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Cruising Blu-ray Review


“Cruising” is a misguided film.

Based on the novel by Gerald Walker, “Cruising” is a dark and gritty story of a cop (Steve) that goes undercover to infiltrate the underground gay leather bar scene in NY to track down a serial killer who is murdering club patrons. While undercover, Steve begins to lose himself and unravel which puts him down a potentially dangerous path.

Written and directed by famed filmmaker William Friedkin (best known for “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection”), 1980’s bold, violent, stylish, and risky “Cruising” has long been a controversial film and it’s not hard to see why. While it attempts to capture a time and a place and tackle subjects not often seen in cinema, the movie is filled with harmful stereotypes and homophobic content. The open-ended psychological conclusion in particular really comes across as offensive the more you think about it. Basically, the movie sends all the wrong messages retrospectively or otherwise.

However one may feel about the film itself, you can’t deny Al Pacino’s impressive acting as the undercover cop Steve. He’s basically doing a performance within a performance within a performance here. This is peak Pacino to be sure.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? The film (which has been restored from a 4K scan) has been given a pristine transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Stereo. How does it sound? The remastered 5.1 track is sharp but you can’t go wrong with the Stereo option either.

* A booklet featuring credits, an essay by director/critic F.X. Feeney, and photos
* Trailer for “Cruising.”
* 2 commentaries. One with William Friedkin and the other with Friedkin and Mark Kermode. The latter track is more involving but Friedkin is always worth listening to regardless.
* “The History Of Cruising”- A 21 minute old school featurette containing interviews, film clips, stories about how the book was adapted into a film, behind-the-scenes stories, and more.
* “Exorcising Cruising”- A 22 minute look at the film’s controversies, style, themes, and reception.


August 15, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve never watched this one starring Al Pacino. Guy’s a lengend. Sounds like a good movie.

    Comment by Frank Frisson | August 15, 2019 | Reply

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