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Dick Tracy Blu-ray Review

Dick Tracy Blu-ray

“Dick Tracy” is a colorful comic book film.

At the time of its release in 1990, “Dick Tracy” was a BIG movie event. It seems unlikely that this character would draw big audiences if it were released today, but the massive advertising and merchandising campaign and Madonna and Warren Beatty’s star power made the movie a hit. While the film may not hold up as well it did in 1990, it’s still a very well done tribute to the classic comic character.

The strangest thing about ‘Tracy’ is that it somehow manages to appeal to both adults and kids alike. On the adult front, you have a mystery about a no face killer and a gritty story about a bad-ass, yellow trenchcoat wearing, two way radio watch using detective who is trying to crack down on criminal activities by Big Boy and his nasty goons. On the kid friendly side, you have a sidekick character simply known as “The Kid” who helps bring young viewers into this world of action, adventure, and danger. It also helps that the movie is based on a comic that kids may or may not have read in the papers at the time it was released. It may not seem like these two worlds would work together as gangster films tend to be supremely violent, but the combination works here.

As for the film itself, it may be a bit dated and light on story, but it’s beautifully made. Producer/actor/director Warren Beatty and cinematographer Vittorio Storaro created a visually stunning ode to the comics with colorful lighting, gorgeous matte paintings, and cool sets to boot. It’s certainly one of the most comic book looking films ever made.

The huge cast is another reason the movie is fun to watch. The cast reads like a whose who of Hollywood as you will see such actors and actresses like Al Pacino, Warren Beatty, Madonna, James Caan, William Forsythe, Charles Durning, Seymour Cassel, Mandy Patinkin, Paul Sorvino, Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Dick Van Dyke, Colm Meaney, Henry Silca, Estelle Parsons, Charlie Korsmo, Glenne Headly, etc. Warren Beatty is the real star of the picture, but Al Pacino is clearly having a blast as the over-the-top villain Big Boy. He somehow even managed to get an Oscar nod for his performance here.


The film, which is presented in 1.85:1 1080p, is a fine hi-def catalogue title. In the first half hour of ‘Tracy,’ I was initially a bit disappointed with the picture quality to be honest. I was expecting the colors to pop a little more. For some reason though, the rest of the film’s running time looked much stronger (especially the big shootout near the end amidst fire and fire hydrant explosions). Equally impressive the level of detail on the fantastic makeup work here on everyone from Big Boy to Mumbles.

The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track is arguably even better than the PQ. From the loud shootouts to Madonna’s singing, the audio is crystal clear.

No extras have been included aside from a digital copy and Disney trailers.

Summary: It’s clear Warren Beatty is passionate about this character and it shows in his work. I hope we get to see a sequel someday as I think it’s time for this character to return to the big screen again.

December 13, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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