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In the 1980s, director Blake Edwards really hit the mark with the triumphant musical/comedy VICTOR, VICTORIA- however; during that decade Edwards also managed a number of misfires like A FINE MESS, SUNSET and SKIN DEEP. During the 80s, Edwards also made a movie called BLIND DATE ($25), and while not a complete bullís-eye, this funny little film has a lot more charm than the others combined. BLIND DATE is the story of a workaholic junior executive named Walter Davis (Bruce Willis) who needs a date for an all important business dinner. Walterís brother and sister-in-law set him up on a blind date with the very beautiful Nadia Gates (Kim Basinger), giving him one caveat- donít get her drunk.

At first, Walterís blind date with Nadia goes very well, and in the spirit of romance he decides that a little champagne couldnít hurtÖ Unfortunately, Nadia suffers from a chemical imbalance that turns her naturally demure personality into one that is wild and unpredictable whenever she imbibes alcohol. Before you know it, Natalie ends up wrecking Walterís important business dinner and his entire career. And if this blind date from hell wasnít bad enough, Walter and Nadia cross paths with her insanely jealous ex-boyfriend David Bedford (John Larroquette), who causes even more chaos and destruction- ending with Walter in jail and facing serious prison time. Although my description of BLIND DATE doesnít sound particularly pleasant, the film is actually a rather sweet romantic comedy with a couple of genuinely hilarious moments. The cast of BLIND DATE also features William Daniels, Phil Hartman, Stephanie Faracy, Graham Stark and Joyce Van Patten.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has made BLIND DATE available on DVD in a 2.35:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for 16:9 displays. A pan and scan presentation is available on a separate layer of the DVD, but then again, no Blake Edwards movie is worth watch with half of its wide screen image (and comedy) hacked away. The wide screen version looks quite nice, but owing to the fact that BLIND DATE is a fifteen-year-old movie, the image does look a little dated. Some shots appear a bit softer than others, but for the most part BLIND DATE has a relatively sharp and well-defined image. There is a bit of film grain here and there, but the new transfer is cleaner and smoother than the old Laserdisc version of the film. Colors are nicely saturated and flesh tones appear natural. All of the hues are completely stable, with no signs of noise or smearing. Blacks are accurately rendered and the level of shadow detail is just fine. Digital compression artifacts are not an issue on this DVD.

BLIND DATE includes a Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtrack that is supposed to decode to standard surround. While the soundtrack doesnít have any significant issues with fidelity, the sound itself mix is rather uninspired. For the most part, the sound is localized to the forward soundstage and rather stationary. Since this is mid 80s comedy, directional sound effects are limited to barest minimum for the material. Henry Manciniís musical score does sound nice, with the music managing some stereo separation. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced with very good intelligibility. A French surround track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles. The basic interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a theatrical trailer.

BLIND DATE is an enjoyable comedy that depicts everyoneís worst romantic nightmare- that horrifying first date from hell. Columbia TriStarís DVD presentation looks quite nice, so if you are a fan of the movie, youíll want check out the disc.


Blind Date


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2002 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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