Two New Blu-Ray Releases came out from Disney this week, and both are movies I absolutely loved as a kid. But do they still hold up today?
Dick Tracy came out not too long after Tim Burton’s moody Batman. While Burton went the dark and serious route for his comic book adaptation, Warren Beatty went the complete opposite, and played it up for a bit of laughs. But that’s not to say he was mocking the original source material…he treated it with loving respect.
Dick Tracy is about the famous copper with his wristwatch communicator and yellow jacket out on the prowl for Big Boy Caprice…who is, coincidentally, out to get Tracy. He’s joined by his sweetheart, a foster kid, and a lounge singer who may be more than she lets on.
I remember seeing the film, multiple times, as a kid, and enjoying the heck out of it. Quite frankly, after watching it again on Blu-Ray, I still did. It’s by no means a perfect film…it’s uneven in some places, and some performances fall a bit flat, but overall, it’s very enjoyable. The bad guys are just over the top enough to not be caricatures (minus their looks, of course), and the performances are pretty solid.
The picture looks stunning on the Blu-Ray transfer, too. The yellow especially pops out (as it should!), but really, the entire transfer looks excellent.
My only gripe (and it’s a big one) is the extreme lack of special features. There is quite literally nothing else on the disc but the film itself. To me, this is a massive shame, given how much Beatty spoke of loving the source material and his deep passion for the project. I would have loved some behind the scenes features here, even if they were retrospective and had interviews with the folks involved today. I personally feel that this film stands the test of time, much like Disney’s other classic, The Rocketeer. Alas, maybe they are saving for a massive Dick Tracy pack sometime in the future.
Seriously, how can you hate Heavyweights? It’s impossible!
Marking the feature film writing and producing debut of current Hollywood powerhouse Judd Apatow, Heavyweights is the story of a group of kids who are sent to a ‘fat camp’ with the promise of quick weight loss and good times. Unfortunately, the camp is run by a psychopathic ex-fitness instructor. Hilarity ensues.
If you haven’t seen this film before, do yourself a favor, and give it a go. Sure, it was made in the mid-90s, and its age shows, but this is a classic comedy for kids.
The transfer to Blu-Ray is somewhat underwhelming. Given the relatively young age of this film, I expected it to be a little higher quality, but alas, the colors are a bit pale and the video isn’t nearly as sharp as I thought it would be. It doesn’t damper your viewing experience, but it’s noticeable.
Unlike Dick Tracy, this film delivers on the extras. This is no doubt due to Apatow’s involvement. One of the most enjoyable I found was the commentary track from Apatow, director Steven Brill, and actors Allen Covert, Aaron Schwartz, Shaun Weiss, and Tom Hodges. It’s pretty refreshing to hear them all chat candidly about the film, how it was made, and its cult status. But by far the best one was the hour and a half “deleted scenes” segment. Yes, you read that correctly…the deleted scenes run almost as long as the film. It’s pretty incredible, and most of them are pretty funny!
There is also a “making of” featurette that is from 1995, but gives a nice glimpse of the filmmaking of its time, a “Where Are They Now?” which looks at the cast today, and a whole other slew of other features. Who knew that Disney would give Heavyweights so much love? With almost 4 hours of extras, it’s definitely worth the price.
Did you buy either of these films on Blu-Ray? What did you think of them?
By Jeff Heimbuch
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
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