Bad Boys: Collector's Edition (1995)

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Released 9-May-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Audio Commentary-Michael Bay (Director)
Featurette-Putting the Boom and Bang in Bad Boys (23:54)
Multiple Angles-Damage Control
Music Video-Shy Guy-Diana King (4:34)
Music Video-So Many Ways-Warren G. (3:26)
Music Video-Five O, Five O-69 Boyz (3:11)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer-1.33:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (2:48)
Gallery-Photo
Isolated Musical Score
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 114:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (79:55) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Michael Bay
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Martin Lawrence
Will Smith
Tea Leoni
Tcheky Karyo
Theresa Randle
Joe Pantoliano
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $36.95 Music Mark Mancina


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Way back when I first started writing reviews for Michael D's Region 4 DVD Info Page, which almost seems like a lifetime ago despite being only eighteen months, the very first DVDs I was handed for review were from Columbia TriStar. One of them was Bad Boys. Whilst I would not proclaim the film a great masterpiece, it is certainly an enjoyable film that has had a few plays in its day. But it has been some time since I last watched the DVD and so returning to the film eighteen months later, on the strength of a reviewing catalogue of something like 400 films (I have long since lost count), is an interesting experience. Some of my original impressions have been well-and-truly confirmed by the release of Bad Boys: Collector's Edition, whilst others have been well and truly knocked on the head! Without wishing to repeat myself too much, the following synopsis is repeated from my earlier review and remains a pretty reasonable synopsis of what even director Michael Bay admits was not a great story.

    Miami narcotics detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) have made the drugs bust of their careers - $100,000,000 worth. Only problem is that thanks to information from an ex-cop, Eddie Dominguez, mysterious French drug dealer Fouchet (Tcheky Karyo) has managed to steal the whole lot from police security. With Internal Affairs and the FBI wanting to close down the narcotics division, Lowrey and Burnett have four days to locate and recover the drugs. Meantime, a professional lady friend of Lowrey's, Max (Karen Alexander), and her friend Julie Mott (Téa Leoni) agree to attend a little party involving them and a couple of kilos of the nasty stuff, hosted by Eddie, during which Mott watches the murder of both Max and Eddie. What follows is a rather interesting if convoluted coming together of Lowrey, Burnett and Mott to locate Fouchet and his stooges, during which all sorts of mayhem occurs.

    From the legendary production team of Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, whose pedigree in this sort of film is unsurpassed (start with Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop and keep on listing) , and directed by Michael Bay (The Rock and Armageddon), this is one high-octane ride with fair doses of comedy thrown in for good measure. This whole thing works really well because no one takes it seriously, especially Téa Leoni who is superb as the scared witness. The whole story is pretty preposterous, but that never stopped a good, fun film, and it surprises that this did so comparatively poorly at the box office. Whilst many would probably miss it, check out the cameo of John "Spider" Salley as Fletcher; if I am not mistaken, John Salley was one of the original "Bad Boys", the name the Detroit Pistons gave themselves in the era when they won two NBA championships.

    Time may pass and I may not watch this (or indeed any film) as often as I would like for the sheer hell of it, but whenever I return to it it provides a couple of hours of good entertainment. Since that is the real purpose of watching films, it succeeds at its task very well!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This has always been a transfer that I have liked the quality of, for the simple reason that it is a bit different. But, being realistic, it does not rank amongst the very best of the art of Columbia TriStar. Mind you, the audio commentary probably gives the very reason for this: money! A relatively restricted budget and the style of the shooting would seem to be accurately reflected in the transfer.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced. This looks to be in all respects the identical transfer used on the earlier DVD, which is no surprise at all.

    In general, the transfer is sharp throughout although certain scenes do highlight a rather extensive use of edge enhancement which I now find to be a little grating. Definition is very good throughout and there is quite decent detail despite the rather dark underlying tone to the film. Shadow detail was in general very good, within the context of the way the film was being shot. A slightly more conventionally shot film would perhaps have striven for more detail than is on offer here. Clarity is pretty good all the way through without much in the way of excessive grain to create problems. There did not appear to be any significant low level noise problems in the transfer.

