In Short: Early Tristar edition of Michael Bay's directing debut; lacking in extras, but fine otherwise.
Director Michael Bay's first time behind the camera was this 1995 crime thriller starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith. Although Bay has said that he wasn't always happy with the script in this film, he also had two stars who were perfect together. Smith and Lawrence are terribly funny as they fight back and forth throughout the picture.
Smith plays Mike Lowry and Lawrence plays Marcus Barnett. After a giant amount of evidence in the form of heroin is stolen out of their station in the middle of the night, the two have 3 days to find it, or find themselves out of a job. They run into a witness to the murder of a friend of Lowry who can help them find the criminals; one mix-up later the two find themselves impersonating each other while trying to solve the case.
Again, the film is really saved by the two lead performers, who are perfect in their roles. It's interesting as well that this is really where I think Michael Bay has done his best work. For Bay, this would be a low-budget film and you get the sense that he took what he had in terms of plot, etc. and pulled every bit of energy he could from it. "The Rock" was fine, but "Armageddon" is becoming a little too much overload from Bay. The cinematography by Howard Atherton is frequently stunning, and Bay stages a number of great action scenes.
VIDEO: One of the earliest Tristar titles, this is still anamorphic and it's still pretty impressive, although some of the indoor scenes look slightly soft and lacking in detail/definition. The rest of the film, especially the outdoor scenes in the Miami sunshine, look excellent. Colors are vibrant and well-saturated throughout.
Although there are a few scenes that look either a little soft or hazy, the rest of the film looks fine, with no pixelization or aliasing. Although the extras section is lacking, the picture quality shows that Tristar was doing great things even early on in DVD. Image is letterboxed at 1.85:1.
SOUND: Certainly an enjoyable "action-movie" soundtrack. Surrounds are used to good effect, although not quite as often as I would expect from a film like this. This is still pretty agressive stuff on occasion, with strong bass. Mark Mancina's score sounds strong, and with good presence throughout the picture. Dialogue sounds fine throughout, clear and without problems.
MENUS:: The early Tristar menus, extremely basic with only a blue background and a picture of the cover.
EXTRAS: There aren't any. If Tristar is listening, since they are going back and replacing a lot of their early titles with special editions(Jumanji, Sleepless In Seattle), this is another title that should definitely be brought back as a special edition.
Final Thoughts: I'm hoping for a Special Edition in the future. This isn't a bad disc, although it suffers(especially grade-wise) from lack of any extras whatsoever.
The Film: 88/B = (440/500 possible points)
Video 85/B = (340/400 possible points)
Audio: 89/B+ = (356/400 possible points)
Extras: 0/F = (0/300 possible points)
Menus: 65/D = (130/200 possible points)
Value: 81/B = (243/300 possible points)