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Smokey and the Bandit [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary)

Smokey and the Bandit [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] (Universal's 100th Anniversary)
Studio: Universal Studios
List Price: $19.98
Street Price:
Amazon.com: $12.95
Release Date: Jun 5, 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Running Time: 96 minutes

3.8 Stars (out of 5) - Rated PG

Synopsis

The Bandit is hired on to run a tractor trailer full of beer over county lines in hot pursuit by a pesky sheriff.

Starring:

Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Mike Henry, Paul Williams, Pat McCormick, Alfie Wise, George Reynolds

Director:

Hal Needham

Blu-ray Release Date:

June 5, 2012

Subtitles:

English SDH, French, Spanish

Rating

Overall rating weighted as follows:

Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt

Audio 3.1 Stars (out of 5)

Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison

● Subwoofer – 2.0 Stars

● Dialog – 5.0 Stars

● Surround Effects – 2.0 Stars

● Dynamic Range – 3.5 Stars

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS 2.0

This Blu-ray’s audio performance isn’t smoking, but it isn’t surprising considering the original content was probably filmed in mono. Sorry, but the Bandit’s engine doesn’t roar and the car crashes don’t shake the couch. What you do get is a subdued presentation that doesn’t take anything away from the movie, but doesn’t add anything either. You are treated to lots of panning in the left and right front speakers, and tons of sharp sounding tire squeals. The surrounds only seem to be used to add background vehicle movement, add another dimension to the 18 wheeler driving by, and a helicopter flying by. The low end is almost ignored except for the occasional car crash and the famous musical score. Dialog sounds great, but overall the bandit doesn’t show off on Blu-ray.

Video 4.6 Stars (out of 5)

Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison

● Color Accuracy - 5.0 Stars

● Shadow detail – 4.5 Stars

● Clarity – 4.0 Stars

● Skin tones – 4.5 Stars

● Compression – 5.0 Stars

Codec: VC-1, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Colors are warm and bring the backwoods to life in this VC-1 video performance. Trees are deep green, the pink and purple RV stands out on the countryside, and the Bandit’s signature bright red shirt all look great on this Blu-ray. There is a large amount of grain and it seems to have an effect on the clarity, but it doesn’t stop you from noticing the constant sweat on Smokey’s shirt, blades of grass, wrinkles on faces, deep grooves in corduroy, and the obscene amount of hair on Burt Reynolds’ arms. A few scenes show faces redder than they should be, but overall skin tones look good.

Bonus Features 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

● "Loaded Up and Truckin': The Making of 'Smokey and the Bandit'" (20:00, SD) A behind the scenes look at the film complete with archive current interviews with some of the cast and crew.

● "Snowman, What's Your 20: The 'Smokey and the Bandit' CB Tutorial" (8:17, SD) A quick tutorial of the lingo of using a CB.

● A Theatrical Trailer (2:45, SD) is included.

● "100 Years of Universal: The '70s" (11:01, HD) A look back at Universal’s famous films from the 70’s, includes interviews with directors and actors.

● "100 Years of Universal: The Lot" (9:25, HD) Discusses the history and current use of the famous Universal Studios lot.

Movie – 4.0 Stars (out of 5)

Review

Smokey and the Bandit is a fun classic comedy that features Burt Reynolds at his best. The plot is very simple but this earns a lot of mileage on charm. I loved this film when I was a kid and I hadn’t seen it in years. I thought I had outgrown it, but as soon as I heard the Bandit’s laugh and saw that famous T-top Trans Am, I fell in love all over again. Jackie Gleason’s line delivery as Buford T. Justice is hilarious. Even though the film is over thirty years old, the car chase scenes still seam original. It’s one of the few films that features some of the lifestyle of truckers, and CB usage. So much CB lingo was used, at times it makes it hard to follow the movie. There are a few plot holes, and the ending is strange, but Smokey and the Bandit is an entertaining fun ride that stands the test of time.

Posted by The HT Guys, June 28, 2012 7:37 AM

More in Category: Blu-ray

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.