Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 15th, 2003
Forget Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop; Midnight Run has got to be one of the funniest cop-buddy films of the genre. True, Midnight Run did not break any records at the box office and was actually panned by a few well-known critics of the time, but the comic action just never lets up. Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin share a rare chemistry. The overkill plot developments just wouldn’t work with any other combination. In all fairness, I wasn’t too thrilled about this one when it first hit the theatres. My wife suggested it and I agreed more out of guilt for all the genre films I’ve inflicted on her. I walked out still laughing.
Jack (DeNiro) is a bounty hunter working for a bondsman who’s usually trying to cheat him. Truth is he wants out of the biz and now he has the chance with one big bounty. All he has to do is get mob accountant (Grodin) across the country in 5 days. Only the mob, the FBI, a rival bounty hunter, and a crooked bondsman stand in his way.
The audio is an adequate Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track. The music is not well mixed into the blend and will distract you from some vital dialogue moments. There is little to no sound separation. I actually liked the laserdisc mix better. We’re talking basically a 3-channel mix here. No rears and very little sub. A Dolby Stereo track would have done the same job.
Midnight Run is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The video, fortunately, is superior to the audio on this disc. I found almost no film artifact and a reasonably solid transfer. Colors were for the most part dead on. Blacks, although inconsistent, were rather clean and rich most of the time. There is a bit of grain attributable to the film itself. There is one moment near the beginning of the film where the framing seems to shift. It could have been a defect on this particular disc.
You’ll find a bad print of the film’s trailer and a short documentary mostly made up of promo materials. Don’t look for anything inspired on the menus.
This is the second release of the film, and I suppose I expected more from a re-release. I’m not sure I understand the point of this release if there was nothing new to add. If you have the earlier version, there’s no reason to bother with this one. The film itself is worth having in one form or another. If you find a cheap earlier release, take it. “Now say goodbye.”