HTF REVIEW: "Road House" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    Road House




    Studio: MGM
    Year: 1989
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 114 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)and
    Full Frame versions
    Subtitles: English, French. Portugese and Spanish



    By all accounts I should have hated Road House.
    For starters, I am no fan of Patrick Swayze. I am
    also no fan of movies about rednecks who are unruley
    towards women and like to pick fights in bars. So why
    is it that I walked away with a warm and fuzzy
    feeling about Road House? Well, rack it up
    as one of those guilty pleasures that's pretty darn
    entertaining.
    Oh, sure, this movie isn't overly melodramatic, and
    the dialogue is laughable, but the reason you want
    to watch a film like this is for it's bombshell
    blondes, gratuitous nudity and some greatly
    choreographed ass-kickin' fist fighting.
    [​IMG]
    By far, this is one of the best updated versions of
    the old western where the good guy rides in to save
    the townsfolk from one evil dude. In this case, the
    good guy is Dalton (Patrick Swayze), known to be the
    best head bouncer around. Dalton is hired by a man
    named Frank Tilghman, (Kevin Tighe) who wants the
    "cooler" to clean up his bar, the Double Deuce, which
    has fallen prey to all sorts of rowdy lowlifes.
    His new stint at the Double Deuce proves to be a
    bigger challenge than originally thought. He soon
    discovers that the town and its toughest customers
    are run by a ruthless, scheming, and crooked town
    boss named Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara). Ben isn't
    too happy with the club's new "Sheriff" and vows to
    do whatever it takes to get him out of town -- dead
    or alive.
    [​IMG]
    When things get really out of control, Dalton enlists
    the help of his aging bouncer friend Wade (Sam Elliot),
    who helps heat up the screen with more testosterone
    than should be legally allowed in one film.
    How is the transfer?
    Rejoice fans of white trash -- this transfer kicks
    a lot of ass! Like many of the recent catalog
    releases from MGM, this transfer is superb. Let's
    start with a picture that is very clean throughout.
    Images are mostly very sharp and well detailed. The
    film is extremely colorful, and even in the darker
    smoke-filled multi-colored innards of the Double
    Deuce bar, there is absolutely no smearing to be
    seen. I saw no evidence of film grain nor video
    noise. In short, this is a pretty damn good transfer.
    [​IMG]
    Though not presented in true 5.1 surround, I was
    shocked at the quality of the audio mix. There's
    a lot of punch in this soundtrack starting with
    full-bodied audio across the front channels with
    nice distinctive stereo separation. Dialogue stays
    pretty much in the center channel, only slightly
    bleeding to the left and right. The rears do a heck
    of a job not only supporting the film's original
    music track, but the guitar-screechin' sounds of
    the Jeff Healey Band. All of this is supplemented
    with minimal LFE response. My only complaint
    about the audio is that the band's music often
    sounded like echo reverb in the rear channels, but
    such is the limitations of the original recording.
    Special Features
    [​IMG]
    Of course rednecks want to the picture to fill up
    their television screen, so MGM has obliged to this
    sect of the population by providing a dual-layered
    DVD that contains both a WIDESCREEN and FULL FRAME
    version of this film.
    Other than that, the only Special Feature to be
    found on this disc is the film's original
    theatrical trailer. That's all folks!
    Final Thoughts
    [​IMG]
    Do I feel guilty about liking this guilty pleasure?
    Heck No! I sort of feel proud that I have come to
    a point in my life where I can just accept a movie
    for what it is, and enjoy mindless entertainment
    void of any moral value whatsoever. Perhaps I am
    starting to mellow out in my middle-age after all.
    Release Date: February 4, 2003
    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
     
  2. Greg S

    Greg S Supporting Actor

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    Good review Ron. Its OK to like this movie. I know I enjoy a good "mindless" flick once and while. Life can't always be so serious you have to just kick back and go with the flow sometimes!

