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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Shane Black
Cast:
Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Keith David, Kim Basinger
Writing Credits:
Shane Black and Anthony Bagarozzi

Synopsis:
A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.

Box Office:
Budget:
$50,000,000.
Opening Weekend
$11,203,270 on 2,865 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$36,261,763.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio
Latin Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Latin Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French

Runtime: 116 min.
Price: $24.95
Release Date: 8/23/2016

Bonus:
• “Always Bet on Black” Featurette
• “Worst. Detectives. Ever.” Featurette
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Nice Guys [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 21, 2016)

When we last saw writer/director Shane Black, he stood at the helm of a big hit: 2013’s Iron Man 3. After the huge superhero action of that movie, Black goes for something smaller via the “comedy noir” of 2016’s The Nice Guys.

Set in Los Angeles circa 1977, struggling private investigator Holland March (Ryan Gosling) picks up an unusual assignment. After the death of porn star “Misty Mountains” (Murielle Telio), the actress’s aunt (Lois Smith) claims to see the girl alive.

This investigation leads Holland toward a missing girl named Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley) – and another PI, the brutish “enforcer” Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe). Amelia prefers to remain “unfound”, and she hires Jackson to assist. Despite a rocky start, Holland and Jackson eventually join forces to get to the bottom of a murky mystery.

Going into its May 2016 release date, Nice Guys enjoyed a pretty good sense of “buzz” – at least among film buffs. It appeared to offer a fun throwback to cop flicks of its era, imbued with enough quirky comedy to stand out as a winner.

Whatever pre-release juice might have existed failed to translate to box office returns. In the US, Nice Guys made a mere $36 million – not even enough to recoup its relatively modest $50 million budget.

I wish I could claim that Nice Guys offers a gem that deserved a better fate, but the film comes across as a disappointment. While it certainly offers moments of entertainment, the final product lacks a lot of zing.

When Nice Guys does work, it tends to do so due to the chemistry between its leads. Talented on their own, Crowe and Gosling meld together in a satisfying manner. They give us contrasting personalities who nonetheless manage to connect and offer more than a few moments of entertainment.

Unfortunately, the script leaves them high and dry too much of the time. At its heart a semi-remake of Chinatown, the screenplay works too hard to evoke prior films and doesn’t do enough to create its own feel or vibe.

Black seems too concerned with period detail and attempts to appear clever. He packs the movie with so many cutesy quirks that these threaten to overwhelm the production. We find ourselves less involved with the story and characters because the film tries so hard to impress us with its left-field touches.

These could work, but they usually don’t, mainly because they feel so self-conscious. What comes naturally to someone like Quentin Tarantino doesn’t fare as well under Black’s watch, and these factors can make Nice Guys come across as less than the sum of its parts. As much as I think the movie should entertain me, it too often falls short of those goals.

Complaints aside, I wouldn’t call Nice Guys a bad movie. Aided by its stars, we get decent entertainment.

Unfortunately, the story drags too much of the time, as its murky detective plot becomes a mess. There’s a fun flick at the heart of this effort, but the end result only provides spotty charms.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

The Nice Guys appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The transfer lived up to expectations.

Overall sharpness appeared good. A little softness crept into the occasional interior, but those instances stayed modest. The movie usually seemed solid, and I noticed no shimmering or jagged edges. Edge haloes and print flaws remained absent.

Despite the movie’s period setting, it opted for a moderate orange and teal orientation. The 70s vibe meant the film gave these a bit of a rusty vibe, but they stayed fairly typical for 2010s movies. The colors worked well within those limitations.

Blacks appeared dark and deep, and shadows showed good delineation. Low-light shots offered nice clarity. In the end, I felt pleased with this appealing presentation.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it added a bit of zip to the proceedings. A fairly chatty affair, the mix lacked a ton of zing, but it blasted music from all the channels and let the effects run wild every once in the while. This became most obvious during the handful of action sequences, and quieter scenes also showed pretty good ambience.

Audio quality worked well. Speech was concise and natural, while music – which mixed score and period songs – boasted fine range and vivacity. Effects gave us accurate, dynamic elements without distortion. Though not an especially ambitious track, the movie’s mix seemed more than acceptable.

Two featurettes appear. >B>Always Bet on Black runs five minutes, 27 seconds and includes notes from writer/director Shane Black, writer/executive producer Anthony Bagarozzi, producer Joel Silver, and actors Ryan Gosling, Margaret Qualley, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger, and Russell Crowe. We hear about Black and his impact on the production as well as period elements. A few minor insights emerge, but “Bet” mainly tells us of Black’s greatness.

Worst. Detectives. Ever lasts six minutes, 16 seconds and features Gosling, Silver, Black, Bomer, Bagarozzi, Crowe, costume designer Kym Barrett, stunt coordinator Markos Rounthwaite and actors Keith David, Beau Knapp and Angourie Rice. We learn of the movie’s origins and development, story/characters, cast and performances, stunts and costumes. Like “Bet”, “Ever” seems fairly superficial, though it does contribute a few good details.

The disc opens with ads for War Dogs, The Conjuring 2, Batman: The Killing Joke and The Legend of Tarzan. No trailer for Nice Guys pops up here.

A second disc brings us a DVD copy of Nice Guys. It includes the “Bet” featurette but not “Ever”.

Although a good cast gives it some spark, The Nice Guys falls short of expectations. The story becomes too muddled and the script worries more about quirks than clear development. The Blu-ray brings us very good picture and audio but lacks notable supplements. As much as I want to like Nice Guys, the end result seems lackluster

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 5
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