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Martin Scorsese
Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Teri Garr
Joseph Minion
An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho he met that evening at a coffee shop.
Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English LPCM Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 7/11/2023

• Audio Commentary with Director Martin Scorsese, Actor Griffin Dunne, Producer Amy Robinson, Editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus
• “Filming For Your Life” Featurette
• “Martin Scorsese and Fran Leibowitz” Featurette
• “The Look of After Hours” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Trailer
• Booklet
• Blu-ray Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


After Hours: Criterion Collection [4K UHD] (1985)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 19, 2023)

After making a name for himself as one of the great directors with his works through 1980’s Raging Bull - often cited as that era’s best film - Martin Scorsese seemed somewhat lost for the rest of the decade. He did produce a few good but flawed flicks like King of Comedy and Last Temptation of Christ.

However, Scorsese also put out mediocre affairs such as The Color of Money. He’d rebound solidly with 1990’s GoodFellas, though that flick may stand as his last true hurrah, since he’s not approached its level of quality since then.

Scorsese’s least interesting effort from the decade comes with 1985’s After Hours. In it, we meet office worker Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne), who leads a dull, solitary life.

Paul sits alone in a diner when he meets Marcy (Rosanna Arquette) and the pair connect on Tropic of Cancer. They chat briefly and he gets the number for a sculptor friend of hers named Kiki Bridges (Linda Fiorentino) who makes bagel paperweights.

Paul calls and inadvertently gets Marcy, who invites him over at 11:32 PM. Paul takes a wild cab ride there and loses his money out the window. Marcy’s at the drugstore when Paul arrives, so he talks to Kiki and helps with her art.

Marcy returns and they hang out, which starts a series of complications. She eventually reveals some personal information about a rape that occurred in the same room and also notes that her husband Franklin owns the loft.

Things get weirder from there. Paul senses emotional issues in Marcy, and he eventually freaks out after he smokes some pot. Paul leaves the loft in a huff and goes to a bar.

From there, lots of things happen - too much for me to continue to detail in a plot synopsis. Suffice it to say that Paul meets lots of characters, all of whom complicate his life. All he wants to do is get home, but a variety of problems prevent this from occurring, all in comedic ways.

Or allegedly, purportedly comedic ways, for I didn’t find a lot of laughs in After Hours. Actually, much of the flick is plain old dull.

Hours does improve as it progresses, and the third act fares better than the prior two. However, by that point, it seems too little, too late, for the first two-thirds of the movie feel fairly tedious.

A lot of the problem stems from its transparent attempts at cleverness. There’s nothing worse than forced quirkiness, and Hours has that in spades.

The film wants to be a wacky farce as it places all sorts of obstacles in Paul’s way. Too much of the time, it lacks the appropriate energy and life.

It’s tough to pull off this sort of flick, and Scorsese isn’t the right director for it. He’s good with gritty and dark, and those elements come out neatly here, but the comedic parts turn into more of a struggle.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with After Hours simply comes from its plodding pace. It evolves slowly and fails to engage until late in the game.

Even then, it only seems sporadically entertaining, but at least it ends on a moderately high note. Otherwise, it’s a self-consciously cutesy and quirky effort that doesn’t really go anywhere.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

After Hours appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. Though not an eye-catching presentation, the Dolby Vision platter appeared to replicate the source well.

Overall sharpness satisfied. Some interiors felt a smidgen soft, bit the majority of the movie came across as accurate and well-defined.

No issues with jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain felt natural, and I saw no print flaws.

Colors tended toward the subdued side of the street, albeit with some emphasis on greens, blues and reds, and the disc replicated them with good fidelity. The various shades seemed appropriate and full within the design choices. HDR added impact and punch to the tones – when allowed, at least.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. HDR brought extra power to whites and contrast. The release conveyed the movie in an appealing manner.

As for the film’s LPCM monaural soundtrack, it held up fine over the last 38 years. Speech felt natural and concise, without obvious edginess or other concerns.

Music boasted good pep and range, while effects came across as fairly accurate, even if they lacked much heft. For a mono track from 1985, the audio seemed more than acceptable.

How did the Criterion 4K UHD compare to the Criterion Blu-ray? Both sported identical monaural soundtracks.

The Dolby Vision 4K boasted improvements in terms of delineation, blacks and colors. I didn’t think the 4K blew away the Blu-ray, as both fared well, but the 4K delivered the more detailed version.

The Criterion release mixes old and new extras, and we start with an audio commentary from director Martin Scorsese, actor Griffin Dunne, producer Amy Robinson, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. For the most part, all five were recorded separately for this edited, occasionally-screen-specific piece.

Scorsese starts the track on a strong note as he provides an extended monologue about what attracted him to the project and the problems related to Last Temptation of Christ that ultimately took him to Hours. However, Ballhaus emerges as the real dominant presence of the commentary.

A more technical piece than the other Scorsese tracks, he discusses various photographic techniques and styles in the film along with other production notes as well as information about his career.

The others fill in remarks about how they got onto the project plus a mix of additional facts about the shoot and elements like deleted scenes. Overall, this becomes a brisk and informative commentary.

Note that the DVD commentary only ran about 78 minutes. The Criterion release adds circa 2023 notes from Dunne and Robinson – who also appeared on the original from 2004 - to flesh out the track to fill the entire feature. They chat together briefly at the movie’s end but otherwise seem to appear separately.

The remaining components appear on the included Blu-ray copy. Three featurettes follow, and first we get the 18-minute, 55-second Filming for Your Life. We get notes from Scorsese, Dunne, Robinson, and Schoonmaker.

“Life” provides the basics of how the project came to fruition, the film’s rapid schedule, shooting at night, Scorsese’s shotlist, the movie’s tone, some of the director’s techniques, Dunne’s acting choices, and finding an ending.

Some of the information repeats from the commentary, but plenty of new details emerge such as the fact that the producers almost hired Tim Burton to direct. It’s a tight and engaging look at the flick.

The next two featurettes come new to the Criterion set, and Martin Scorsese and Fran Leibowitz goes for 19 minutes, 47 seconds. Shot in 2023, photographer Scorsese interviews the director.

We learn what brought Scorsese to the project and the state of his career in the mid-1980s as well as that era’s NYC, production domains and the movie’s impact. We find an enjoyable chat between old friends.

The Look of After Hours spans 18 minutes, five seconds. It delivers info from costume designer Rita Ryack and production designer Jeffrey Townsend.

Unsurprisingly, “Look” focuses on costumes and sets. They flesh out those subjects well.

In addition to the film’s theatrical trailer, we locate a collection of seven deleted scenes. All together, these last eight minutes, seven seconds.

These offer a mix of expository scenes plus additional comedic bits like Paul’s rough night staying at Tom’s apartment. There’s nothing exceptional, but fans will enjoy these clips.

The package concludes with a booklet that mixes art, credits and an essay from critic Sheila O’Malley. It completes the set well.

A stylistic stretch for Martin Scorsese, After Hours doesn’t succeed. It presents occasional moments of dark mirth, but it plods too much and seems generally dull and pointless. The 4K UHD offers very good picture as well as adequate audio and some interesting supplements. One of Scorsese’s less compelling efforts, leave this one for the completists.

To rate this film please visit the DVD review of AFTER HOURS

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