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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
One Good Cop (1991)

One Good Cop (1991)

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Released 3-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 100:23 (Case: 80)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Heywood Gould

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Michael Keaton
Rene Russo
Anthony LaPaglia
Kevin Conway
Rachel Ticotin
Tony Plana
Benjamin Bratt
Charlayne Woodard
Grace Johnston
Rhea Silver-Smith
Blair Swanson
Victor Rivers
David Barry Gray
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.95 Music David Foster
William Ross

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish 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
English for the Hearing Impaired
French Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes, - police always smoke?
Annoying Product Placement Yes, - check those appliances out!
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    One Good Cop is another in the seemingly endless line of police films which seem to emanate from the United States. I guess the audience must like them, or we would not see so many. This one is rather formulaic at times, but has some interesting characterisation which lifts it (very slightly) above the average.

    The story concerns Arty Lewis (Michael Keaton) and his partner (Anthony LaPaglia) who are policemen on the mean streets of New York (yes, I know). Arty and his wife Rita (Rene Russo) would like to have kids, but unfortunately Rita is unable to bear children. When widower LaPaglia takes a fatal bullet during a tense hostage stand-off Arty is named legal guardian for his three young daughters. Suddenly, he and Rita are sharing their small apartment with three shell-shocked youngsters.

    Well, we all know policemen don't earn much money, and Rita is struggling in a low paid job, and they would really like to adopt the kids, but what will the welfare agency say? Hmmmm, there are all those rich drug lords out there, and Arty knows where they keep their money, so what can he do?

    While the story will not win any awards for originality, the film itself is quite gritty, and apart from the implausible twist at the end will probably draw you in. Michael Keaton gives a very good performance as Arty, and Rene Russo is her usual reliable self. The three young girls are likeable, and you will probably feel quite sympathetic about them. If you like "cop" movies then this is worth a rental, or if you like "cop" movies and Keaton it is probably even worth the budget purchase price.

    As an aside, the film runs for just over 100 minutes and not the 80 minutes noted on the cover. I have seen a lot of similar mistakes on DVD covers, but this is one of the larger time discrepancies I have come across for some time (who checks these details before the things are printed?).

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Transfer Quality


    For a recent film the video transfer on offer here is a little disappointing, as the picture has a bit of a dated look about it, while still being in good physical shape.

    The aspect ratio is 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced which is the original production ratio.

    The picture is reasonably sharp, without being crisp, and has fair shadow detail as shown in the fight in the elevator at 7:19. There is little low level noise, and outdoor scenes look quite fresh.

    Colours are generally muted, but the film is meant to show the dark and dingy side of New York, so this is probably intentional. Flesh tones are good and greens are nice in park scenes.

    There is some minor damage (mostly negative artefacts) and a little grain at times, but otherwise the picture is in good physical shape. I was happy to see that there is very little aliasing.

    I watched an extensive segment of the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles and am pleased to report that they are quite good, with indications such as "sighs" and "beeps" at appropriate times. The text is not literal, but is close to the meaning of the spoken word; I would have liked to have seen a few more musical cues when the music changes mood or character. There are also numerous other subtitle languages to choose from.

    I did not notice the layer change.

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


    The audio transfer is fair; it does the job but makes little use of the surround speakers or subwoofer.

    There are three audio tracks on the disc. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track which is encoded at a rather low bitrate of 192 Kb/s. The disc also has German and French Dolby Digital 2.0 audio tracks encoded at the same bitrate; I listened to excerpts from the latter which has a nicely balanced audio dub but the usual problem that the voices don't seem to match with the actors you are watching up on the screen. Strangely the words "un bon flic" appear at the start of the film when French is chosen from the Setup menu (is that "a good movie" in French?). The soundtrack has surround information embedded and I found that the sound was fuller and more directional in ProLogic mode, so the comments that follow are based on listening to it that way.

    Dialogue is of reasonable quality, though occasionally muffled. Audio sync is good.

    The music is functional and not very memorable. It is recorded at a volume which nicely matches the rest of the sound on offer.

    Surround presence is limited and mostly involves a little music being pushed through the rear speakers. Gunshots and fist fights sound quite good and receive minor bass support from the subwoofer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras on this disc. A trailer and some cast biographies could have been provided as a low cost minimum.


    The menu is static with audio. From the menu you can choose Play, Scene Selections (12 of those) or Setup. From the Setup menu you can select the language or the subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of the disc appears similar to the Region 4. The IMDb website lists the film as having Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, but this is not supported by other sites and I suspect this is an error. The local version is preferred slightly due to the PAL picture and its budget price.


    This is a reasonable police film presented with acceptable audio and video transfers but no extras. Available at a budget price this should provide a satisfying couple of hours for fans of the genre or the star.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Robert Davison (read my bio)
Monday, July 19, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-K350, using Component output
DisplaySONY VPL-HS10 LCD projector, ABI 280cm 16x9 screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderKenwood. Calibrated with Video Essentials.

Other Reviews NONE