K-9 (1989)

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Released 4-Apr-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 97:10
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (42:30) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Rod Daniel

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring James Belushi
Mel Harris
Jerry Lee
Kevin Tinghe
James Handy
Ed OíNeill
Case ?
RPI $28.95 Music Miles Goodman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

†††† K-9 is your basic buddy-cop story, involving a Ďloose cannoní cop and his new partner. Only, in this instance, the new partner is a dog.

†††† The basic plot of this film is that Dooley (James Belushi) survives a rather dramatic hit carried out on the orders of a drug king, Lyman (Kevin Tinghe), who Dooley is trying to bust. Dooleyís personal life is far from perfect; he neglects his girlfriend Tracy (Mel Harris), has an atrocious diet, and is obviously addicted to work. When he learns that Lymanís drug shipment is being housed in a warehouse, he decides to get himself a police dog to track the drugs for him. The dog he gets, Jerry Lee (which is, in fact, the dog's name in real life), has just as many personality problems as Dooley does, and so the relationship goes.

†††† I remember this film as a kid, and I enjoyed it reasonably enough then as a rumínícoke (donít ask) and pizza movie. After sinking a few beers, I re-watched this film and found the same thing. Itís a kidís flick. Better than those Disney movies, which have over the years left me with severe psychological scarring, but still nothing spectacular. Anybody over the age of 12 is going to laugh at it, not with it. I mean, Beverly Hills Cop this just ainít ó itís not clever, crass, or funny enough. But itís still passable entertainment if you like this kind of thing.

†††† A warning for parents: there are probably a few too many sexual references in K-9 for some of you to be happy letting the little ones be entertained, plus some rather nasty discussions of violence (for example, a description on how to perform a Colombian Neck-Tie), and a lot of anti-social behaviour. I still think this is a kidís flick, but as an irresponsible non-parent donít take my word for it. It is rated M, so the choice is yours.

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Transfer Quality


†††† This DVD is presented in 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced. This is the original aspect ratio.

†††† The quality of the picture is generally good, if at times a little soft. I think this has more to do with the age of the film than anything else.

†††† Colours were well saturated, while lacking the radiance of transfers made from more contemporary films. Considering this is hardly an A-list film, the fact that there was no concerted effort to produce a pristine print doesnít surprise me in the least.

†††† While there was a little low-level noise, and shadow detail was not fantastic, there were no film-to-video artefacts other than some very minor aliasing. I noticed no MPEG artefacts.

†††† At 10:36, the picture seems to jump a few times. It is not clear on the face of it, but I would suggest this is a fault in the print, not in the actual transfer process. It is quite distracting, though. There were a few flecks of dirt and the like on the transfer, but nothing overly distracting.

†††† The disc is single sided, dual-layer, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 42:30. It occurs during a scene change and is only mildly disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


†††† Mixed in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is generally a front driven soundtrack.

†††† Dialogue was not always easy to understand, sometimes being drowned in ambient noise or the score.

†††† Bass was all right, but nothing special. There was not a huge range exhibited.

†††† While there were a few good directional cues across the front, the rear surrounds were barely used, only sometimes chiming in with the music track.

†††† There was no subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



†††† All menus are 16x9 enhanced. They are static with no sound.


†††† Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, this trailer tries to play up the comedy angle.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The R1 release has production notes instead of a trailer, and got a mediocre write up in Widescreen Review in terms of picture and sound quality. Given the considerably cheaper price of the R4, Iíd stay with the local product.


†††† K-9 is a kidís flick. Pure and simple. But parents are warned to exercise a little discretion in letting the little ones watch it. Not everybody saw Robocop when they were nine years old and got good and desensitised.

†††† Video was fairly good, but nothing spectacular. The glitch at 10:36 was pretty bad, but a fault at the source, I believe. It is interesting to note that Universal could remove nearly all aliasing from the transfer process of this 1989 film, and yet other distributors cannot remove the aliasing from films made much more recently. Go figure.

†††† The sound is pretty average, but has no real faults.

†††† The extra is nothing to write home about.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Sunday, April 20, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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