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Bad Boys (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 29, 2010 by  



If you were a big fan of “Bad Boys”, then the upgrade to Blu-ray is more than worth it with better PQ and also a wonderful lossless soundtrack.  Definitely much better than its DVD counterpart.

Images courtesy of © 1995 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Bad Boys

DURATION: 119 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), English, French, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese

COMPANY: Columbia Pictures

RATED: R (For Intense Violent Action and Pervasive Strong Language)

RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2010

Directed by Michael Bay

Story by George Gallo

Screenplay by Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Doug Richardson

Executive Producer: Lucas Foaster, Bruce S. Pustin

Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer, Don Simpson

Music by Mark Mancina

Cinematography by Howard Atherton

Edited by Christian Wagner

Casting by Lynn Kressel, Francine Maisler

Production Design by John Vallone

Art Direction by Peter Politanoff

Set Decoration by Kate J. Sullivan

Costume Design by Bobbie Read

Starring:

Will Smith as Mike Lowery

Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett

Tea Leoni as Julie Mott

Joe Pantoliano as Captain Howard

Marg Helgenberger as Alison Sinclair

Tcheky Karyo as Fouchet

Theresa Randle as Theresa Burnett

From director Michael Bay (The Rock, Armageddon) and the production team of Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer (Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun) comes a thrill ride of explosive action from beginning to end. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence team up as partners in crime, crime-fighting that is, in this action-packed flick about a couple of good guys who are real BAD BOYS! One hundred million dollars worthof confiscated heroin has just been jacked from police custody. Once the career bust of Detective Mike Lowery (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), the missing drugs now threaten to shutdown the narcotics division of the Miami Police Department. When the drug investigation turns deadly, the murderers kidnap the only witness, a beautful police informant (Tea Leoni) and close friend of the boys, which makes things get personal! Fast cars, a gorgeous woman and non-stop action make BAD BOYS a guaranteed good time!

Trailer

In 1995, director Michael Bay made his directorial debut with “Bad Boys”.  Featuring a story by George Gallo and a screenplay by late show writers Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland and Doug Richardson (“Die Hard II”, “Money Train”) and  produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, despite being shot on a very low budget ($19 million), the film was a huge box office success making over $141 million in the box office .

“Bad Boys” would further the onscreen status of then-television show leads Will Smith and Martin Lawrence into movie stardom and would solidify Michael Bay’s status as an action director.

The film revolves around two best friends and detectives Marcus Burnett (played by Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (played by Will Smith) who both work in the narcotics division of the Miami-Dade Police Department.  One night, a mysterious group managed to steal all the heroin seized by the police department and stolen from a secure police vault, Captain Howard (played by Joe Pantoliano) suspects an inside job.  To make things worse, Internal Affairs warns that if the Miami PD does not find the drugs, the narcotics division will be shut down and the detectives will be reassigned.

So, now both Marcus and Mike must do all they can to find the stolen heroin and who is responsible for it.  While the two meet their contacts in the underground, Mike goes to his informant/escort Maxine Logan to find out if she hears or sees anything.

Maxine is hired by a former cop named Eddie Dominguez for some fun and she brings along her friend Julie Mott (played by Tea Leoni).  But Julie is not exactly having fun and goes to the bathroom.  Meanwhile, a French drug kingpin named Fouchet (played by Tcheky Karyo) and his group show up at Dominguez place and while Julie watches from upstairs, she sees them kill both Maxine and Eddie.  She is spotted by Fouchet’s men and they all go after her but she manages to barely escape from them.

Meanwhile, as Marcus and Mike arrive at the scene of the murders, Mike finds out that his friend Maxine has been killed.  Distraught, he goes to the escort owner’s home to find out more information of who may have killed her.  While Marcus is at work, Julie contacts the Miami PD and tells Captain Howard that she was a witness to her friend’s murder and she needs to talk to Mike.  But with Mike gone, Captain Howard forces Marcus to pretend to be Mike and to protect the witness and to find out more information from her.

