Chips Blu-ray Review

Ralph Potts reviews this goofball comedy based on the popular TV series of the same name, that follows the daily patrol exploits of two California Highway Patrolmen.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

91

Details:

Studio and Year: Warner – 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Genre: Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Dax Shepard, Michael Pena, Rosa Salazar, Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Brody, Kristin Bell
Written & Directed by: Dax Shepard
Music by: Fil Eisler
Region Code: A

Release Date: June 27, 2017

“Keeping the Streets Safe…ish “



My Take:

Jon Baker (Shepard) and Frank “Ponch” Poncherello (Peña) have just joined the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in Los Angeles, but for very different reasons. Baker is a beaten-up former pro motorbiker trying to put his life and marriage back together. Poncherello is a cocky undercover Federal agent investigating a multi-million-dollar heist that may be an inside job—inside the CHP.

I guess it would be fair to say that I was a fan of the TV series when it debuted in the 1970’s. I watched it early on, but didn’t really keep up with it as it progressed. What I recall about it was that it was a drama, and while it had its share of typical television levity, it never felt like a comedy. I like Dax Shepard and enjoyed “Hit and Run” which he wrote and co-directed. The trailer for Chips looked pretty silly, and left me with zero desire to see it. It arrived for review, so I did my best to keep expectations low going into viewing it. It didn’t help.

The film opens with a disclaimer that the “California Highway Patrol in no way endorses this movie”. It’s meant to be funny, but, I can believe that to absolutely be the truth. This movie would have to offend each and every one of them, not to mention that it in no way resembles the TV series. The storyline is banal, the characters are contrived, and the situational humor is just ridiculous. I get that it’s probably meant to be over the top, in a sort of wink and nod way, but it can certainly do that while giving us something worth watching. I couldn’t find anything redeeming in Chips and have to wonder why it was greenlit for production.

Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):

 

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

 

Chips comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.

This is a high-quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are respectable in depth with discernible detail in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.

This is an action/comedy that occasionally calls for an active surround mix, and delivers the goods when necessary. The mix has a front oriented perspective with appreciable dimension, good channel separation and crisp, descriptive dialog that is always intelligible. The mix offers good front to rear balance and open atmospherics that create an enveloping sound field. Dynamic range is quite good which helps empower active moments while lending solidity and palpable presence to low frequencies. The result is a stable listening environment where the blend of music, sound effects, and subtle nuance contained in the recording are appreciable.

Bonus Features:

  • This is Not Your Dad’s CHIPS
  • Practical Pursuit
  • Ducati: The Perfect Bike
  • Director’s Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bonus DVD
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

Based on the popular TV series of the same name Chips is a goofball comedy that does a disservice to the source material, resulting is a huge swing and miss, that wasted an hour and forty minutes of my time. It comes to Blu-ray from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, a solid lossless surround sound mix, and a fair supplemental set. Chips didn’t work for me, but if you’re curious, wait and check it out when it comes to cable TV.

 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components – CP-CP102 cooling package