considering Michael Mann was responsible for the television series, you’d think that the movie would contain at least most of the good things that made the TV show an eighties staple. Unfortunately, however, he’s chosen to pretty much abandon most of what made Miami Vice the television show an interestingly campy, guilty-pleasure-sort of watch. Colin Farrell is a pretty poor substitute for Don Johnson, and Jamie Foxx doesn’t fare much better as Tubbs. After watching Colin Farrell’s job in this film, Don Johnson’s stock went way up with me!

Technically, the video content of the film is significantly lacking, looking not much better than a low budget music video. Sure, there are some remarkably good images of the Miami skyline, but the overall video presentation is flat, with relatively poor contrast and an overabundance of video noise. The DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is extremely dynamic, with excellent integration of music and surround elements and offers an impressively immersive llistening experience. I did have a problem with the dialogue elements of the film; others have noted this problem with the source material, and unfortunately, Universal chose not to improve upon the original, so the dialogue isn’t focused in the center channel and often is quite muddied and unintelligible. And that adds up to making an already convoluted plot even more difficult to follow.

The disc includes Universal’s U-Control feature, which utilizes all the PIP features that Blu-Ray’s profile 1.1 offers, and those with capable equipment will find quite a lot to explore here. Hopefully that generous amount of bonus material will increase your appreciation for this film. Fans of the film will definitely want this Blu-ray disc; the rest of us will probably be satisfied with a rental.

— Tom Gibbs

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