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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Blue Sky
Blue Sky
MGM
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 16, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"Blue Sky" is a 1994 picture starring Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange that took a couple of years to finally get released due to problems with original studio, Orion pictures. Not that the film is terrible, but it's a film that may have had a bit of a shelf stay had it been at a studio that wasn't financially troubled.

Tommy Lee Jones stars as Major Hank Marshall, one of the leads in the neuclear testing program, who has just been re-located to another base in Alabama as the film opens - along with him are his two daughters and his wife Carly(Lange) a manic-depressive who flirts between occasional outbursts at her husband. In between it all, Jones becomes involved in a testing cover-up done by his bosses.

Neither plot piece becomes particularly engaging, though - Lange is fairly good in her role, occasionally going over-the-top and often not really giving the audience a reason to care about her character. Jones plays his part unusually mild-mannered in comparison to the rest of his characters, and the result takes away from the other half of the film. Focusing on Marshall's family never particularly goes anywhere - Lange's character becomes unfaithful and her daughter starts hanging out with the son (Chris O'Donnell) of the father Lange's character is fooling around with, unknown to the daughter. The two daughters (Anna Klemp and Amy Locane) actually provide two more interesting performances than any other characters in the film - we see that they're caught up emotionally between the problems of their parents and we feel bad for them.

"Blue Sky" isn't terrible, but it never makes for a particularly interesting or entertaining drama, either. As Orion is no longer in business, MGM has the home video rights for this DVD release - it's another in their long line of recent basic titles that offer unremarkable presentation quality.


The DVD

VIDEO: Although MGM presents "Blue Sky" with an anamorphic transfer in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, like most of the releases from MGM in the past few months, the results are just fair. Sharpness varies throughout the movie; there are times during the bright, outdoor scenes where I was really pleased with how crisp and detailed the image looked, but at the same time, there were some scenes that didn't look as well-defined. Dimly lit interior scenes tended to look soft and even somewhat hazy at times.

Slight grain and pixelation appear as well as a tiny bit of edge enhancement. Print flaws are minor, with the occasional mild mark and speckle appearing noticably early on, but in rarer occurances during the majority of the film. Colors are occasionally brighter and somewhat bolder during some of the outdoor sequences, but many of the indoor sequences as the house and offices offer a blander, more "blah" color palette. This isn't too terrible, but it never rises above an average quality presentation.

SOUND: Although the packaging indicates that this DVD presents the movie in Dolby 2.0, it's actually in Dolby Digital 5.1, which is a pleasant suprise - for the most part. There's not a great deal of activity throughout the film, although there is occasional light surround use - nothing that's terribly noticable, mainly some ambient sounds and the score, although a couple of more intense sequences briefly offer more agressive audio (the detonation about 51 minutes into the movie, for example). Dialogue is generally flat sounding, with some of the louder outbursts coming across as rather harsh. Also included are Dolby 2.0 presentations in French and Spanish.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with very basic images serving as backgrounds.

EXTRAS: Trailer.

Final Thoughts:

Positive: It's good than MGM presented the film in Dolby Digital 5.1, which offers the occasional scene or two of solid audio.

Negative: The movie is fair at best, and image quality isn't consistent. Overall, unless you're a fan of the film, most will probably be better off skipping the DVD.

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