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Every film requires a certain suspension of disbelief, but THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT ($20) requires one to take their disbelief, lock it in a box and bury it in a hole six feet deep. Of course, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing where action movies are concerned. I’ll be the first to admit that the story is completely preposterous. I’ll also admit that I absolutely love this crazed action flick. Geena Davis stars as a small town teacher who has been suffering from amnesia for the past eight years. Samuel L. Jackson is the low rent private detective who finds the only clues to the teacher’s true identity. After a freak automobile accident, the teacher’s memory slowly starts to return. Armed with a couple of clues, Davis and Jackson hit the road in search of the teacher’s former life. 

Unfortunately, that life comes hunting for them with a vengeance. Davis’ character becomes the target of killers, and she quickly discovers that she was once a government assassin. As I said, the story is utterly preposterous, but director Renny Harlin packs one amazing action sequence on top of another, never allowing the viewer to breath, let alone think. THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT is a showcase for rock em’ sock em’ action, death defying stunt work and outstanding special effects. Let your mind go blank, and you will be carried away by THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT. In addition to Davis and Jackson the cast includes Patrick Malahide, Craig Bierko, Brian Cox, David Morse, Tom Amandes and Yvonne Zima.

New Line Home Video offers THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT in both Letterboxed and full frame versions on opposite sides of this DVD. Since the theatrical prints for THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT were in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the Letterboxed version is preferable. The full frame version adds a lot of information to the top and bottom of the frame, while keeping the same width as the Letterboxed version, so it appears THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT was produced in the Super-35 format. The full frame version does look quite good, with excellent detail and color. There were a couple of instances where the full frame version appeared to have more film grain, but only because there was more on screen image. Digital artifacts were slightly noticeable on the full frame version, again for the same reason. The Letterboxed transfer restores most of the theatrical framing with only minor instances where the extreme edges of the image appear compromised. The Letterboxed transfer holds the viewer’s eye better than the full frame version, since only the essentials are on the screen, without the dead areas of the full frame version. The Letterboxed transfer is highly detailed and the colors are fresh and well saturated. Even the darkest sequences looked great, thanks to the Super-35 format. Digital artifacts were never really noticeable on the Letterboxed version. 

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack really rocks on this DVD. The track has a lot of punch and makes good use of the discrete channels for directional effects. The explosive climax to the film also gives your subwoofer a workout. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround soundtrack, as well as a French language track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish. The interactive menu features cast and crew biographies/filmographies as well as a theatrical trailer.

As far as action flicks go, THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT really kicks. This great looking and sounding DVD is a must have for action fans.


The Long Kiss Goodnight


DVD reviews are Copyright 1997 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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