Directed by Roger Donaldson, Cocktail was released theatrically in 1988 and earned $78 million at the box office, thanks to the star power of Tom Cruise (Brian Flanagan) and the film's soundtrack. The film also stars Bryan Brown (Doug Coughlin), Elisabeth Shue (Jordan), and Gina Gershon (Coral).
After leaving the army, Brian comes to New York City with the dream of making a million, but soon reality sets in when he's unable to find a job on Wall Street. To put himself through school, Brian takes up bartending with Doug Coughlin, who shows him the ropes. The two put on an entertaining show, though the fame soon drives them apart. Brian heads to Jamaica, and there, he meets Jordan, a vacationing New Yorker. When the two fall in love, Brian must decide what he wants more – love or money.
Cocktail is fluff, though it does manage to be mostly entertaining for several reasons: the music, the bar tricks, and Tom Cruise. The story is largely predictable and the characters are hard to care about, as most are one-dimensional and not particularly well-acted. The film goes by pretty quick while the characters are in New York, though the pace unfortunately slows once the film shifts to Jamaica and Jordan is introduced. Though Cruise is better in most any of his other films, he does have a certain appeal here as a bartender trying to make it big and, admittedly, the film does its moments.
Cocktail is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer fares well for the film's age, with only a few specks, some slight grain, a bit of edge enhancement, and some minor pixelation appearing throughout. Colors are bright with natural flesh tones. Blacks are decent throughout, but lack shadow detail in several interior scenes.
Cocktail is presented in a new, remixed Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Surrounds are rare throughout, with the rears employed only for the film's music and a few ambient effects.
Dialogue is crisp and clean, with no distortion. Optional English subtitles are available.
A trailer for Dangerous Minds is the only extra.
Cocktail no doubt holds a certain amount of appeal for fans of Tom Cruise, and while the film is certainly far from his best work, it does have a few enjoyable moments. Buena Vista's DVD presents the film with an average audiovisual presentation and no supplements, though fans should still consider a purchase, as the MSRP is reasonable.