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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Heart Condition
Heart Condition
New Line // R // June 1, 2004
List Price: $19.97 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted July 9, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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THE MOVIE

Heart Condition probably seemed like a can't-miss-hit when it was released in 1990. Denzel Washington was fresh off his amazing performance in Glory, while Bob Hoskins had just obtained leading-man status thanks to his role in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. But Heart Condition is just another buddy-cop movie (even though only one of the guys plays a cop) that tries to combine elements of Ghost and Lethal Weapon all into one film.

To their credit, watching Hoskins and Washington in their scenes together is the most enjoyable part of the film. Hoskins plays Jack Moony - a pudgy, foul-mouthed, racist cop who has it out for lawyer Napoleon Stone (Washington)…partially because he's mixed up with drugs and prostitutes, but mostly because he's seeing Moony's ex-girlfriend (Chloe Webb).

Moony's obsession with Stone gets the better of him, and he suffers a massive heart attack. On the same night, Stone is killed…and his heart is transplanted into Moony. When Moony finds out Stone's heart is pumping his blood, he goes ballistic…but not as crazy as he gets when he starts seeing the ghost of Stone, who wants Moony to help solve his murder.

I guess the biggest problem with Heart Condition is that it can't decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama. It should have stuck with the former, because the banter and chemistry between Denzel and Bob is actually quite good – it's the mystery behind Stone's murder and the gunplay that climaxes the movie that's dull to sit through.

Another problem is the fact that the script makes Hoskins' character such a racist, it's hard to cheer for him. Most viewers will wind up doing it anyway because Hoskins is such a solid actor, but some of the rants about African Americans that his character has to give come very close to crossing the line of good taste. Fortunately, the line is never crossed, and Hoskins' character does change his racist tones by the end of the film (of course). However, there are moments in the movie that are supposed to be played for laughs that instead come off making the viewer feel quite uncomfortable.

THE DVD

Video:
The video is presented in anamorphic widescreen in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. There's some grain evident on the print, and occasional dirt is spotted here and there, but for the post part this is a good, if not great, transfer.

Audio:
Is it possible for an audio track to be too aggressive? That hardly ever seems to be the case with DVDs (most are not aggressive enough), but the musical and action sequences of the 5.1 Dolby Track pump out of the speakers with such glaring volume, that viewers will have one of two choices here: listen to the dialogue at a normal level and shatter your windows when music or action happens; or set the louder portions of the movie at a normal setting and strain your ears to figure out what the actors are saying.

In addition to the 5.1 Track, there's also the option to listen to the film in 2.0 Dolby. English and Spanish subtitles are also available.

Extras:
There's not much in the way of extras on this disc.

We do get to see both the "green" and "red" Theatrical Trailers for Heart Condition, meaning the one that was approved for all audiences, and the one that was for viewing by R-Rated moviegoers only. There are also three Trailers for other New Line DVD releases: National Lampoon's Senior Trip, Head Above Water, and Faithful.

The only other extra is a DVD-ROM Link that will take you to New Line's website.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The unevenness of the movie and the lack of bonus material on the disc make this one rental material…but it's not all bad, and parts of the film are quite watchable and entertaining.
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