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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Comedy > Midnight Run (HD-DVD)

Midnight Run (HD-DVD)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: B-



Though it came out back in 1988 and was not a blockbuster, Martin Brest’s Midnight Run was a moderate hit, is a film people still talk about and has a following.  Some of it is the chemistry between Robert De Niro as a bounty hunter going after criminal Charles Grodin who is already running from the organized gangsters he stole $15 Million from.  He knows so much that the FBI wants him in court, but Jack Walsh (De Niro) wants his finder’s fee first.


Many have sited the film as “realistic” and that George Gallo’s screenplay had exceptional dialogue showing how people really talked in a way that now reminds this critic of how Quentin Tarantino’s dialogue gets praised.  However, Gallo wrote a kind of upscale no-B.S. talk (with ironic humor) that was refreshing at the time after years of 1980s mall movies with phony chatter and no point.  It meshes well with the action, tight editing and solid pace, but it is still not heavily urban and has a polish that is more obvious now than it might have been then.


I am not the biggest fan of this film, but I still appreciate what Brest and company pulled off here.  This is a smart, simple, ambitious, to-the-point film like we rarely see anymore, but the kind we used to see all the time before the studios got bogged down by mostly mindless tentpoles.  Yaphet Kotto, Joe Pantoliano and Dennis Farina also star.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is not perfect, but it is the closest to the original 35mm release prints and still outdoes the previous standard DVD editions.  Donald Thorin, A.S.C., shot this very well and it is a big screen film.  Unfortunately, a new print needs to be struck at a later date and the negative checked for troubles.  The original sound on the film was Dolby’s analog theatrical A-type of sound, but this HD-DVD offers a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix that tries to expand the sound, but it cannot cover up the age of the recording.  Danny Elfman’s score dates this a bit.  The only extras are a making of piece and the original theatrical trailer.  Wonder if a special edition is down the line?



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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