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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Paramount: I Love The 80ís DVD series (Coming to America/Flashdance/Top Secret!/The Naked Gun/Cheech & Chong Still Smokin)

Paramount: I Love The 80ís DVD series (Coming to America/Flashdance/Top Secret!/The Naked Gun/Cheech & Chong Still Smokin)


Picture: C+ †††Sound: C+ ††††Extras: B- †††Films:


Coming to America C+

Flashdance C+

Top Secret! C+

The Naked Gun B-

Cheech & Chong Still Smokin C



With the recent uncertainly of the economy and the rise in Blu-ray sales over the past few months, itís obvious that studios are beginning to find new and creative ways to package their existing catalog for a final push with their DVD titles.Paramount has recently issued a series of titles under a new banner called I Love the 80ís, which assembles together several titles from that era that they felt were signature 80ís movies, they are 1988ís Eddie Murphy vehicle Coming to America, 1983ís what a feeliní movie Flashdance, Val Kilmerís first lead role in 1984ís screwball comedy Top Secret!, Leslie Nielsen in 1988ís The Naked Gun, and those ever popular burn outs Cheech & Chong in Still Smokin.


None of the titles have been upgraded from their previous DVD editions, simply repackaged here with a bonus CD featuring several hits from the 80ís, including Echo & the Bunnymenís Lips Like Sugar, Erasureís Chains of Love, INXSís Need You Tonight, and A-haís Take on Me.


I would necessarily call myself a fan of any of these titles per say, although the strongest entry from this selection is the first installment from the The Naked Gun series, which would only be ruined by two inferior sequels.Top Secret! has moments of humor, but is a very typical Abrahams/Zucker production that runs very thin on the same jokes, which would also plagued The Naked Gun series as well.Coming to America is not one of Eddie Murphyís better films, although this would be his early beginnings in playing multiple roles, which would land him several future comedies, which were also more misses than hits.Still Smokin has not aged well either, although it is still popular among the tokers, but is always thought of as the pathetic follow up to the 1978 Up in Smoke.


Picture and sound are pretty below average for all five titles as they quickly demonstrate older transfers, most almost 10 years old at this point as their previous DVD editions were released early on in the formats history.Coming to America has been released on Blu-ray already, but still had some picture problems, but not nearly as much as evident here.The biggest factor in all of these releases though is the lack of overall resolution; excessive grain structure, color bleed, poor contrast, and dark scenes look more grayish than they should.The 1.78 X 1 transfers are lackluster overall and show much need for Blu-ray treatment, if not a cleaner restoration.†††


Picture is not the only problem here either as the Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes are very forward sounding with the surrounds barely used, the front soundstage is pretty weak even at best and also demonstrate an older sound transfer using the lower Kilo-bytes/second that was common on earlier DVD transfers, of course that was only part of Dolbyís issues and it resonates clearly here as all five films lack any sense of resolution within the mix and it feels even more dated than the 80ís.


Overall people might still love the 80ís and even love these five films from that confusing decade, but theyíll likely want to wait for the Blu-rays to arrive because even a free bonus CD with a few songs wonít entice even the most curious consumer, even if the economy rebounds!



-†† Nate Goss


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