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Quick Change (Blu-ray Review)

The Bill Murray directed Quick Change came as a nice surprise to the April slate of releases from Warner Archive Collection. It found itself a quick kill at the 1990 box office, finding itself debuting in the bottom half of the top ten and out of theaters altogether after three weeks. In its defense, it came out around the same time as a lot of big name iconic films were making a push (Ghost, Dick Tracy), but couldn’t even manage to best even The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.  Nonetheless, it has managed to find a cult following and life on home video. The film also produced plenty of surprise and excitement when this Blu-ray was announced. I’m not so sure I can say the same for the now out of print Blu-ray for that Renny-Harlin/Andrew Dice Clay vehicle (Which admittedly is quite something in its own right). You can pre-order it now using the paid Amazon Associates link at the bottom of the page to have around release day, April 27th.

Film

The star of Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day headlines and codirects this uproarious Big Apple heist-and-pursuit caper. Bill Murray plays Grimm, a frazzled urbanite who disguises himself as a clown – and sets out to rob a bank. Geena Davis and Randy Quaid play accomplices in Grimm’s daring scheme and Jason Robards is the blustery cop caught up in Grimm’s “Clown Day Afternoon.” Swiping a million bucks is a snap compared to getting out of town. Grimm and cohorts commandeer a car, a cab, a bus, a baggage tram and a plane (and encounter future stars Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub in hilarious supporting roles) to make what becomes a less-than-merry escape. But for comedy lovers, Quick Change is a ticket to ride!

Quick Change is a fun, fresh feeling hybrid of a heist film and one of those “caught on the wrong end of town during one crazy night” kind of movies.  The film bounces left and right with its cast always up to the task.  Everything follows that “but then” model of things continuously taking turns for the worse once a sight of relief from a previous situation has been expelled. No, not every scenario is great, but the average is high in the “throwing things at a wall” fold.

Murray’s film does have an absolutely dynamite first act. It’s still an overall very enjoyable and funny film, but it never really reaches the heights and stride of the opening bank hold up and escape. In a way, the film reminded me a lot of Barry Levinson’s Bandits, though that movie seemed to add a little more drama and wrote its trio with a bit more depth to make things work better. Of our leads, Geena Davis’ character is the one probably with the most to use and chew on beyond the surface level. Randy Quaid is just there for the village idiot purposes and to give Murray’s character someone to be superior over.

The film is an overall terrific quick hit bunch of fun at the end of the day though. There’s a constant sense of chase and race against the clock while delivering comedic situations that take some time and develop. Every member of the cast is pretty game for this and its always funny to watch Murray just be Murray. Not without saying, its not just clever humor here, there’s a pretty well developed schematic that works very well in the confines of the world and rules established in the film. Quick Change seems ripe for a nice rediscovery and a perfect “new to you” older film if you’re looking for one.

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail:  All that is listed on the transfer and restoration of Quick Change‘s Blu-ray debut is “brand new master”. From the looks of this, I’d want to say it was a 2K transfer. The image is quite spacious, sharp and clear. Details are randomly abundant and pretty fine in most areas. Buyers should be pretty happy with what they are looking on this image.

Depth:  Depth of field is quite good and really showcases both in and outdoors in terms of showing scale and distance in the frame. Movements are cinematic and natural with no issues revolving around motion distortion.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and pretty close to natural levels. No information is really hidden away and finer details come through easily. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors have a sort of natural look to them, but this cleaned up image does allow some of them to pop quite well. The clown outfit and make up sees the reads really resonate. There are some other more vibrant colors that aren’t held back and contrast well against the “regular” nature of most of the film.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are impressively visible from any given distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

DynamicsQuick Change has a rather lively and loud mono track that really gets the trick done. There is a nice, good balance between vocals, music and sound effects. The sound is really accompanies the film’s video presentation quite well and really doesn’t hinder much of anything with its mono limitations. Plus, the purists want the original mix more than anything, so here it is!

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp.

Extras

Trailer (HD, 2:02)

Summary

Quick Change is an absolutely fun, forgotten film. Its honestly one of those that I’d say is worth a blind buy to those who have never seen it before. Warner Archive Collection gives the film a terrific presentation, looking and sounding great. Unfortunately, the only extra here is a trailer. But, the film speaks for itself and in doing so, shows its worthiness to be in your collection.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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