kiss kISS bAng banG
Studio: Warner Brothers
Film Length: 103 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen Enhanced
Audio: DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, French & Spanish
Package: Single disc/Keepcase
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is the directorial debut of Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black. He stylizes the film by employing a voice-over narrator which pokes fun at many film noir clichés (not surprising, after apparently spending much of his spare time reading Raymond Chandler novels). Although the tone is never more than semi-serious, we build a relationship with the characters as we come to enjoy their quirkiness. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang takes us on a different and somewhat off beat journey offering several laughs along the way. In typical noir fashion, the film is voice-over narrated by Robert Downey Jr.'s, Harry Lockhart character. Clearly his style makes it apparent he's talking to a movie audience in a tongue-in-cheek faashion. Occasionally, Hollywood uses offbeat narration, but this is flippant, in a welcoming and refreshing kind of way.
Harry is a two-bit thief who breaks into a casting call in an attempt to escape the police. Upon his arrival in Hollywood, he is teamed with a P.I. named "Gay Perry
Robert Downey brings the right mix of cynicism and confidence. Val Kilmer adds a a flair of arogance to his part as the enigmatic Gay Perry. Michelle Monaghan assumes the femme fatale role. The plot moves along at a rapid pace and periods of time go by without Harry's voice offering comments or observations. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang isn't necessarily an original piece of noir however the end result in an entertaining one.
The Feature: 4/5
Presented in it's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, this transfer which is enhanced for widescreen is excellent. Colors are bright and vivid and the level of saturation is perfect. Blacks were deep while whites were contrasted nicely always showing clean and stark. Image detail was very impressive.
Film grain was all but non-existent however, there is a gorgeous level of dimensionality and texture present here - very nice indeed. The film is immaculate and basically free of any dirt or other annoying blemishes - no surprise there considering this is a recent release. Authoring seems to have been handled very well as compression errors were non-existent.
The audio soundtrack is a DD 5.1 encoded track and it packs a nice little punch. Most importantly, dialogue was always bold and intelligible. The film is accompanied by some music here and there and the soundstage is satisfactorily wide. No more, no less. In terms of dynamics, there are a few action sequences which are handled well.
While the track is 5.1, the surrounds are limited to only a couple of scenes requiring filler and ambiance. LFE kicks in on a couple of occasions but nothing of great significance. The track is clean and free of any hiss or other noisy distractions and the overall fidelity of the track is natural.
Not much here in terms of special features but they do include:
Special Features: 3/5
**Special Features rated for the quality of supplements, not the quantity**
Robert Downey's star is once again rising in Hollywood. His latest vehicle is this quirky noirish comedy-thriller. Downey puts forth not only his comedic talents but his amazing acting ability shows through making this film a truly enjoyable watch and the chemistry between Kilmer and Downey is terrific. The movie is narrated (voiceover) by Downey from his character's point of view which adds to the quirkiness of the film. If you’re looking for a change of pace from the regular crime drama or predictable thriller, give this one a look.
Aside from an interesting yet uncharacteristic popcorn flick, Warner has provided yet another near flawless transfer and added a couple of neat special features.
Overall Rating: 4/5 (not an average)
Release Date: June 13th, 2006