Son never mind them brakes…
I don’t really know what happened to this movie on Blu-Ray. I think there was a release 10 years ago, although I can’t be the only one who loves this movie and somehow didn’t end up owning it in high definition. Well here we are on the eve of 4k, and those of us who missed it can pick it up on Blu-Ray this coming June 20th, on Region 2 at least, as Fabulous films are releasing the movie. I’ll also have three copies to give away next week, so keep an eye out.
This movie is prime manly movie material. We have Burt Reynolds, Sally Field in her prime, the best looking Trans Am ever and Jerry Reed’s manly singing – he wrote the theme in 15 minutes. Not to mention Jackie Gleason arguably owning the show and an awesome Bassett Hound. Few need to be reminded of the premise, a troll in a muscle car must quarter back this thieving pal in his more cumbersome truck loaded with Coors from location A to location B. Jackie Gleason’s pot-bellied, wise-cracking Sheriff is in pursuit. One thing I learned from the press release that has escaped me all of these years, the reason they have a ‘short time to get there’ is because the Coors booty is free from additives and spoils quicker than your average beverage.
The 403-cu.in., 185-horsepower V-8, another ‘star of the show’ contender, was not actually much of a performer. No Bandit would probably ever settle for its real 17 second 1/4 mile weigh in, but it has Burt fuckin’ Reynolds in it, and it sings well north of 3,000 RPM. Trailing that are some of the best one liners from the 1970s, ad-libbed by the legendary Jackie Gleason. The end result, a career best for Burt Reynolds with only Star Wars beating him that year, follow ups like Cannonball Run were poor imitations. Although truth be told, I cannot slate his movie ‘The Best Whorehouse in Texas’ until I’ve seen it… or maybe I’d love it!
It seems that this Blu-Ray movie is a re-issue, but I can’t confirm since I didn’t own the other sole release from the inception of the format. It’s from a VC-1 codec by Universal, so I suspect that it is the same transfer we’re looking at here. Since this movie is apparently one of those releases that they’re just not going to give any special treatment to, maybe this is as good as it gets. For the end result I would say I feared the worst but have also seen worse, the quality is better than you’re going to see with the likes of the recent issue of Tremors, probably comparable to the original Predator Mpeg release. I’ve watched this movie in 1080i on TV over the years, but at 29gb this is noticeably heavier and deeper.
No extras unfortunately, not even a trailer. I can’t speak on the packaging since this is another review copy. A good copy is hard to find, even the ‘HD’ YouTube clips looks weak. But either way, this is probably as good as we’re going to get this generation, for better or worse. The movie? 9/10. The disc, not so much…