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My take: Blue Thunder (1983)

HD Goofnut
01-16-2010, 11:58 AM
http://images.blu-ray.com/movies/covers/5031_medium.jpg
Title: Blue Thunder (1983)
BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc
Video: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Audio: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English and French
Run time: 109 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rating: R
Region Coding: Region Free
Player used for review: LG BH200

Cast/Crew Info:
Roy Scheider as Officer Frank Murphy
Warren Oates as Capt. Jack Braddock
Candy Clark as Kate
Daniel Stern as Officer Richard Lymangood
Malcolm McDowell as Col. F.E. Cochrane
Directed by John Badham

My take: (the breakdown)

I bought this from Amazon for $10 and had not seen in nearly 10 years and it sure brought back some memories. If you've never seen this film you have to remember that it was released in 1983, which was during the time when action movies had great character development with a paper thin plot, but I still enjoy this movie even today. The story follows an LAPD helicopter pilot named Frank Murphy who is having some bouts with PTSD after flying as a pilot in Vietnam. When he is offered to test fly the military's latest attack helicopter, which is properly named Blue Thunder, he begins to wonder what the motivation behind the helicopters creation. When Frank uses the chopper to put together a conspiracy between government and local officials he decides that he must go all the way to stop the corruption. Due to language and violence this one is not for children.

For a movie that was 26 years old upon this Blu-ray release I was really pleased with the presentation. Colors look sort of flat, but I think that's accurate to the source as there's not much other than grays, blacks, and blues anyway. Flesh tones are accurate as Roy Scheider looks just like he did several years earlier in Jaws. Grain is moderate, but it remains nicely consistent even during the film's night scenes. Fine detail is top notch most of the time at least during the closeups, but it tends to waver during some of the wider shots. Still for a film over a quarter century old I was highly impressed.

We are given a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track that is much more aggressive than I was expecting. Dialogue is clear and prioritized although it's tough to comprehend through the radio transmitters at times on the helicopters. Surrounds never stop working during the entire run time. The helicopter blades will envelop you from start to finish and you feel like you're in the cockpit too. It will also get your sub working during several scenes in the movie. I did however think that the dated 80s score was slightly overbearing during the action sequences.

There are a lot more supplements than I was expecting this Blu-ray release. We get an interesting commentary, several worthwhile making of features, and the film's theatrical trailer. The only downside is that everything is presented in 480.

Movie: 7/10
VQ: 7.5/10
AQ: 8/10
Supplements: 6/10
Final word: A Purchase For Fans

As always thanks for reading folks.

bruceames
01-16-2010, 03:02 PM
Thanks for the review Goofnut. I hadn't heard of it, but when I read the title the first thing that came to mind was my favorite workout protein drink (http://www.americanbodybuilding.com/products/blue-thunder-p-263.html)(haven't drank it for a while though).

HD Goofnut
01-16-2010, 04:57 PM
Thanks for the review Goofnut. I hadn't heard of it, but when I read the title the first thing that came to mind was my favorite workout protein drink (http://www.americanbodybuilding.com/products/blue-thunder-p-263.html)(haven't drank it for a while though).

You're welcome Bruce. You definitely need to pick this one up for the cheap price or just rent it from Netflix. After Jaws it's probably one of Scheider's better movies.

iDarren
01-21-2010, 03:08 AM
Colors look sort of flat, but I think that's accurate to the source

Yeah I think so. A lot of films from that time period have that look.

Also, I felt that the picture even had a little bit of "pop" to it, with a slightly 3D effect in some scenes.