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HTF Blu-Ray Review: Blue Streak



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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Neil Middlemiss

Neil Middlemiss

    Screenwriter

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  • Join Date: Nov 15 2001
  • Real Name:Neil Middlemiss

Posted November 18 2008 - 11:02 AM

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Blue Streak

 

US Release Date: November 18, 2008

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"I know you don't want to go to jail in Mexico because nobody wants to go to jail in Mexico. They put all kinds of burritos in your ass."

Martin Lawrence is a very funny man. His show Martin, which ran for years, has been highly influential and extremely quotable. His big screen career, however, has never been solid. Some successes, especially when partnering with smoother onscreen talent, have been found. His greatest accomplishments in the theater are clearly the incredible Life with Eddie Murphy and Bad Boys with Will Smith. However, his solo runs have been far less successful; of a reduced caliber and lacking the right mix that would temper his more chaotic comedic sensibilities while allowing him to explore his unique talents and capitalize on his skills.

Blue Streak is a symbol of what could have been for Martin Lawrence and a reminder of what holds him back from greater success.

Martin Lawence stars as Miles Logan, a well equipped jewel thief who, with his crew, steals a $14 million diamond. When one of his crew betrays him and the heist goes wrong, Miles has to hide the diamond in the air ducts of a construction site as the Police surround him. He gets caught and goes to jail for three years and when he is released all he can think about is retrieving the stashed diamond. What he discovers however, is the construction where he hid the stolen rock was for the new police headquarters for the Los Angeles Police Department. Annoyed but undeterred, he poses as a detective but, before he can locate and get his hands on his prize, he is partnered with detective Carlson (Luke Wilson). Det. Carlson is very green on the job, lacking confidence and streetwise skill. So when the new Detective Logan cracks a few quick cases using his unique knowledge and street smarts, he garners more accolade and attention than he ever bargained for. Add to the mix his recently released betraying partner and his dumb ex-driver Tully (played by Dave Chappelle) and you have comedic mayhem and action as only Martin Lawrence can produce.

Blue Streak is directed by Les Mayfield and shows some promise early on with the slick moves with the opening heist, but creatively dries up as the plot wanders into a pretty predictable groove and meanders in and out of set ups for Lawrence to squeeze comedy out of what little good stuff the script itself has to offer. I can’t help but feel this film hamstrings the talent involved. The irreverent humor suits Lawrence’s style and exists as an extension of the humor he crafted on his TV show. Even echoes of other characters he has played through the years, such as Bilal in House Party are channeled at times. He finds ways to get into bizarre characters, exuberant, excessive caricatures that allow him to let loose and go over the top for some quick and easy laughs, but it isn’t clever, smooth or comfortable

In fact, that lack of comfort can be said about much of this film and its cast. Luke Wilson (Idiocracy) as the dull blade detective merely reads the lines and the great William Forsythe American Me is disposable. Something doesn’t quite connect throughout the experience, despite the spark every now and then. The only person who really shines, besides Lawrence’s occasional moment, is Dave Chappelle. His paranoid tendency and foolishness manifests in awkward moments for Logan and provide most of the films handful of genuine laughs.

There are some healthy comedic predicaments to be found, just not explored as cohesively or completely to be truly enjoyable. With just functional direction through the majority of the film and a tepid script and with Martin Lawrence desperately needing better folk to play off (he is surprisingly better as the straight man in duo’s), Blue Streak can be enjoyed for what it is but isn’t memorable. The soundtrack features some great tracks from Jay-Z and Tyrese with Heavy D, and Martin Lawrence is always likeable and clearly working extremely hard to kick-up laughs amongst the manic hi-jinx he winds up in, but he just hasn’t found the perfect playground for him to shine as he could.







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Blue Streak is presented in its original theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 and in 1080p High Definition. This is a reasonably clean transfer, but underwhelming. Colors are flat and there is some mosquito noise evident in brighter elements onscreen. The darker scenes come through quite well but there is nothing exceptional about the image. It is generally dull and despite being an improvement over the standard DVD version, I can’t say it is enough of an improvement for you to upgrade.






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The English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track is a bit of a disappointment. Strong in the front channels but lacking in the surrounds, the audio doesn’t live up to the expectations of a Dolby TrueHD track. Like the image, this is a subdued audio and despite coming alive during the well handled finale, doesn’t excite.



 

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Setting Up For The Score – (22:09) – A full frame featurette discussing the genesis of the project, from the scripting to the search for the star and crew to make it. Some standard interview, shots from behind the scenes comprise this featurette.

HBO First Look: Inside & Undercover – (23:02) – A standard inside look that you find on the pay channel with plenty of looks at scenes from the film and chats with cast and crew. This is a lot like the making of featurette, but far more of a sales pitch. –

Music Videos – (12:39)
- “Girls Best Friend” By Jay-X
- “Criminal Mind” by Tyrese and Heavy D
- “Damn (Should’ve Treated U Right)” by So Plush featuring Ja Rule

Previews – Trailers for Blu-Ray, Hancock, 21 and Casino Royal - 3 and 2 disc Collectors Edition blu-rays.

BD Live Enabled






Final Thoughts

Blue Streak can be enjoyed for what it is, a mildly entertaining distraction on a Saturday afternoon, but it neither excels in its genre nor provides ample opportunity for Martin Lawrence to deliver on his comedic gifts. This film hovers around average and would only really be for those who are die hard Martin fans or for those who have already found a place in their library for this title based on previous viewings.





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Neil Middlemiss
Kernersville, NC


"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science" – Edwin Hubble
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