    Colours are in general very well rendered, within the context of the film. The colours during the earlier part of the film are distinctly yellow-toned in an attempt to create the mood of early morning which works well. At times the vibrancy of the colour is exceptional. Some of the sunrise/sunset shots are especially vibrant, really capturing the feel of Miami..T here is generally a good depth to the tones but perhaps the blacks could have been a bit deeper on occasions. There was nothing serious in the way of oversaturation, with just a few odd places where it may be an issue - and then these were probably intended. Colour bleed was not a problem in the transfer.

    There did not appear to be any MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There were a few minor instances of film-to-video artefacts in the form of aliasing in the transfer, but nothing that would really detract from the film - and many would probably not even notice it unless specifically looking for it. The opening night time motion pan of Miami is probably the worst example in the transfer, but I have always believed that this is an inherent problem with the film, and not a mastering problem. Film artefacts were apparent especially early in the film, but these were very minor and in no way detracted from the film.

    This is an RSDL formatted DVD, with the layer change now coming at 79:55. This is much later than in the original release and is quite a deal less noticeable. As a consequence it is somewhat less disruptive to the film, even though it remains just a little obvious.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are five soundtracks on the DVD, meaning that the English Dolby Digital 2.0 and Italian and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks have gone and been replaced with the English Audio commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtrack and the Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The other three soundtracks remain the English, French and German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. I listened to both the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and the English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, with just a reasonably brief sampling of the Isolated Music Score..

    Since there appears to have been no change in the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, dialogue remains clear and easy to understand at all times. There did not seem to be any audio sync problems at all with the transfer.

    In my original review I indicated that the music score by Mark Mancina was pretty much unremarkable and a stock effort at best. After briefly listening to the Isolated Music Score, I have perhaps been a little harsh in my views on the effort and this actually is a lot better than I thought it was. It is still by no means a masterpiece but certainly does a better job of enhancing the film than I previously thought.

    The overall sound picture remains as good as I previously indicated, although perhaps not quite as well-detailed as perhaps it could have been - despite the odd highlight. Surround channel use was good but again could perhaps have benefited from a bit more ambience through the rear channels especially. The bass channel gets some decently heavily use during the action sequences, and this remains a soundtrack that you can crank up a bit just to annoy the neighbours. The bass channel is not quite as aggressive as I remember it, but again that is perhaps a reflection of the experience of having heard a heck of a lot worse over the ensuing eighteen months since I reviewed the original release.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    I believe this is the second DVD release to be given the Collector's Edition treatment for reissue by Columbia TriStar. Whilst they deserve some kudos for delving into their back catalogue to replace extras-impoverished releases with better efforts, I cannot help but wonder why Bad Boys was chosen for such a reissue. Whilst I will admit the extras package was not exactly earth-shattering on the original release, it at least had something which is more than could be said for some DVDs. In any case, the quantity of extras on this DVD is not the issue, the quality of the extras is. Unfortunately, the quality in this revamped Collector's Edition is not that brilliant in my view, although the quantity is not to be sneezed at. Note that the revamp has seen the loss of the short "Making Of" featurette from the original release, as well as a couple of subtitles options for the Theatrical Trailer.

Menu

    A decently revamped effort with more emphasis on the audio and animation enhancement side of things.

Dolby Digital Trailer - City

    Okay, just who is the slow learner at Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment that thinks that this is still a worthwhile inclusion? After about two hundred DVDs, I am sick of the sodding thing.

Audio Commentary - Michael Bay (Director)

    The big addition from the revamp is the full length audio commentary from Director Michael Bay. I really wish I could be more enthusiastic about the effort, but I would only have to rate this as hardly above average. It sounds as if it may be spliced together from two separate recordings as there is a noticeable difference in the sound level and style throughout the commentary. It is also clearly quite recently recorded as he references Pearl Harbour a fair bit. As the commentary progresses, the periods of silence seem to grow a bit longer, but when he does speak he does offer some nice background information about the film. You have to admire anyone who can quite frankly admit that the film is riddled with faults and shortcomings (not unrelated to budget it seems). The thought of Jon Lovitz playing Mike Lowrey, though, has the mind boggling! Presented in quite decent Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded sound.

