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Miami Blues Blu-ray Review

The acting shines in ‘Miami Blues.’ 

Based on the novel by Charles Willeford, 1990’s ‘Miami Blues’ is part neo-noir, part dark comedy and part crime-drama. The story revolves around the formerly imprisoned Junior who is an erratic and sometimes unhinged criminal that specializes in theft (including stealing from other criminals). After Junior accidentally murders a Hare Krishna man, a fake teeth sporting cop (Sgt. Moseley) tries to track Junior down. Junior, meanwhile, has become romantically involved with the incredibly naive college student/prostitute Susie. Susie is perhaps more than a little delusional about both her relationship and Junior turning over a new leaf. As for Junior, his antics become increasingly more deranged as he assaults and robs Moseley, takes his identity (and teeth) and pretends to be Sgt. Moseley on the streets. The beaten and shamed Moseley has to try to get his life, career, dignity, and teeth back. 

Written and directed by George Armitage, ‘Miami Blues’ is an offbeat free flowing character piece that has a lot going on tonally. While not every moment works (Junior always seems to conveniently run into crimes and Susie is a little too daft for examples), the film never collapses under the weight of its ambitions. Somehow the combination of genres and tones mixes well together in a sort of Coen Brothers esque fashion. The story is a bit on the chaotic side, but that’s also part of its charm. You’re not sure where it’s going. With that said, ‘Blues’ is more of a character based tale focusing on the 3 characters (Junior, Moseley and Susie) and their respective paths.

The performances here truly elevate the material. There are a number of good supporting roles by Nora Dunn, Charles Napier, Paul Gleason, but it’s Fred Ward, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alec Baldwin that make the movie what it is. Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character is simultaneously puzzling and heartbreaking. She’s not the brightest person, but she has a big heart and an innocence to her. Baldwin overacts at points, but he goes to town with this very strange and wildly unpredictable character. Fred Ward (who sadly just passed away) completely steals the movie as a cop seeking redemption. He makes some really interesting character choices that pay off both in terms of his performance and with his character.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This Blu-ray release (which is part of the MVD Rewind Collection) is a solid upgrade, but it’s far from perfect as dirt specs and print defects are present.

Audio Track: 2.0 LPCM. How does it sound? This track is not going to wow anyone but it does the job.

* Mini-poster
* Photo gallery
* Theatrical trailer, home video trailer and 3 TV spots
* 26 minutes of interviews with Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
* Trailers for ‘Desperate Hours,’ ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys,’ and ‘Vampire’s Kiss.’

July 31, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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