Miami Vice Unrated Directors Edition (Blu-Ray)

Cover Art and Menu: 6/10
The cover and menus are standard drama action fare. There’s nothing wrong with standard, but with such a dynamic title I was looking for something with a bit more oomph! The Blu-Ray edition uses the now standard Universal slide out from the left menu that is available anytime by pushing right on your remote control.

Features: 8/10

  • Miami Vice Undercover Featurette – What does it take to be a real undercover cop? Well, these are just pretty boy actors, but they do get the chance to meet and train a tiny bit with the professionals. Real live undercover officers give a few words of wisdom about dealing with the criminal element.
  • Miami & Beyond Shooting On Location Featurette – Michael Mann apparently digs the whole realism thing so he likes to drag his whole cast and crew around the world for the best backdrops for his movies. I appreciate that approach and for Miami Vice, it really added a lot to the atmosphere and gave us a lot of cool places to look at that weren’t created on a Hollywood back lot.
  • Visualizing Miami Vice Featurette – Director man Mann didn’t take the obvious 80’s retro design road to the modern telling of the tall tales of Crockett and Tubbs dynamic duo. Instead we are treated to a very “today” kind of look with faster boats, and bigger guns, but let’s not forget the same old story element’s of women in distress and Tubbs’ love of the ladies.
  • Behind The Scenes Featurette – These days I don’t expect much in the way of behind the scenes features, but they did a good job this time. Lots of interviews with the crew and more on how they trained to be the crime busting heroes we all know and love on the Miami Dade.
  • Feature Commentary With Michael Mann – I really like listening to Mann talk about making his movies. I know he’s got the big budgets and all that corporate stuff, but he seems to truly enjoy the whole process beyond the cash and the box office. Then again, he might be a good faker 🙂
  • U-Control Picture In Picture (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – I am not a massive fan of universals U-Control but it seems to be what they are going with for Blu-Ray, Miami Vice has a PIP mode that allows you to see the making of certain scenes in a small window over the main movie. Its informative but quite infrequent, and I wish they would let you switch the PIP mode to full screen with a press of your remote.
  • U-Control Tech Specs (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – Another U-Control feature which allows you to see the specs of the speed boats and cars used in the movie, its pretty much the same feature Universal used in the Doomsday Blu-Ray disc and is quite fun if your a geek like myself.
  • GPS Track The Action With Google Maps (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – This feature while pointless does give a glimpse of what BD-Live could have to offer down the road, using the power of Google Maps the disc lets you see the exact locations of each scene from a overhead Ariel view, this happens seamlessly during the movie and is fun for a few minutes at least.
  • Cast Bios (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – Cast Bios presented as 1080P slides kind of like collectable cards for the tech generation.
  • Production Photographs (Blu-Ray Exclusive) – Another U-Control feature that once activated will allow you to view pictures of the production inlaid into the main movie.

The Movie: 8/10
Crocket and Tubbs together again. Hmm, it’s been a while. I wonder how many wrinkles and aching joints they have by now..oh, they’ve replaced the original dudes with two to of today’s hot commodities, Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. I don’t call people hot commodities, that’s just Hollywood speak. I was skeptical about the whole thing, but once the story got rolling, I was pretty much hooked, in the good old fashioned action movie kind of way.

The opening boat race didn’t do much for me. I mean, the camera coming out of the water, the fast paced boat race was all cool to get me in the Miami mood. After that we meet the new-fangled Crocket and Tubbs and go straight into a deep and dirty undercover gig in a heart pounding dance club with writhing bodies and a certain hypnotic vibe. (see I’m trying to put a lot of action and excitement in the review:). It was obvious from the get go that there wouldn’t be any white suit with no shirt or cheap floppy shoes. No house boat or crocodile. These are different times. Owning an exotic animal in Florida might not be so easy in the 21st century. Plus, that does add a bit of cheek to the whole thing and I think Mann wanted to give this incarnation of Miami Vice some grit, not revisit the somewhat light heartedness that the original series had.

