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  Directed by
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  Specs
  • Full Frame
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Mono
  • German: Dolby Digital Mono
  Subtitles
    German, Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Smokey And The Bandit

Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 131 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The long gone days of the seventies had plenty to look back fondly on. You can forget all about our modern high falutin' ways. Where would we be today without CB radios, pastel flares and jeans so tight you could see if a guy had been circumcised?

Burt Reynolds shoved his tackle into a pair of those jeans for the role of Bo "Bandit" Darville in Snakey and the Bandit. Sorry, that's Smokey and the Bandit. In this fine little piece of cinema, Burt's tackle accepts a challenge to race a truckload of beer from one place to another real fast, making a cool $80,000 if he can do it. Quicker than you can say "Yehaaaaaaaa! Squeal like a pig, boy!" he's roped in his best friend as the truck driver while he's up front in the quick as you please screaming chicken Trans-Am made famous by the film. Around about here, all semblance of sanity and story take a side road into stupidity as the film becomes one big series of car chases across all manner of countryside.

As the Bandit's trouser snake is pursued across country by the smokey (thats the police, to slack jawed yokels like you and me), he becomes the people's hero as all and sundry do their bit to help him evade the law and get to his destination on time.

All in all, it's a bit of good fun for all the family. This film is a veritable history lesson on the decade that taste forgot. You get to learn about fashion, car chases, CB radio lingo and the lengths people will go to for some beer. I guess not much has changed 'til now. Except perhaps for names - I hope no one calls their children "Cledus" these days.

  Video
Contract

A bit of a headscratcher here. Even though we get a full frame image, I don't think it's actually pan and scanned. Instead, I think we have an open matte from the original 1.85:1 image. So, we may not be losing any detail from the image, but instead actually getting some extra. Obviously, being full frame, this means we lose 16:9 enhancement, but the transfer isn't too bad anyway. Colours are reasonably good, with the slightly faded look inherent of films from that day. Detail is fairly reasonable, it's not the sharpest looking film you'll ever see and there are only a few occurrences of aliasing attracting the eye.

  Audio
Contract

I can't say that I've ever really enjoyed a two channel mono transfer in the past, and this holds true for Smokey and the Bandit. While it sounds okay, with clear dialogue and good clarity in the various effects such as screeching tires, banging metal and the hideous noise that passes for country music, it just doesn't feel comfortable to me. So I played it in pro-logic mode instead, with the majority of the work done by the centre channel, and found that much easier on the ears. Mind you, that's not a criticism of the transfer, just that you might find your enjoyment of the film enhanced by doing the same.

  Extras
Contract

This here DVD don't have no extras except a trailer, boy. You want more extras, boy? You go find 'em yerself you goddamn lazy sumbitch!

  Overall  
Contract

At the end of the day, I have to say that I really enjoyed this bit of idiocy. Smokey and the Bandit isn't high art, nor does it pretend to be. It just wants to cram a whole stinking heap of fun car chases and jangling country banjo music on screen and have you cack yourself occassionally. As for DVD value, at the time of writing this slice of nostalgia can be had for around twenty bucks, which is far less than it costs me to fill up my petrol tank these days, so Smokey and the Bandit gets the big 10-4 from me, little buddy.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1173
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      And I quote...
    "Yehaaaaaaaa! Squeal like a pig, boy!"
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB930
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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