But the problem is that Fouchet is way ahead of both Marcus and Mike as he has men at the location where Mike is going to and he has his men sent to Julie’s home to kill her.  Can Marcus protect the witness and will Mike found out who killed his friend?

VIDEO:

“Bad Boys” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1).  For the most part, the Blu-ray release definitely marks a much better looking version of the film.  You can see the skin pores on the characters, more detail in the characters as you can see the freckles on Tea Leoni’s face much more clearly.  Blacks are nice and deep.  Outdoor scenes are vibrant and colorful and for the most part, for a 15-year-old film, fans of the film will definitely enjoy the PQ.    I didn’t see any aliasing, edge enhancement or any artifacting.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Bad Boys” shines in the lossless department.  With this film being an action-driven film, there are times where you hear explosions and gun shots whizzing from left to right via the surround channels.  I also noticed some shots utilizing LFE.  But there was one scene where I felt it nearly blew my eardrum off because I had my system pumped up quite loudly.  But the film definitely sounds incredible via lossless.  Dialogue and music is clear and understandable through the front and center channels but there is good use of surround for the action segments.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Bad Boys” comes with the following special features presented in standard definition, English Stereo with Spanish or Portuguese subtitles:

  • movieIQ™+sync (use logo) and BD-Live connect you to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie!
  • Commentary with Director Michael Bay – Featured on the original DVD release, Michael Bay talks about the making of the film, working with the talent and the crew and how certain scenes were created.  Also, talking about his directorial debut, the two main characters inprovising and working with a low budget.
  • Putting the Boom & Bang in the Bad Boys Documentary – (23:54) A documentary on how the special effects were created for the film, the various weapons and how certain explosions were made.
  • Three Music Videos – Featuring Dana King’s “Shy Guy”, 69 Boyz – “Five-O, Five-O” and Warren G’s “So Many Ways”.

EXTRAS:

“Bad Boys” comes with a cardboard protective slip case.

When “Bad Boys” came out in theaters in 1995, there were many critics who were not too thrilled by the film but the fact is that Martin Lawrence who had his own popular TV series “Martin” and Will Smith who had “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” were popular talents.  Some may find the partnership between the two as just another cliche cop duo film and for the most part, I guess you can see it at that way but if you were a fan of these two, you were going to enjoy their interaction and their humor.  And possible the smartest thing that Bay allowed (because he didn’t like the script all that much) was to give Lawrence and Smith a chance to improvise their lines and have fun with it.

But if anything, “Bad Boys” was that film that lifted director Michael Bay and Will Smith’s names to new heights.  After this film, Will Smith was no longer the TV star but now a bonafide action star and followed up with “Independence Day” and “Men in Black”, while Director Michael Bay would have a string of box office hits with “The Rock” and “Armageddon”.

If this film proved anything, it was that Michael Bay knew what staff to work with because with such a low budget to work with, they accomplished a lot special effects-wise with very little (note: “Bad Boys” was budgeted at $19 million, Bay’s next film “The Rock” was budgeted at $75 million).

“Bad Boys” was like your usual copy duo films.  May it be “Lethal Weapon, “Beverly Hills Cop”, “48 Hours” (two friends/partners who have their own problems with one another) but when you have two African American talent who can play off each other so well, it made the film very entertaining.  The comedy and action was just right and I understand the critics feeling the film doesn’t break any new ground but in 1995, I felt the timing was right for the film and for the most part, movie watchers agreed with the pairing as seen with the massive amount of money that “Bad Boys” had made.

As for the Blu-ray release, the Blu-ray definitely looks much better than the DVD and the lossless soundtrack is awesome.  But if there is one thing where the special DVD slightly has an edge over the Blu-ray edition is that it does have the “Damage Control” which used angles to analyze special effects explosions and also an isolated music score which are not included on the Blu-ray.  So, if you enjoy those special features, you may want to hang on to your special edition DVD version.  But otherwise, the Blu-ray release of “Bad Boys” is much better than its DVD counterpart.

Overall, if you are a fan of “Bad Boys”, definitely give this Blu-ray release a chance!

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