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Mann oh mann

HD DVD

This morning, I received a review copy of the HD DVD/SD DVD combo of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice courtesy of DVD Pacific. I’ve never seen the 80s TV series on which the film is based, so I really didn’t know what to expect.

All I can say is that I’m glad this was a review copy and thus something I didn’t have to pay for, except with the two hours and twenty minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. Miami Vice is an incoherent mess, an eyesore and assault on the ears. It’s one hundred and forty minutes of Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx slicking back their hair and/or adjusting their shades as they swagger around various seaside locations with their jaws firmly set and their designer shades glinting in the sunlight. The plot feels like your average 45-minute cop show stretched out to beyond the normal length of a feature film, while the characters are nothing more than mere archetypes who spit out corny dialogue and offer us glaring insights into their tedious and insincere emotions.

Style-wise, the film is all over the place. Mann shot it using a combination of traditional 35mm and 1080p high definition. Some of it looks fine, but the night scenes look absolutely vile, filled with obnoxious amounts of digital noise. Meanwhile, a whole lot of scenes have what can only be described as a motion blur effect, presumably the result of shooting the footage interlaced and then deinterlacing it for the final transfer. Mann used similar techniques on his previous film, Collateral, and they were just as bad there. If this is the future of cinema, I think I’d prefer to remain in the past. Oh, and the camerawork is dreadful, too: I get that Mann wanted to convey a sense of urgency, but when your viewpoint is jittering all of the place, Blair Witch-style, I feel ready to vomit rather than being drawn into the action.

Simply put, this is the worst film I’ve added to my HD collection thus far. A 3/10 is, I feel, extremely generous. Not recommended. The disc itself, however, is very good, with an array of extras that I’ll no doubt have to plough through and a solid transfer that does the best it can with the uninspiring quality of the source materials.

 
Posted: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 10:04 PM | Comments: 7
Categories: Cinema | HD DVD | Reviews | TV | Technology

 
Comments

1.

I take it you don't like it then ;)

Just out of interest, when can we expect to see a HD-DVD hall of fame? I know the format is still in it's infancy, but I'd definitely be interested in seeing even a basic list that puts all HD-DVD's you've had till date in order of how good the transfer was, and perhaps updated over time as you review a new film.

Keep up the great work on your site!

Posted by: Anonymous, December 12, 2006 10:56 PM

2.

Ideally, I’ll do a Hall of Fame when I have away of doing full resolution screen captures - otherwise there’s not really a great deal of point, in my opinion. If you want a straightforward list, though, I’m happy to oblige:

10/10:
Serenity (UK)
Serenity (USA)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (UK)
Unleashed (USA)

9/10:
Corpse Bride (USA)
The Bourne Supremacy (USA)
Miami Vice (USA)
Land of the Dead (USA)

8/10:
Red Dragon (USA)
Constantine (USA)
V for Vendetta (USA)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (USA)
The Machinist (Japan)
Sleepy Hollow (USA)
Million Dollar Baby (USA)

7/10:
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (USA)
Wolf Creek (USA)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (USA)

6/10:
An American Werewolf in London (USA)

Posted by: Whiggles, December 12, 2006 11:09 PM

3.

Great stuff :)

Posted by: Anonymous, December 13, 2006 12:00 AM

4.

Thankfully, i avoided this film during its theatrical run. The trailer alone looked like an incoherent mess, and now i've got confirmation. I'll watch a few of the original tv series instead.

Posted by: Phantom, December 13, 2006 7:13 AM

5.

MIAMI VICE = One of the worst movie I've seen this year... and I've seen many. An absolute piece of pretencious crap. Mann is over!

Posted by: ARCVILE, December 13, 2006 1:26 PM

6.

Mike, thanks for this brave act of self-sacrifice - not only watching Miami Vice, but speaking out so others don't have to suffer the same fate.

I wasn't keen to see it anyway, because the series was shit (although I carried on watching - I'm much less patient nowadays). And it's got super-overrated Colin Farrell in it. But it's Michael Mann, and even his not-so-good films usually have something of interest. I don't think I'll bother.

Posted by: Philly Q, December 13, 2006 11:02 PM

7.

I haven'st seen the MIAMI VICE movie, but I love Michael Mann and his visual style so I'm bound to at least enjoy it.

Posted by: Marcus, December 14, 2006 9:52 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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