Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986)

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Released 10-Nov-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-All Washed Up: Floating Memories
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 81:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Jerry Paris

Warner Home Video
Starring Steve Guttenberg
Bubba Smith
David Graf
Michael Winslow
Marion Ramsey
Leslie Easterbrook
Art Metrano
Tim Kazurinsky
Bob Goldthwait
George Gaynes
Shawn Weatherly
Scott Thomson
Brant von Hoffman
Case ?
RPI Box Music Robert Folk

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
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
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes, Cigar gets crossbowed by Tackleberry. Bad joke.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    In Police Academy 3, the mayor has decided to close down one of the two competing police academies, with one month assigned for each to impress the judges with their new intake of recruits. While it is almost certain from the start that Lassard and his academy will win, newly assigned Commandant Mauser with butt-kissing Proctor is determined to win.

    Lassard decides to bring back the Academy's most successful recruits, in the form of Mahoney, Hightower, Hooks and Jones. One would think some more time on the force, or actual qualifications would be required for teaching new recruits. But let us look beyond that flaw, as well as many others, for a fun and enjoyable movie.

    Mauser and Proctor from Police Academy 2 take charge of the competing academy. Plot holes leave the question open as to how Mauser actually got control of this academy. This does not matter, as a villainous character is still required, with this being the easiest way to reintroduce the characters.

    While the third movie in the series is not as clever or original as the last two, it does not fall to the dismal depths that I am sure at least one or more of the later movies will. I was expecting the downfall to start with this movie, but will have to wait until Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol to find out. This one still brings a smile to my face, as well as an occasional giggle. That being said, this is no Oscar winner. Many scenes appear to be written around a single joke. Some are effective, however some are just cringeworthy. At 39:00 Tackleberry stops a man from smoking his cigar in a non-smoking area by using a mini crossbow. While it is a bad joke in itself, it is executed shockingly by the bow flying along a wire which is not hidden from the camera. The Blue Oyster Bar, which is a common set in each movie, returns again. I do realise now that it is a running gag for the series, but in each movie the joke gets more tiresome.

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Transfer Quality


    As before, the picture is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.75:1 and the transfer is 16x9 enhanced. Once again, this ratio is slightly adjusted from the theatrical ratio of 1.85:1.

    This third transfer is not up to the same standards as those previously reviewed, although for the most part there is not a whole lot wrong. There are a few occasions where the print is showing its age, as well as the transfer to DVD not being quite up to scratch. Police Academy 3 would have benefited from the same treatment as the original, with a digital restoration never going astray. The first sequel did not undergo the restoration, but it sported superb video nonetheless.

    The main problem that will be noticed is the frequent, although not always noticeable, film grain. The grain is almost always there, with dirt and little scratches popping up all over. At 30:00 a major white scratch appears in the right corner, with it being the worst in the film. At 36:00, these film artefacts move from annoying to distracting.

    A noticeable and annoying aspect of the video transfer is attributed to the MPEG compression used towards the end of the movie. The final act takes place at a marina, with a water chase to follow. While not too major, macro blocking is evident through the water ripples. This is distracting, unfortunate and somewhat unexplainable with the bitrate averaging over 7Mb/s during this time.

    Aliasing is not a major problem, although there is one obvious example at 16:10.

    Colours are not as bright and vibrant as seen in previously reviewed transfers.

    The video is reasonably sharp. There is still some evidence of edge enhancement, but it is not too distracting.

    At 76:00 we have the strangest scene in the entire movie, a slow jerky motion scene across the water, supposed to show a yacht club which is being held up by a group of armed men. The scene pans across for a few seconds, not revealing a yacht club, but open water with land in the far distance. The scene is reminiscent of television censoring, slowing down a scene to extend through a music track.

    The disc is on a single layer, not even breaking the 4Gb mark in file size. The extra space on the layer could have been allocated to the video to enhance certain scenes, especially the final water act.

    Subtitles are once again in the form of English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, English for the Hearing Impaired and Italian for the Hearing Impaired.

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


    Unsurprisingly, our soundtrack options are again Dolby Digital 1.0 mono options, with English, French and Italian on offer. All are encoded at 192kbps.

    The audio quality is the same as the video - not quite up to the same standards as the original.

    Dialogue is generally in sync with the on screen action, with the exception of a scene at 68:45 with Mahoney in the water talking to his fellow officer, with bad ADR not even matching the lip movements.

    The soundtrack is clear of dropouts, hisses and clicks.

    Once again with a mono soundtrack, there is nothing in the way of surround or subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Featurette - All Washed Up: Floating Memories 8:13

    Slowly, the quality and quantity of these featurettes is declining. Still, this is an entertaining look at the third movie in the series, with the regulars still doing interviews. 1.33:1, Dolby Digital 2.0, 192kbps.

Theatrical Trailer 1:21

    Perhaps the trailer was not properly colour-timed, but the cadets' uniforms are green! In the movie, they are a shade of dark blue, but there is no mistaking that the colours are slightly off in the trailer. On closer inspection, the brightness in the trailer is much higher than the movie itself, giving the dark blue a more greenish tinge. 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced video, Dolby Digital 2.0 192kbps audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    PAL. NTSC. Pick either one or the other.


    I would still class Police Academy 3: Back in Training as one of the good instalments of the series. While I know this trend is not going to last, I can only hope that the next movie keeps up to the same standards, even though they are not very high.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Aiden O'Brien (Here are the results from my biopsy.)
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDSONY DVP-NS575P, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-76PW60. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR500E
SpeakersJensen SPX-9 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub

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