I’m a fan of Farrell and Foxx, but I really wish Hollywood would let people with some kind of an accent stay true to their native self. I know Crocket didn’t have an Irish accent in the show, but with all the other changes, why not let that groovy sexy lad keep his lovely drawl? I might be in the minority here:)

The fellas keep their same fundamental character traits, Tubbs the honorable up standing guy who wants to protect the ladies, and Tubbs the guy who wants to do the ladies. Well, that’s how they are, I didn’t make it up. Speaking of ladies, the staring female roles are stunning and strong women. I’m not a feminist or anything like that, I like my manly man too much to be that “girl power” crazed. I just really enjoy seeing good woman characters in these mostly man driven flicks.

The bad guys were kind of blah, nothing special, but they had a certain intensity without being cartoony or over the top. They were reminiscent of TV bad guys with their calm tough guy styles but with henchmen who would rip your heart out, or rather, gun you down with great pleasure. Lots of henchmen is another quality of this movie. It seems a theme when we are invited into the world of organized criminal behavior. It apparently takes a lot of meat to do your bidding and hold the weapons while you sip champagne and reap the benefits of your ill gotten gains.

While the story is standard drug running shmoozle with a 2006 twist here and there, it’s got enough heat to keep me interested. I admit, I got hooked on the look and the music and the action. I wanted to see somebody save a damsel in distress and see a bad guy get some kind of comeuppance. That’s what these kinds of stories give us. The old fashioned powerful men on both sides of the law battling it out with gun battles and car chases. Don’t look for some kind of clever twists and turns, this isn’t that kind of movie. It’s in your face macho stuff that’s fun to watch and did not disappoint this Miami Vice fan at all.

Yea, I watched the show, are you kidding? I was addicted like every other girl back in the day. I was a Tubbs fan myself, and with Foxx at the helm of the same character, I’m still a Tubbs fan:)

There are a few things they’ve changes for the extended edition DVD. The opening sequence is completely different from the theatrical release. I think the DVD version is more in keeping with the Miami Vice vibe. Another changes is that the music near the end has been changed. They added an updated version of In the Air Tonight, as they should have. As for other changes, I’m sure there are extended bits and pieces throughout the film that make it well worth watching it again if the only time you have seen it was in the theater, oh and if you liked it enough to watch it more than once.

It’s a good movie for what it is. I give it a higher score because it left me feeling totally satisfied and like I had just had a thrill ride that looked, sounded, and felt great along the way. I would have thrown in a few more 80’s tunes, but hey, that’s the nostalgic in me.

Video & Audio: (By Ascully) 8/10
This movie version of Miami Vice is quite dark, the story and the look. It’s a far cry from the neon lit 80’s TV show that inspired it. We checked out the DVD version of the movie back in 2006, long before Blu-Ray even existed. I have to say that the Blu-Ray transfer is light years ahead. Image definition and audio quality are both simply amazing. Yes, the night shots still have a lot of video noise in them, but this is intentional and really gives you the feel of Mann’s grittier version of Miami. The 1080P transfer looks incredible. From the opening shots of the speed boat race right up to the dark gritty conclusion. This disc preserves the director’s vision in full.

Audio is also upgraded with a DTS HD and standard DTS track. Both sound better than the Dolby Digital track on the old DVD release.

Universal are doing a great job of transferring the back catalog of movies into HD at the moment. With Miami Vice, U571, and End Of Days about to hit store shelves in a value priced action 3 pack it’s a great time for action movie fans to dip there toes into the world of Blu-Ray.

Value: 8/10
This unrated version is around $22 online. I say it’s too much for an action flick that I probably won’t watch many times. You can get the standard DVD for just $10, or rent the Blu-Ray and use the extra cash for some loafers and an 80’s jacket at Goodwill. It is a great Saturday night action flick for a handful of cash, just not good enough to cost me almost half my monthly cable bill. You can get a 3 pack with Miami Vice, U571, and End of Days for $46 or so. I’m not sure that’s much of a deal either, that is my montly cable bill. I have a hard time imagining anyone who is such a hard core fan of all three that they would dish out that kind of cash. Then again, who am I to say that End of Days doesn’t appeal to everyone? (I hear the echos of studio executives saying, “We need to push End of Days off on these people somehow…I know, stick it in with a couple of better movies, that’ll do it.

Overall 8/10