Midnight Run


Viewed – 21 April 2015  Blu-ray

After reading a review of this re-issue of an acclaimed comedy thriller of the 80’s I recalled seeing some of it late night on TV and always wanted to watching it fully.  It follows the story of a bounty hunter / ex-cop Jack Walsh (Robert DeNiro) given the task of tracking down an accountant for the mob ‘the duke’ who has jumped bail and is worth a whole lot of money.  The FBI want this guy as does the Mafia, and so on a trip from New York to LA it’s Jack’s job to keep him (and himself) alive.

midnight_run

Very much in the vein of similar eighties comedy thrillers like Beverly Hills Cop, this blends thrills and comedy well, along with a sharp, swear-heavy script that bounces off the page.  The squabbling and bickering between DeNiro’s wise-cracking bounty hunter and Charles Grodin’s dead-pan ‘the duke’ forms the heart of this highly entertaining ‘caper’ road-movie.  Granted sometimes it is a bit too heavy on the humour and you never really feel anyone is in particular danger, but with decent support from genre regulars John Ashton & Joe Pantoliano as well as well-rounded and fascinating characterisation for the principal leads (their relationship gradually and believably forming into friendship) – this is one 80’s movie that hasn’t aged quite as badly as others and makes for a genuine cult classic.

Sadly, the Blu-ray is a mixed bag.  The image quality is decent for an eighties movie and colours and fine detail mostly impress throughout.  The soundtrack though, in a choice of 2.0 stereo or 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio has occasional lip-sync issues that let down what is otherwise a crisp and punchy presentation.  Extras consist of several new interviews, but no DeNiro (!) and a lack of a commentary means this isn’t exactly a home run.

Verdict:

(the movie)  4 /5

(the Blu-ray)  3 /5

Memento


Viewed 03 Jan 2008  DVD

You wont come across many films like this, where it starts at the end and gradually goes back-wards – add to this the fact the main character has a problem with short term memory – and you’re ready for one of the most unique dramas around.  Guy Pearce who I still can’t shake as that biker lad from TVs Neighbours, plays a man who after witnessing his wife being attacked and raped by an intruder, is tracing the man responsible by piecing together clues in a battle against time as his memory fades within minutes of him experiencing anything post traumatic event.  Cleverly too he tattoos everything he needs to remember on his body and takes Polarides of other important information. 

This impressive second feature from Dark Knight helmer Christopher Nolan, is a very clever spin on the murder-mystery and is watchable but also quite confusing and tricky to follow.  There’s so many red herrings and loose ends and people taking advantage of this man’s memory problem that you come away wondering ‘What the hell have I just watched?’ despite liking it.  The supporting cast is first rate with a decent Carrie-Anne Moss and an always enjoyable Joe Pantoliano, and nobody is exactly who they seem to be.

Probably a touch too clever for its own good, but if you want to watch something a little bit different, this works well enough…but trying to figure it all out could give you a headache.  Oh and honestly, Guy Pearce really should be doing interesting stuff like this more often.

Verdict:  3 /5