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    Tank Girl Collector's Edition Blu-Ray Review


    Nov 13 2013 07:42 PM | mattCR in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    Sometimes, things just don't work out. Tank Girl, the 1995 Comic Book turned a movie fell into a series of comic book turned failed film. We sometimes forget before the current onslaught of successful comics turned films, how often this happened. 1995 brought us Tank Girl, a film that was riddled with an ongoing production fight, mixed values and a story that just never found cohesion.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Shout! Factory
    • Distributed By: Shout! Factory
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
    • Subtitles: English
    • Rating: R
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 44 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy
    • Case Type:
    • Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
    • Region:
    • Release Date: 11/19/2013
    • MSRP: $24.97

    The Production Rating: 2/5

    1995 was also a year that found me in a theater often. There were some good and great films, and there were stinkers. I remember sitting through "Johnny Mnemonic" "Hackers" and so on. I went to see Tank Girl with a group of friends who were dedicated comic book fans. We spent most of our time living and breathing comic books in a very different world. While everyone wondered when a Lobo movie would be made, or if Sandman could ever be done on film, we knew from the start that a film based on a quirky comic book like Tank Girl would be a difficult one to pull off.

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    We weren't wrong. Tank Girl the movie became a mish-mash of ideas that never came together in any real story. Rachel Talalay, the films director has long blamed studio meddling, budget changes and a hurried shooting timeframe for most of the flaws. She is right in the sense that several scenes weren't even shot - and were animated in post production to make connective tissue for the film. The claim, however, doesn't hold up under scrutiny though because the film doesn't satisfy any of the joyous over the top attitude and instead plays as an R rated comedy that tries to entertain sugar-high year old kids.

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    There are a few things that are worth seeing - Lori Petty works her tail off to play the role and she tries to bring life to a script that just can't be revived. But they can't escape the plot, which is riddled with holes and never in any reasonable way comes together.

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    Tank Girl never caught on as a cult classic because of the confusing storyline. But Tank Girl makes for a good companion piece to 'Mallrats' for me, as a reminder of an era when comic books were uncool.

    Video Rating: 3.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    Tank Girl is a film that is presented in an overly bright tones that were meant to take after the idea of ripping comic book coloring from the page and throwing it on screen. Films like Dick Tracy had made an effort to make these bright color schemes a way to look at comic books as a faithful representation. Batman Returns, out that year also enlisted a very primary color palette.

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    Tank Girl is presented in 1080P with a 31Mbps AWBR, a stream of 35Mbps. This should be a solid encode - and the colors are very good. But what makes Tank Girl problematic is the way in which it was filmed. The presentation in 1080P highlights all of the framing errors, cinematography errors and makes the film look completely jumbled and cut together from scrap pieces.

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    This makes for a viewing experience that isn't very pleasing. It may be the best we will ever see this film, but that doesn't mean the higher resolution doesn't also highlight all of the production flaws that went into this work.

    Audio Rating: 4/5

    If Tank Girl had anything going for it, the soundtrack was a big part of it. The album was much better than the film attached to it, containing artists like Hole, L7, Bjork, Iggy Pop.. it was a great mix of unique content that really worked. The movie also lives up to the soundtrack in an audio design that is inventive and tries as hard as it can to cover up the flaws with the production. If there is anything to love about the film, it's a fun audio production.

    Special Features: 3/5

    Commentary with Actress Lori Petty and Director Rachel Talalay. I normally don't comment on the audio commentary. But Talay's commentary comes across as a long whine about how the studio got over on her; she doesn't introduce Petty and while some good stories about the production slip in the commentary comes across as a long screed against 'the man'.

    Baseball, Tanks and Bad Tattoos: An Interview with Actress Lori Petty (1080p; 22:37) Lori Petty shares a lot of information here, along with a few facts I was pretty surprised about.. and some I'm doubtful are true. Still, it's a fun romp through her life.

    Too Hip for Spielberg: An Interview with Director Rachel Talalay (1080p; 23:53). If you ever wonder what a director looks like who realizes they might actually get paid for some of their work, this is it.

    Creative Chaos: Designing the World of Tank Girl with Production Designer Catherine Hardwicke (1080p; 18:08). There are some tales here about the design and production values of Tank Girl. See above for my general thoughts on that concept.

    Vintage Making of Tank Girl Featurette (1080i; 5:03) This is offered in 1080I, but it almost seems like a youtube video upscaled a couple of times. There are lots of clear errors, poor quality and a running time stamp set. This just isn't very good.

