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Blu-ray Review Undercover Blues Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Timothy E

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Timothy Ewanyshyn
Undercover Blues Blu-ray Review

"My name is Muerte, my name is Death!" threatens Stanley Tucci's unfortunate hoodlum in Undercover Blues, an underrated comedy gem from 1993. Dennis Quaid may have never been so winning in any other role than that of Jefferson Blue, which seems tailor-made to Quaid's devil-may-care screen persona in that stage of his career. Kathleen Turner plays Jefferson's beautiful wife, Jane Blue, in a comedy reminiscent of Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man film series. Jane and Jefferson Blues are nearly as much fun as Nick and Nora, so it is disappointing that Undercover Blues did not see the type of box office receipts that would have guaranteed a sequel.



Studio: MGM

Distributed By: Olive

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA

Subtitles: None

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 1 Hr. 30 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

Amaray

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 11/24/2015

MSRP: $2995




The Production Rating: 4/5

Jane and Jefferson Blues(Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid) are married secret agents on maternity leave from the spy game in New Orleans when trouble brings them reluctantly back into action. Paulina Novacek(Fiona Shaw), the notorious arms dealer, is up to her dirty tricks in Louisiana, and the "undercover" Blues are brought back into action by their handler, Frank(Richard Jenkins). The actual MacGuffin of the plot is less interesting here than the banter between the characters and the ridiculous situations that arise. The wisecracking role of Jefferson Blue is the archetypal Dennis Quaid role, and Kathleen Turner is convincing as a beautiful spy who has decided to settle down and raise a family, if only her business will permit her.

 

The supporting cast is excellent. Stanley Tucci nearly steals the show in his role as Muerte, a thug who fancies himself kind of an Inigo Montoya with a blade, but finds himself no match for Dennis Quaid's trained intelligence officer. Muerte, or "Morty" as Jeff Blue calls him, keeps coming back after the Blues and receives nothing but humiliation for his efforts. Muerte's henchman Ozzie is played by Dave Chappelle. A couple of plainclothes police officers played by Obba Babatunde and Larry Miller also provide some comic relief, as do Vern and Bonnie Newman(Tom Arnold and Park Overall), a family also vacationing with their toddler at the same time as the Blues.

 

Undercover Blues is a lot of fun, and evokes the spirit of Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man. The film is very well cast in the leading and supporting roles, and might have succeeded better with more of an international flair to suit the subject matter. What it does have is a group of terrific actors with snappy dialogue and amusing situations, regardless of any shortcomings in the plot, which really is not relevant to enjoying the film. Undercover Blues is one of those films that gets better on repeat viewings.


Trailer


Video Rating: 3.5/5  3D Rating: NA

Undercover Blues is presented in the AVC codec in a 1.85:1 screen aspect ratio. The film does not start off well from a video quality perspective, as the opening credits seem to have some compression artifacts in the form of electronic noise overlaying the animation. Video quality improves dramatically after the opening credits. Contrast is not as sharp in appearance as on more recent films, but there is no drop in video quality resulting from any apparent edge enhancement and the like, other than as noted on the opening credits. Black levels are solid without being murky, and color timing seems true to the source.



Audio Rating: 4/5

The English DTS-HDMA 2.0 audio may not demonstrate a great dynamic range, but serves the film in its presentation. Dialogue is always audible in the mix without intrusive interference from music and sound effects.



Special Features Rating: 1/5

The special features are limited to an original release trailer(1:55) for the film.



Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Undercover Blues is recommended for viewers who want to see a great cast of actors interact with great dialogue in interesting situations. The plot may not stand up to scrutiny, but is really irrelevant to enjoyment of the film. The scenes with Stanley Tucci are worth the price of admission alone. Tucci is a great dramatic actor, but one would not necessarily assume that he would have such great comedic chops as well. The video and audio presentation are adequate if not exceptional. The original trailer is a welcome inclusion, but this is one film in which I would love to see deleted scenes, which would probably be great viewing if the rest of the film is any indicator. Even though we were never blessed with a sequel or film series leading out of Undercover Blues, we can still enjoy this film as the stand-alone that deserved a sequel that was never delivered.


Reviewed By: Timothy E


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Mikey1969

Second Unit
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Oct 13, 2012
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Kitchener, Ontario
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M. Fox
I was surprised you were so lenient to this film; it was really not a good film in any way. As a comedy, as a mystery, as an action film it's pretty much a failure. I did see this one in the theater back in 1993 and was quite disappointed. It was also a pretty troubled production from what I understand and I don't think anyone involved in the film was that happy with it.
 

Adam Gregorich

What to watch tonight?
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I have this on Laser, and haven't watched in for years. I remember really enjoying it at the time and thinking it was a funny movie. I'd like to upgrade by laser to Blu-ray, but not for $29.95. A bare bones release like this strikes me at a $14.99 MSRP title. Looks like I will need to revisit it on LD until it comes down a bit. :(
 

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