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Miami Connection Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: NR
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: Digital Copy
  • Run Time: 83 Mins.
  • Studio: Drafthouse Films/Image Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 11, 2012
  • List Price: $29.97

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:1.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2/5]


Man, Miami Connection is like a Quentin Tarantino wet dream. The filmmaker has been dutifully imitating B-movies and grindhouse cinema gems for years. Well, along comes Drafthouse who have resurrected this forgotten exploitation flick from the ’80s, oozing with nonsensical twists, cheesy synth-pop, and motorcycle riding ninjas! If that isn’t enough to entice your VHS-playing brains, the film, in this $50 35mm print rescued from a seller off of eBay, is plagued with all the natural scratches, grain, bad contrast, and tramlines that Tarantino and co. purposely add in to his own productions for a twist of authenticity.

You haven’t seen bad until you see the clumsy acting and dialogue that permeates Miami Connection. From the opening segment, the film thrusts viewers into an onslaught of bad martial arts fights, cheesy gore, and hard to follow connections in sunny Florida. A group of multi-national orphans, who can’t seem to find their shirts for half the film, form a band, Dragon Sounds, and light up the stage with bad 80’s clothes and bad music that people seem to love. They all also happen to be black belts in Tae Kwon Do, their leader, the fearless Mark (Y.K. Kim), whose English skills are lagging way behind his martial arts skills. But Dragon Sounds’ popularity evokes the ire of the previous band whose spot they took at the local hot spot. It doesn’t help that local gang leader Jeff (William Eagle) holds his own grudge against them for coaxing his sister into their band. Soon Dragon Sounds find themselves in an all out war against Jeff and his gang plus a local gang of motorcycle-riding coke dealers to clean up their turf, or something like that. The bottom line is, with Miami Connection, the story is secondary to the unbelievably, so bad it’s almost good, quality of the film. Between the rough edits, high school talent night acting skills, predictable villains, flashes of biker chick breasts, and relentless martial arts battles, this one is ripe for a party night amongst a group of friends. Grab the beverages and snacks, folks.

Video Quality

[Rating:1.5/5]

The disc starts out with a disclaimer about how Miami Connection was nearly lost and it had to be transferred from the best possible remaining sources. Sadly, that means we get video quality that is pretty bad, filled with source damage, inconsistent black levels, and very coarse grain structure. Contrast is average at best as well. Somehow, it seems fitting that this B-grade film would look like this, though.

Audio Quality

[Rating:2/5]

Unfortunately, the audio is almost as bad as the video quality here. We get a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track that is filled with hiss, pops, and clicks straight through the film. The midrange sounds quite boomy at times as well. On the plus side, the dialogue does come through pretty well, that is when or if you can make out what Y.K. Kim is actually saying.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

If you get a kick out of this film, then you’ll certainly enjoy the rather decent slate of extras included along with it. They include an audio commentary, alternate ending and deleted scenes.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentary with producer/star Y.K. Kim and Joe Diamond
  • Friends for Eternity: The Making of Miami Connection (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:19:16)
  • Alternate Ending (1.85:1;1080p/24; 00:02:23)
  • Deleted Scenes (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:11:45)
  • Dragon Sound Reunion Concert from Fantastic Fest 2012 (1.78:1;1080p/24; 00:10:03)
  • “Who is Y.K. Kim?” (1.33:1; SD; 00:01:48)
  • “The New American Dream” (SD; 00:22:03)
  • Drafthouse Films Trailers
  • Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:2.5/5]

Miami Connection is like the martial arts version of the A-Team or Miami Vice, only worse (or better) whichever side you land on. It must be a classic of something, just what, I can;t seem to place my finger on it.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Miami Connection - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Miami Connection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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BestBuy.com:
Miami Connection - Blu-ray Disc

Purchase Miami Connection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Miami Connection

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:1.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:2/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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