Running Scared - how is it?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter D, Oct 3, 2001.

  1. Peter D

    Peter D Stunt Coordinator

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    This came out yesterday, but there hasn't been any comments on the forum yet. It's MGM and it's cheap, so it's a crap-shoot as far as the quality goes. Anyone got it or seen any reviews?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I sampled it, and it looked good. I'll be watching it this evening and will post my reaction.
    M.
     
  3. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    Excellent. Very funny movie Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines playoff each other very well. Nice video transfer with dolby pro logic audio. No extras but for the real low price I didn't expect any or want any.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Now that I've had a chance to watch the film straight through:
    I've always regarded Running Scared as Billy Crystal's best film (and that includes City Slickers). He never had better comic chemistry than with Gregory Hines, and he's surrounded by interesting actors in the supporting parts (Dan Hedaya gives the film an extra jolt of energy whenever he shows up). You can tell Crystal did a lot of improv that made it into the final product. No screenwriter in the world could have come up with dialogue like Crystal's call pretending to be an informant ("Oh Mother! Mother! Can I have some more petite marshmallows in my hot cocoa?")
    Running Scared is probably also the best film that Peter Hyams ever directed. He has enough sense to get out of the way and let Crystal and Hines do their routines, and when he has to stage a big action sequence (the chase on Chicago's El), he does it simply and effectively. Even his trademark dim, grungy lighting works to the film's advantage; it captures exactly the right look of a Chicago winter (believe me; I grew up there).
    MGM's disc is an excellent presentation of the film. It's sharp and detailed without looking enhanced or processed. The muted color scheme of most of the Chicago scenes contrasts nicely with the brighter scenes in Key West. The grand finale in the garish State of Illinois building has detail and scale unlike any version I've seen on the home screen, including the widescreen LD, which looks washed out by comparison. The film is presented in its OAR of 2.35:1, the image is enhanced for 16:9, and the movie (which is less than two hours) is spread across a dual-layer disc, which is no doubt one reason why the image looks so good. The sound is 2-channel matrixed stereo, with a nice sense of ambience and solid handling of the 80s pop tunes that are an integral part of the soundtrack.
    Extras include the amusing trailer and a short "on location" featureette with Hines and Crystal (mostly Crystal) cutting up on the set and in their trailers. I remember seeing this on HBO when the film was still recent, and it's great that MGM included it here.
    At a street price of around $10, this is an incredible bargain.
    M.
    [Edited last by Michael Reuben on October 04, 2001 at 09:27 AM]
     
  5. Chris Maynard

    Chris Maynard Supporting Actor

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    Nice review Michael!
     
  6. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    I concur! Great Review Michael! Haven't had a chance to look at the disc fully but from what I've seen I'm very pleased!
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Michael,
    Very nice review but I need to find time to watch my copy.
    Crawdaddy
    ------------------
    Peter Staddon: "I didn't say you can put 'Monkeybone' back!"
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Thanks, guys! As you can probably tell, this is one of my all-time favorite film comedies.
    M.
     
  9. Jason Whyte

    Jason Whyte Screenwriter

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    My DVD is on order but I thought I would chime in and agree with Michael that this movie is a LOT of fun. I saw this on an old MGM laserdisc about two years ago and have watched the tape about half a dozen times.
    I really liked the terrific chemistery by both Hines and Crystal (I concur, one of his funniest performances), and a hilarious Joe Pantoliano ("You a lawya? Lemme get ya card!") steals every scene he is in. Goofy plot and a silly ending aside, it's far more entertaining than pretty much any cop flick these days.
    One thing that saddens me is the theatrical teaser is not included on the disc (it was included with the full trailer on the LD), which is flat out hilarious: seperate footage than the movie, it has Hines and Crystal walking around an apartment building looking for a apartment, making fun of every room. When they come across their room, they blast the door off to kingdom come, all to discover they hit the wrong room. Crystal smiles "I love this job!" and they move along. [​IMG]
    Jason
    P.S. I'm from Noisebusters, do you guys know where the Menudo concert is? [​IMG]
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    [email protected] ICQ: 16733922 2001 Film List I Am Jack's DVD List
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    My Own Film Review Website Is Coming Soon!
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  11. Peter D

    Peter D Stunt Coordinator

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    I went ahead and picked this up and watched it last night (hadn't seen it in a long time). A good transfer from a nice clean print. No bells & whistles, but if every $10 MGM disc looked this good I'd have no qualms about picking them up as impulse buys.
    I love the lineup scene where they stand Joe Pantoliano next to four cops in uniform...heh. [​IMG]
     
  12. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    You know I hadn't watched this movie in about 10yrs and when I watched it the other day it reminded me of just how funny it is! Hines and Crystal really have a terrific chemistry together and it's a shame that Hollywood hasn't found a vehicle for the two of them star in since. As a matter of fact I'll go online and say that neither one of them has ever been funnier on film!
    I'd forgotten also just how good a car chase scene was in the movie. Don't get me wrong it's not FRENCH CONNECTION or BULLITT but it does hold it's own against other movies and the idea of them being on the "EL" just added to it's uniqueness!
    As for the disc itself I must say that I was pleasantly surprised! They really used a quality print to master this disc because I don't recall seeing an print flaws at all! If there was any fault one could say about the picture is that colors "may" have seem a little muted but I'm sure that is more the intent of the film and setting (wintertime Chicago) than anything else! Overall I was quite impressed with the video!
    As for the sound it wasn't bad for DD 2.0. Have heard a lot weaker 2.0 mixes and hey it sounded better than my VHS so even though I'd have preferred a 4.0/5.0 mix what we have is more than adequate!
    If you love or even like this film for around $10 retail this is definitely a "no brainer"!
    David
     
  13. Brian-W

    Brian-W Screenwriter

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    Michael,
    Your review was more relevant and informative than the one at DVDFile. Perhaps you should have them post your review.
    -Brian
     

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