Featurette - Putting The Boom and Bang In Bad Boys (23:54)

    This is basically the replacement for the shortish "Making Of" featurette from the earlier DVD, and is predominantly interview material with some of the technical staff from the film talking about how some of the effects were done. It includes excerpts from the film as well as some footage from the earlier "Making Of" by the looks of it. Since this is made five years after the film, it naturally is not really specific about the film but attempts to recreate some of the effects from the film. Quite interesting nonetheless. Presented in Full Frame format with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Multiple Angles - Damage Control

    This basically takes some of the firearms and pyrotechnics stuff from the featurette and allows you to watch them from multiple angles. All these items were recorded by very fast Digital cameras and the view seen corresponds to one of the cameras filming the firearm demonstration or pyrotechnics effort. On paper this sounded good but the reality is not great. Most of the segments are too short to effectively use the multi-angle function and therefore they are looped for continuous play - which gets a tad annoying. Unfortunately, the looping does not always work and after the first firearm demonstration, my player just locked up and left me staring at a blank screen. Eventually hitting the menu button restored some functionality. Notionally presented in Full Frame format (but really an extremely widescreen format for the actual video), it comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound and is not 16x9 enhanced. I felt this to be a poor inclusion and felt that the multi-angle feature could have been better used as an integral part of the featurette from which the segments were drawn.

Music Videos - Shy Guy by Diana King (4:34), So Many Way's by Warren G. (3:26) and Five O, Five O by 69 Boyz (3:11)

    The first two are carryovers from the original release with only Five O, Five O being new to the package. It still does not remain my type of music and demonstrates a serious lack of worth overall, but others will certainly find this more enthralling than I. The Dolby Digital 4.0 sound from the original release has gone and they now carry Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. Shy Guy is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 ratio with the other two being presented in a Full Frame format, none of which are 16x9 enhanced. The censorship of the film extracts used in Shy Guy so that all guns are rendered inconspicuous is still present. Five O, Five O is artistically presented so that its perceived quality is not as good as the other two videos: this is simply the way it is supposed to look and is not a mastering problem.

Biographies - Cast and Crew

    Inadequate efforts really although in addition to Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and Téa Leoni we now get one for Michael Bay.

Theatrical Trailer (2:48)

    This appears to be exactly the same as the effort on the earlier DVD and is presented in Full Frame format, not 16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. This is quite dark in tone and detail suffers accordingly, and despite my earlier review indicating a decent quality, the hindsight of around four hundred reviews indicates otherwise: this really is of average quality only.

Gallery - Photo

    Thrills galore here - NOT! Consisting of 10 unannotated photos taken during the making of the film presumably, they are really not worthwhile even considering. Could have been left out of the package with ease.

Isolated Music Score

    Although only very briefly sampled, it seems to be quite a decent sounding effort. It would appear to be a full blown Dolby Digital 5.1 effort.

R4 vs R1

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

    There is an equivalent Special Edition Region 1 release that in broad terms is very much similar to this Region 4 release. The only substantive difference, apart from the soundtrack and subtitle options, appears to be that the Region 1 version has a full 448 Kb/s bitrate soundtrack. I leave it to you to decide whether the extra bitrate soundtrack is worth the additional costs of getting the Region 1 DVD and worth NTSC formatting over PAL formatting. For me, there is nothing to favour one of the other. Mind you, this is a good example of the sort of DVD that should have the plethora of subtitle options cut back to something more sensible, thereby freeing up space for 448 Kb/s soundtracks.

Summary

    Bad Boys is a great piece of entertainment - utterly preposterous at times, but with some great action and comedy served up in a really well-handled way. As a debut film, it is not a bad effort at all, despite the limitations of budget and some dubious effects work (at least according to the director). The reissue benefits from a much improved extras package at least in quantity, although I have qualms about the quality in parts. If you have not got the film in your collection, then there is no reason to avoid indulging in this effort. If you have the earlier DVD though, I am not convinced that it is worth the expense of upgrading to this new reissue - unless you really, really need an audio commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Friday, March 09, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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