Tombstone Blu-Ray Review

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Aside from the cheesy line “Justice is coming,” the cover for Tombstone is pretty decent.  The classic shot of the gang is nicely done, even though it could really be bigger on this cover.  It is totally acceptable to have a group of cowboys on the cover of a Western movie looking macho and tough.

The menu is pretty well done with a kind of antique effect being placed over video from the movie.  It really adds a nice feel to what could otherwise be a boring menu.  I am also a fan of the Ace of spades card that is used for a loading icon.

Features: 3/10

  • The Making Of Tombstone – This is a three part making of series, featuring a look at the cast of the movie, which is impressive, along with an examination of the look of the movie, and finally a glimpse at the gunfights.  A decent little offering, even if it is the only real meaty extra on the disk.
  • Directors Original Storyboards – Here we get a glimpse at the storyboards that were used to design the movie.
  • Trailers & TV Spots – Not really much of an extra, but we get to see various trailers and adverts for the movie from back in the day.  It just seems like they threw this offering together, given the lack of in-depth extras and the mediocre transfer of the movie to Blu-ray.

The Movie: 8/10
I was excited to see that I had been assigned Tombstone on Blu-ray by Ascully.  This is one of those movies that I really identified with.  It was another cowboy movie from the 1990’s, but it featured such a great ensemble, and it was cool.  While the eagle eyed Kurt Russell played the hard as stone Wyatt Earp, Val Kilmer was the epitome of no-holds barred cool, as the drunk, sick Doc Holiday.  Kilmer, in a movie of great actors, stole the show, and in my mind it is one of the greatest roles that he has played to date.

Tombstone is the story of retired Kansas law man Wyatt Earp, as he walks away from the job to search his own fortune in Tomsbstone, Arizona.  Earp is joined by his brothers Virgil (Sam Elliot, who should be in every cowboy movie made) and Morgan (a young Bill Paxton.)  The crew settles into Tombstone, a booming town on the edge of the frontier, who struggles to keep the peace as a group of outlaws who call themselves the “cowboys” seem to govern the town, even though they do little more than terrorize and steal from the good people making an honest living.  the boom of the gold rush has seen Tombstone prosper, and the Earp brothers, along with doc Holiday, who is suffering from tuberculosis (and Whiskey-itis) are attempting to become businessman, leaving the law to the local sheriff.

Tombstone is a gritty movie about how the Earp brothers and Holiday get dragged back into fighting for justice, even though it is the last thing they wish to do.  The entire cast is solid, and the story and acting is fun and well paced.

Almost everyone who I spoke to about doing this review (many who had seen the movie were males, I will confess) spoke highly of Tombstone.  It is fun, and a good movie to sit back and enjoy.  Watching the story unfold, with such great acting as done by Russell, Kilmer, and the likes of Dana Delaney, Powers Booth, Michael Biehn, and even a young (somewhat larger) Billy Bob Thornton (I recognized his voice before I recognized him.)  Tombstone is a great little movie, and a lot of fun just to sit back and watch.

Audio & Video: 6/10
I will admit, I was less than impressed with the video transfer of Tombstone.  There are moments where the video is super sharp and crystal clean, and others where it just seemed like the whole screen was fuzzy and soft.  Perhaps I expected too much from such an old movie, but it was just hit or miss for me.   I can understand if it was soft overall, but it was just inconsistent, which is confusing to me.  It is presented in 2.35:1 AVC encoded widescreen.

The audio was really really good though, making up for some of the strange video inconsistency.  It was very well done and there was great use of the rear speakers.  Not bad for a movie from the past.

Value: 6/10
This is a hard one to place a value on.  If you have seen Tombstone, then more than likely you have a soft spot for this movie.  There is nothing mind blowing about Tombstone, but it was a movie-lovers movie, with solid acting a lot of style, which is why I dig this movie so much.  If you have seen it, it is worth another visit, but the Blu-ray presentation is not what I wanted it to be.  I wanted this to be a top notch, lots of bells and whistles release, and it is not.  It is a good release, and the Blu-ray looks decent enough, and sounds good, but there is nothing here that wows me or makes me want to recommend this to everyone.  See it on Blu-ray for sure, and if you like the movie like I do, it is worth picking up, but I just wanted a little bit more that would make this pop.  Tombstone is a great, stylish movie; I just wish the Blu-ray was great and stylish also.

Overall Score 7/10