    Trailer (1080p; 1:36)

    Overall Rating: 2.5/5

    I'm sure there are people who love this film as a quirky way to revisit the 1990s. I found Tank Girl to be a lot worse then my memories of it. In some ways, I wish I had only the memories instead of reliving the experience. Still, I have to give a lot of credit to Shout Factory for really doing work to make this available on Blu and provide content that gives a unique look back on this troubled production.

    So, if you are feeling some nostalgia for when comic book films were very hit and miss, this is a miss you might want to pick up.

    Reviewed by: MattCR
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    17 Comments

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    Cameron Yee
    Nov 13 2013 08:52 PM

    Funny story. I went to see this when it came out, and the projectionist accidentally mixed up the reels in the middle section and we didn't realize it until the characters wound up back at the base. As it turned out, the mix up was the most interesting thing about the movie. :D

      • Adam Gregorich and Radioman970 like this
    Yeah...there was no crying in baseball...

    But there was outright torture in TG. This is the modern Plan 9.
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    Radioman970
    Nov 14 2013 03:34 AM

    I'll buy it.  Goofy fun.  I like along with Cherry 2000, Spacehunters, Ice Pirates,...  (goes to looks at DVD collection...BRB)... 

    Ice Pirates. Now there is a terribly fun movie.
      • Radioman970 likes this
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    Adam Gregorich
    Nov 14 2013 08:45 AM

    Ice Pirates. Now there is a terribly fun movie.

    I love Ice Pirates, and will upgrade my DVD to BD when (and if) its every released.  This has to be a $10 title for me to pick up.  Night of the Comet will be my next guilty pleasure :)

      • Radioman970 likes this
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    Radioman970
    Nov 14 2013 09:51 AM

    When I take off vacation from work, Ice Pirates is always one I sit down to watch and get the stress out of me so I can actually enjoy my time off.  Works miracles! 

     

    I have 2 DVD of it just in case.  A blu ray of that would be a dream.  I think it can happen.  We got TerrorVision, anything is possible!!!   :banana:

    I always liked this one. It's goofy enough eye candy to keep you interested. Never underestimate Ice T as a Kangaroo! That said, I too will wait for a price drop. Amazon.ca or Shout/Scream seems to have bumped up the prices on these. I'm used to paying under $20 and will wait them out. "Nightriders", the Romero film that was delayed but finally shipped this week arrived for $14 CDN, there's no way for Tank Girl to be $22-$24 in comparison. I'm cheap!

     

    I'm with Radioman, I love all those goofy films like Ice Pirates. I recall seeing it in the theater and being miffed afterwards that I was the only one who thought it awesome. :P

    I think that's the biggest problem.  If this was offered at $14-$16, it would be a much more attractive buy.   There is something mentally that just says 'less then $20, eh' but once something is $24 or so...

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    Radioman970
    Nov 14 2013 10:08 AM

    It's interesting this review came up.  Earlier this week I was watching Argo and laughing about the fact that I would be like those airport guards, wide eyed looking at the storyboards!  I'd want to see that sucker! Imagine the disappointment of those guards that the movie never came out.  lol  

     

    Add Krull blu ray to Ice Pirates as well.  Day one purchases. 

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    Radioman970
    Nov 14 2013 10:12 AM

    ..

     

    I'm with Radioman, I love all those goofy films like Ice Pirates. I recall seeing it in the theater and being miffed afterwards that I was the only one who thought it awesome. :P

    I always think of my aunt Susan with Ice Pirates.  Also Morons from Outer Space.  She'd talk your ear off about stuff like that back then.  I remember my mother watching Ice Pirates over at their house in the 80s and telling me how much fun she had.  I'm sure it was my aunt/cousins who made it fun for her. 

    Great Review.

     

    By the way, I think you mean "Batman Forever" which came out in 1995, not "Batman Returns" which was released in 1992.

    Does anyone know if this is the uncensored version? It seems like the theatrical release had one or two scenes concerning sex with Booga that weren't on the DVD.

    Does anyone know if this is the uncensored version? It seems like the theatrical release had one or two scenes concerning sex with Booga that weren't on the DVD.

     

    I watched this in the theater, and I don't remember any such scenes, though there are inferences.. which remain in this version as well.  

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    Radioman970
    Mar 31 2014 02:59 AM

    Good thing they cut that out, it would disturb so much those who watch these kinds of movies.  :P 

    Wait, some of us want to watch some heavy petty...

    Big difference compared to the DVD

      • Radioman970 likes this
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    Radioman970
    May 08 2014 12:26 PM

    Night and day.  Excellent comparison.  I don't remember my DVD looking that bad though...  been a while. 

     

    I'd forgotten to add this to my amazon wishlist #2.  When I win the lottery, I buy everything on those lists.  EVERYTHING!