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"Moonstruck" {Blu-ray}
Wayne Klein
Studio: MGM
Release Date:
Special Features:

Commentary, featurettes, trailer


It's sad to look back and realize how far Nicholas Cage has fallen as an actor. When he was making "Moonstruck" with Cher his star as an idiosyncratic actor who could bring energy and a quirky performance to a role. Today Cage has been reduced to garbage like "Drive" where it's clear he's in it for the paycheck and he's one step away from becoming the latest Wesley Snipes; an actor forced to take work in poorly written and directed straight-to-video garbage like "Drive" to keep food on the table, pay off the debt incurred from his bankruptcy and keep his son Kal-El with a private tutor to prevent him from being beaten up for being named after Superman. ***

Cage could have been a contender. In fact, he was more than a contender winning an Academy Award, toplining films that promised both a challenging role and big returns at the box office. Cage unfortunately fell victim to his own publicity believing he would improve the quality of the material that he was tackling and often taking roles not because they offered him a challenge as much as a big paycheck at the time. As an actor he can only perform in the material he's offered and he fell off the "A" list through poor choices, poor advice from his "manager" and a desire for the big paycheck sooner rather than later. ***

"Moonstruck" takes us back to a simpler time for Cage when he truly provided a brilliant, outrageous and believable performance that worked within the context of comedy but still had an element of tragedy to it. You know the story so I'm not going to give you a synopsis of the film but, instead, focus on what matters here--is the Blu-ray worth picking up and paying your hard earned money on? ---

Image & Sound:

"Moonstruck" looks very soft and doesn't have the detail one would expect from a movie remastered for high definition. I'm not sure what source was used for the transfer here but "Moonstruck" looks like it was transferred from a poorly source print. The transfer itself doesn't help all that much with blacks not being as deep as I had hoped and with as much detail as one would hope. There's also noticeable considerable video noise visible throughout the film. It's a poor excuse for a Blu-ray release for such a fine film. Granted, "Moonstruck" IS 23 years old but films from the same era have received much sharper and better transfers. ***

The print used has clear damage to it and it's an example of the sloppy work done by the studio as part of its presentation for Blu-ray. The visual aspect is, to say the least, VERY underwhelming. ***

Audio sounds decent throughout with dialogue front, center and clear for the most part. The 5.1 presentation is decent considering that this isn't designed as an action film. ---

Special Features:

The special features aren't outstanding either but they are decent. We get an audio commentary with director Norman Jewison, Cher, and writer John Patrick Shanley. We also get "Moonstruck: At the heart of an Italian Family " 25 minute featurette along with "Past to Pastries" a six segment featurette on Italian food. Finally we get a brief featurette on the music of "Moonstruck" and the original theatrical trailer all presented in SD. ---

Final Words:

"Moonstruck" receives an underwhelming presentation on Blu-ray. The film looks extremely disappointing and the extras although not bad don't make up for the lack of technical finesse on display here.


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