'Striking Distance' DVD Review *** 071405

The Work = ***
'Striking Distance' is a pretty mediocre thriller. There’s nothing too remarkable about the film but there is nothing too horrible either. The film has plot twists and action sequences but they are for the most part pretty flat. Still, I am not sure why but I really didn’t mind 'Striking Distance'. It played like an ok time waster to me.

Bruce Willis stars as detective Tom Hardy. He is obsessed with a series of serial killings and believes that the killer has popped back up. It seems Hardy has been down graded from homicide to shore patrol and is unpopular with virtually everyone in the police department. This stems from Hardy testifying against his partner (Robert Pastorelli) when he was on trial for beating a suspect.

Hardy is an alcoholic and now has a new partner. Her name is Jo (Sarah Jessica Parker) and she gets a quick look into Hardy’s world: everyone hates him, he drinks a lot, and he gets the job done. She doesn’t seem that interested in him at first but soon she starts to fall for him.

If it sounds a bit clichéd, that is because it is. This film is full of them. There are clichéd twists, characters and sequences. It is almost like the filmmakers tried to pile on as many as they could. What is strange is it never really bothered me.

I guess I didn’t really have too high an expectation. I remembered the film from when it had first come out on video and I thought it was ok when I first saw it then and I still, more or less, think it is ok now. Sure it’s a mess but it has some good actors, a few fun scenes and it was... well... ok.

Willis (according to IMDB) apologized to the movie going public for this film saying “it sucked” on the show 'On the Record with Bob Costas'. I’m guessing his opinion is shared by a lot of the viewers so I am going to take a moment and apologize if my recommendation leads you to a flic’ you hate. I don’t think it is that bad, it is just clichéd and a bit silly. I like Willis, Parker, Tom Sizemore, Brion James (of 'Blade Runner' and '48 Hours' fame,) John Mahoney and a few others in the cast and they helped to make this a light recommendation.

DVD = ***

The Look
So this ok film gets and ok transfer. 'Striking Distance' is presented in anamorphic widescreen, in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Some scenes looked better than others and a few looked on the poor side. Still, on the whole not too bad.

The Sound
The film gets a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The track sounded ok to me but some of the dialogue sounded a bit low, resulting in me cranking the sound to hear it and then getting blasted by the following scenes sound effects. The DVD also has French and Spanish 2.0 tracks and subtitles in English, French, and Spanish that I did not review.

The Bonus
A trailer. Start the parade now. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, this isn’t exactly the most popular film ever so I guess I should be thankful it had that on the disc. Some featurettes from the film’s release would have been nice or a commentary track. Considering Willis seems to think this is a steaming pile, there probably isn’t going to be much studio interest in giving this one more features.

All Together = ***
So, yeah. I may be alone in this but I thought 'Striking Distance' was an ok flic’ that is perfect if you are looking for a no brains time waster. Yes, it’s clichéd and yep’ pretty silly. I say if you are a fan check it out and if you are just curious give it a rental.


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