    I will be picking this one up. Hopefully it will be on the cheap list.

    In another note I see that it looks like MGM is releasing quite a few "catalog" titles coming up (heck look at all the Bronson flicks hitting the streets soon). Its nice to see that they treated this catalog title so well!

    Thanks MGM!!

    Greg
     
  3. Randy B A

    Randy B A Supporting Actor

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    Ron, thanks for the review. I am glad to see the 16x9 transfer is of high quality.
     
  4. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    Let's have a Patrick Swayze Christmas one and all!
     
  5. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

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    "The Double Douche"

    It was a pretty good flick. Saved mostly in part by Sam Elliot.
     
  6. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    Roadhouse...myyyyy precious!

    Great review, Ron. Nice jab at those fullscreen folks! This looks like a sparkling transfer. Can't wait to triple-bill this with Driving Miss Daisy and Mildred Pierce on 2/4/03!

    This will go beside its unofficial sequel, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, on my DVD rack.
     
  7. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    One of my favorite guilty pleasures. I'm glad they did it justice. I'll be picking this one up for sure. [​IMG]
     
  8. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Thanks for the guilty pleasure review Ron.[​IMG]
    Picked this up last year on R2, hugely enjoyable, the 1980's was a decade spilling over with guilty pleasure movies, unbelievable! Now all I need is Ron reviewing 'Lifeforce' with some specially selected screenshots and my week will be complete.[​IMG]
    Region 2 cover...
    http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B00005UQVZ.02.LZZZZZZZ
     
  9. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Second Unit

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    It isn't just guys who like this movie, but also the ladies. My wife has always had a thing for Patrick Swayze, ever since Young Bloods (the hockey movie). I never really understood the Swayze phenomena (Dirty Dancing, Ghost) myself. I am going to pick this up and surprise the wife with it. Thanks for the review.
     
  10. Ross Williams

    Ross Williams Supporting Actor

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    Major guilty pleasure for me. I can't wait to set my eyes on it in widescreen for the first time.
     
  11. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the review Ron! A big guilty pleasure of mine! Will definetly be added to my collection.
     
  12. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    You forget one thing...the movie was produced by the moneyed king of testosterone, Joel Silver. Anything with his stamp on it is a guilty pleasure.

    Back to the movie...I look forward to purchasing this title.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    Don't eat the big white mint!
     
  13. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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    I must confess that I've NEVER seen this movie.[​IMG] but it's full of rednecks so I'm there [​IMG]
     
  14. Jeff Whitford

    Jeff Whitford Screenwriter

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    I've been waiting for this one for quite a while. John beat me with the "Dont eat the big white mint"
     
  15. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    If you want some more guilty pleasures w/ Pat Swayze, be sure to check out the and cheesy, but highly enjoyable NORTH AND SOUTH BOOK I & II TV miniseries. Speaking of which - where's those DVDs, Warner?
     
  16. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

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    Hmmmmm...if I recall, there's a Swayze nude scene here, isn't there? "Guilty" pleasure??? NONE of my pleasures give me any guilt. [​IMG]
     
  17. Win Joy Jr

    Win Joy Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh, yes, one fine guilty pleasure!
    Now, if my other guilty pleasures would just make their way to DVD - Eddie and the Cruisers and Streets of Fire...
    On Edit: Ok, I just found out that the "Streets of Fire" DVD was released in 1998. Anyone know how the transfer and sound are?
    On edit 2: Sigh, I have NEVER seen them on the racks anywhere, but I also just found out "Eddie and the Cruisers" is also available...
    Time to go shopping!
     
  18. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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  19. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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    I can't wait! I intentionally held off buying the region 2 version in hopes of it coming out here. I'm glad it finally has. :b
     
  20. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Next time you feel the pain of enjoying a "guilty pleasure" like Road House, just remember:

    "Pain doesn't hurt."

    One of my favorite lines ever!
     

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