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



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

Studio and Year: Paramount - 1985
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 86, 87, 96 minutes (depending on ending)
Genre: Mystery/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio mono, French, Spanish/Portuguese Dolby mono
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Tuim Curry, Leslie Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, Martin Mull, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean
Directed by: Jonathan Lynn
Music by: John Morris
Written by: Jonathan Lynn
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 7, 2012
"It’s not just a game anymore"

Film Synopsis:

Here is the murderously funny movie based on the world-famous Clue board game. And now you can see all three surprise endings! Was it Colonel Mustard in the study with a gun? Miss Scarlet in the billiard room with the rope? Or was it Wadsworth the butler? Meet all the notorious suspects and discover all their foul play things. You'll love their dastardly doings as the bodies and the laughs pile up before your eyes.

My Take:

Based on the Parker Brothers board game of the same name Clue is a murder/mystery set in 1954, against a backdrop of McCarthyism, where six strangers are invited via letter to a dinner party in a secluded New England mansion. As each guest arrives they are met by the house butler, Wadsworth, who reminds them that as per the instructions contained in the invitation they have been given pseudonyms to conceal their true identity. During dinner a seventh attendee, called Mr. Boddy arrives which arouses suspicion among the other guests. After dinner, Wadsworth reveals the true nature of the party: all of the guests are being blackmailed to hide their secrets which all seem to have a common denominator, Mr. Boddy. For reasons of his own Wadsworth has gathered all the guests together to confront Mr. Boddy and turn him over to the police. Mr. Boddy reminds the guests that he can reveal their secrets in police custody and offers them an alternative proposition: by using weapons that he has provided to each of them, they can kill Wadsworth and destroy the evidence, keeping their secrets safe. If you’re familiar with the game you know what follows, murder. The question is who winds up dead, why, and by whose hand?

Clue is pointed, conventional, and a little silly but if viewed in the proper light is kind of fun. If you like the board game seeing its characters and elements brought to life, even under the film’s frenetic story, is interesting. While it is based upon the game’s premise the screenplay is clearly a parody of the dinner/murder mystery theme. In that regard I think it is successful in a slapstick/situational humor sort of way. The ensemble of notable faces that portray the various characters are spot on which enhances the proceedings. There are three alternate endings included. They can be viewed back to back at the end or at random via an option from the main menu. The chose the former and found the first ending to be the best. Clue isn’t an especially good movie but it provides a light, nostalgic and quirky bit of escapism that has achieved cult status among its fans.

Parental Guide:

The rating is for thematic material, violence and disturbing images.

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: 74

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

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:

Video: 84

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Clue comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD Master Audio mono sound.

I was pleasantly surprised at how good this high definition presentation looks. Images are fairly resolute with consistent sharpness and two dimensional depth. Fine detail is apparent in close ups and the mid level pans inside the mansion show off the textures and physical makeup of the interior walls, backgrounds etc. Resolution isn’t absolute and there are instances where the video takes on a flatter perspective but that primarily appears to be innate. Colors are rendered cleanly and appear satisfying with no signs of bleeding or excess saturation. Flesh tones are varied and lifelike. Blacks aren’t definitively resolved and shadow detail is just average but low level sequences don’t look bad at all. Grain is present and consistently rendered over the course of the presentation.

The monaural soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio lossless and while it won’t knock your socks off I found it delivered the components in the original recording beautifully. The auditory is clean and free of unwanted clicks, pops or background hiss. Dialogue intelligibility is excellent as it is never lost amidst the other sounds coming through the central channel.

Bonus Features:

  • Three alternate endings
    1. Option # 1 – Show all three endings
    2. Option # 2 – Play a random ending

Final Thoughts:

Based on the Parker Brothers board game Clue is a quirky, light and fun parody on the dinner party/murder mystery theme. It certainly won’t win any awards but among its fans makes for a nostalgic and entertaining bit of escapism. It makes its debut on Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment sporting a nifty high definition transfer, satisfying DTS-HD Master Audio sound and three alternate endings with two viewing options. If you already own the original DVD the decision to upgrade may be dependent on how satisfied you are with its video quality. Having not seen it I can’t compare. If you’re a fan and don’t already own Clue this is worth consideration if the price is right.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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2,144 Posts
Wow, talk about memories! This is another one of those movies that I'm embarrassed to admit that I like as I feel like I'm not supposed to. But this movie is just fun for me. Thanks for the review Ralph and as you stated, if a bargain price can be garnered I'd add this one to the collection. Regards.

931 Posts
I have to say this is really disappointing.

I have the DVD which is pretty good quality for a DVD, and perfectly watchable on an HD system. However, I have seen the HD broadcast transfer and while it looks pretty good, it doesn't really appear to be worth the money for a minor bump in video quality.

Paramount really missed the boat here as far as extras are concerned. Clue has definitely achieved cult status And as such is deserving of equal treatment.

At a bare minimum, Paramount should have pulled from their vaults and given us the legendary 4th ending in which Wadsworth kills everybody (and made it in for several cuts of the movie, so print exists suggesting little effort to add it). This ending has been talked about since the movie was first released, and is included in both the novelization, and storybook released simultaneously with the film. Even some shots used in the trailer and publicity stills were taken from it.

But there was so much more they could have done for this little cult gem in their catalogue, and justified the cost of constomers spending the money to upgrade to BluRay on a movie which plays on DVD pretty well. For instance, LaLaLand Records released the full score of John Morris' music last year, and on that release were two cues that had been cut from the film -- the introduction of Miss Scarlet, and the match cutting scene. Even including these two scenes with the alternate soundtrack would have been terrific. And of course, so many interviews that could have been included from Landis and Lynn about how this film came about, with first hand details about how the film was to originally to be set in Flordia ...

And while I appreciate that the original mono track sounds great, honestly isn't that all this movie really had going for it in terms of new technology, considering the quality of the original DVD transfer? The constant rain in the surrounds for instance, thunderclaps, rich orchestral underscore fleshing out the restored picture, effects and dialogue coming from proper perspectives? Remastering the audio track alone would have breathed so much new life into this movie. Surely the original elements still exist ...

Personally I can't imagine any reason to buy the Blu Ray disk unless I just want another case sitting around my shelves collecting dust. the 1080p HD transfer from this BluRay has been available at iTunes now for a while, so I'm thinking this is one for the digital library, especially for the $20 price tag ...

I just don't see the purpose in dumping releases out simply to get them on BluRay, but offering nothing else. Maybe one day Paramount will get it.
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