The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 1992
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 119 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei, Fred Gwynne, Ralph Macchio, Lane Smith, Bruce McGill, Austin Pendelton, Mitchell Whitfield
Directed by: Jonathan Lynn
Music by: Randy Edelmen
Written by: Dale Launer
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 4, 2009
"A classic comedy of trial and error"
When Bill and Stan are mistakenly accused of murder on a trip through Alabama, they recruit Bill's cousin Vinny, a New York lawyer who's never gone to trial, to represent them before the formidable Judge Haller. Will justice follow Vinny and his girlfriend Lisa south when they try to save the day? It's the most hilarious culture clash ever when they hit the road in this tried-and-true favorite.
Two college bound New York teenagers travel down south through rural Alabama when a series of coincidences lands them in jail charged with first-degree murder. Not being able to afford an attorney Bill (Ralph Macchio) and Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) turn to Bill's cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci), an inexperienced lawyer who took six tries to pass his bar exam. Never having been in a trial, Vinny has to defend his clients and battle an uncompromising judge, some tough locals, and even his fiance, Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) who just does not know when to shut up, to prove his clients' innocence.
My cousin Vinny is a comedy classic that contains so many memorable moments, funny lines and indelible characters. It is hard to imagine that it has been nearly 18 years since its release. It is one of those movies that hold up very well under repeat viewings and is difficult to pass up while channel surfing. Personally I find that the interplay between Gwynne's Judge Chamberlain Haller and Pesci's Mr. Gambini transcends the other established relationships in My cousin Vinny. It is a shame that Fred Gwynne and Lane Smith are no longer with us but they will live on through these great characters as well as those that they portrayed throughout their distinguished careers. It's funny but when Marisa Tomei originally won the Academy Award for her performance I didn't understand it. I thought she was okay but Oscar worthy? In the years since and having watched this movie numerous times I came to appreciate her grasp of this character and the contribution she made to this film. It is one of those movies that seem to transcend genre lines among movie lovers. I have owned it on DVD since it was originally released and was elated when I saw that it was being released in high definition. As I watched it during my evaluation I found myself laughing at all the familiar scenes and reveling in the fact that from now on I can enjoy it looking and sounding better than ever.
The rating is for language.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
My cousin Vinny comes to Blu-ray from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 mbps and lossless DTS-Hd 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps.
This high definition presentation from Fox marks a discernible improvement over the 2003 DVD release. It doesn't offer the high gloss imagery and razor sharp clarity of today's films that come to Blu-ray but its elements are rendered cleanly. Detail during close up and mid level camera angles revealed an appreciable amount of depth and delineation. I could detect the texture in clothing and physical features as well as the variations on the surfaces of objects within the frame. This wasn't strictly the case as some shots weren't as definitively resolved but fidelity was rarely questionable. Blacks were punchy and a deep shade of black and low level detail during segments that contained limited or uneven light was clearly evident which enhanced depth and the perception of objects in backgrounds. I didn't find colors to be noticeably snappy but they appeared tonally balanced. Fleshtones were on the drab side and sometimes yielded pasty looking complexions among the fairer skin types in the cast. I was pleased to see that the rendering of grain appeared natural with an evenly layered texture which occasionally took on more prominence but never rose to an objectionable level. Images were stable even during potentially difficult video segments, such as the dark, smoke filled bar sequence, as noise and artifacts were kept to a minimum. Overall I was very pleased with quality of this encoding.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack easily conveyed the elements present in this recording and clearly bested the Dolby Surround track on the 2003 DVD release. I was impressed with the clarity and articulation of spoken dialogue as well as the reproduction of the variety of sounds contained within this essentially front heavy mix. This included everything from the loud screech of the steam whistle, a clap of thunder or the weight of the freight train to the sizzle of lard on a hot griddle or the rustling of Vinny's cloth suit as he walks. There was ample dynamic range which presented Randy Edelman's music score with full bodied dimension and discerning low level punch as it enlivened the soundstage. Channel separation was notable there were several instances where discretely placed sounds were used to good effect. An example of this occurs as Vinny and Lisa arrive in Wazoo City. The loud music coming from their car can be heard by people on the street as drive through town. The camera pans back and forth to the various onlookers as they watch them. The music seemingly continues to emanate from their vehicle as the vantage point changes according to the camera's perspective which moves it around the soundstage. The court room sequences retained a front loaded orientation with mild rear channel ambience applied to give it a more open and dimensional feel. I thought it sounded great.
- Commentary by Director Jonathan Lynn
- Theatrical trailers - A & B
- TV Spots - Up to his ears and Lover
My cousin Vinny is a thoroughly entertaining comedy classic that is deservedly a favorite among movie fans. I can't speak for everyone but I looked forward to its release on Blu-ray Disc. This high definition audio/video presentation from Fox shines and presents fans with the opportunity to see My Cousin Vinny looking and sounding better than ever. The sparse bonus features are certainly disappointing as I had hoped that this release would be the first to offer a decent round of extras. Regardless, this disc is easily worth adding to your collection and is highly recommended.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package