Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted February 14, 2001
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Graphical Version
The Movie:

Before this film starts, at least on the DVD, there's a warning about how it doesn't intentionally promote products or some such nonsense like that, but what it should have is a note about how the filmmakers weren't thinking when they made it. The film does boast some decently done action sequences and a few mildly exciting chases (especially an early motorcycle scene), but much of the actual movie itself in terms of plot and especially some of the dialogue is weak and even untintentionally hilarious at times.

Mickey Rourke plays Harley Davidson and Johnson the Marlboro Man. The two run into some trouble when they find out that their local bar is being closed down by some greedy bankers. They steal the contents of an armored car, which actually turns out to be drugs that the bank is selling. Of course, the bank wants their drugs back - and, of course, things never go quite as anyone planned. The movie tries to be nothing more than harmless fun, but I didn't find the characters entertaining and the dialogue seemed like every line from similar late 80's/early 90's action movies was used.

Neither of the stars provide a particularly good performance. Rourke is generally what you might expect - a fairly weak performance, but Johnson is dissapointing in that he adds hardly anything of interest himself. Daniel Baldwin doesn't do much better as the villian, although the usually good Tom Sizemore does his best as the other bad guy the two have to go after. I'm suprised that there seems to be a good deal of followers of this film as it only made a little over 7 million in theaters. I guess I just don't understand the appeal as I simply think this has been done better both before and after.


The DVD

VIDEO: Although not quite as impressive a presentation as MGM's work with "Navy Seals", another release this week, "Harley Davidson" still manages to look pretty good in this new anamorphic presentation in the film's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Sharpness and detail fare mildly well, with scenes generally looking crisp and clear, with the exception of slight softness creeping in occasionally and darker scenes appearing not terribly well-defined.

The lack of pixelation or shimmering make for a picture that's clean with the exception of a few very minor print flaws - for a movie that's now 10 years old, this looks mighty clean and clear for the majority. Colors are bright, crisp and vibrant with no problems. Aside from a bit of softness and a couple of instances of minor wear, this is a fine presentation from MGM. Not without flaws, but at least better than most of their recent work on catalog titles.

SOUND: The film's Dolby 2.0 soundtrack does provide a decently entertaining presentation, mainly offering Basil Poledouris' mildly enjoyable score well, sounding somewhat full. The audio also does a fair job with the film's loud action sequences. Dialogue remains clear and fairly natural sounding, with no concerns. Nothing too remarkable, .

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

EXTRAS: The trailer is included - suprisingly, an inside insert listing chapter listings (or anything), is not.

Final Thoughts:

Positive: Fans of the film can probably find this at as low as 9.99 at some stores with it's 14.99 retail price. MGM presents the film with nice audio/video quality.

Negative: I didn't think the movie was terribly good. Although MGM provides the trailer, there's not even an insert.



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