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The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 85 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 25th, 2011
  • List Price: $19.99

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Naked Gun -

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Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad is the first in the now known trilogy of Naked Gun films. In this original, Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Neilson) is the definition of a bumbling, plainly stupid cop. He seems to get himself into the weirdest situations most of which result in quite the laugh. Here Drebin tries to solve an assassination plot on the visiting Queen Elizabeth II. The main suspect is Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban), whose main tool of use is a remote device that can turn anybody into an assassin at the press of a button. Oh, and there’s a side plot involving Detective Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) and the possibility that he’s dealing heroin. Drebin won’t believe this, so he decides to investigate this as well. What results is a film that I clearly remember being much, much funnier when I was a child.

Now please don’t begin thinking that because I found this film funnier as a child than I do now, means I never find myself laughing at juvenile humor. Such isn’t the case, as I consider films like South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut to be some of the funniest films ever made. I think it lies more in that the PG-13 of 2011 pushes the boundaries further than the PG-13 of 1988. Now that’s more getting into how society has changed, something I won’t go off on a tangent about.

With that said, The Naked Gun is still quite the funny movie, in particular because it made me think of the latter films in the series. The real charm here is not the plot, or the locales, or even the situations, more that the comedy lies with Neilson and how he delivers the blunders. Take in point the simplicity surrounding moments like Drebin arriving to the dock, clearly seeing someone fishing, yet hits him causing the guy to go flying into the water. Now this doesn’t sound laugh-out-loud hilarious, but damn if I couldn’t just smile at how great Neilson’s earlier films were (yes, I’m saying Dracula, Dead and Loving it is not a good film).

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Video Quality is in full 1080p High Definition (AVC MPEG-4 codec). With that said, I found this “remastered” transfer looks superior to the original DVD; the original DVD, however, looked decent at best. Colors are still somewhat drab, muted and really lack any kind of ‘pop’. Grain is present still, which is a positive. I’m glad Paramount didn’t apply any type of scrubbing tools to give the image that “clean” look. Character close-ups do result in accurate flesh tones and contrast levels. The area of issue is that background shots, particularly those in darker sequences, lose any type of detail. Brighter sequences don’t really have this issue. Now I know some may say this is an older film so we can only expect it to look so good. Perhaps I expected too much out of this transfer considering that all of the Naked Gun films, particularly the third, are good comedic efforts. Still despite some luring issues that have carried over from the DVD counterpart, this is the best Naked Gun will ever look.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Audio is provided in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 as well as optional French Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish  Dolby Digital Stereo, and Portuguese Dolby Digital Mono. With this lossless effort from the folks at Paramount, don’t expect all that much here. Dialogue, the most important part of a comedy, is well reproduced. No real instance of drop out. Surrounds felt overly pumped up, in particular during any heightened moment like that of the amusement park. Obviously there’s going to be yells and screams and what have you, but the screams here were almost comical in nature. By this I mean the surrounds would be virtually quiet in nature, but then would rear up with a sudden out of place yell. Seemed a bit odd to me. Same goes for the LFE. Instead of having an occasional “oomph” from say the roller coaster zooming by, the bass felt too pumped out. Very out of place. I don’t know, I guess I expected too much out of this. Even though the aforementioned video is better, I can’t say the same for the audio.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

The supplements provided on this release are:

  • Group Commentary by David Zucker, Robert Weiss and Peter Tilden
  • Theatrical Trailer [HD]

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

Despite the fact the humor  seems just a bit less edgy and more juvenile than it once did, long ago in my younger days, The Naked Gun still holds up well as a comedy, regardless of this somewhat drab video transfer to Blu-ray  with  lackluster audio from Paramount. It still offers a decent upgrade over the DVD and makes for quite worthy rental material that is sure to induce some laughter.

Additional Screen Captures

BestBuy.com:
Naked Gun -

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:2.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

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