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Dead Bang


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Product Details

  • Actors: Don Johnson, Penelope Ann Miller, William Forsythe, Bob Balaban, Frank Military
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: Robert Foster, Jerry Beck
  • Producers: Robert Foster, Robert L. Rosen, Stephen J. Roth
  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner
  • VHS Release Date: May 9 1990
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000006FFA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,767 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
The problem with this film (as well as most of John Frankenheimer's output since the late '70s) is that, while there isn't anything particularly wrong with it, there also isn't much of anything special about it. It's workmanlike, nothing more. That's especially sad when you consider how great his films used to be (see THE TRAIN, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, SECONDS, BLACK SUNDAY, FRENCH CONNECTION II, or even 52 PICK-UP).
Don Johnson gives a decent enough performance in a roll that is essentially a cardon copy of his cop from "Miami Vice" (DEAD-BANG came out toward the end of that show's run). He's not a bad actor when he gets the right role and this one doesn't tax his limited abilities.
The only real interest here comes from the quirky supporting cast, including Bob Balaban as an uptight parole officer, William Forsythe as a spit-and-polish FBI goon, and Michael Jeter as a psychiatrist who's a dead ringer for Woody Allen. The rest of the actors are pretty much wasted in nothing roles (Penelope Ann Miller shows up for a pointless walk-on role in a sub-plot that goes nowhere).
If made today, this one probably would have been a USA Network made-for-TV movie. It's passable and inoffensive but not much else.
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Format: DVD
This DVD format makes this film a bit of a waste of time for me. In the full-screen this movie loses much of the visual flair and style that director John Frankenhiemer provides for what is nothing more than late 80's action junk. Other than Frankenheimer's in-your-face direction and lensing in some of the action scenes, this film will leave the average viewer very, very flat. If you can sit through the almost unbearable dinner party scenes with Penelope Ann Miller, you at least get the pleasure of witnessing Don Johnson vomit on a suspect! Without the widescreen presentation the only benefits this DVD offers is the ability to jump through some awfully slow and meaningless dialogue(and pause the barf scene if your into such things).
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Format: DVD
This is a good movie, but just what was "Warner Home Video" thinking when they released it in full-screen ?. Obviously they weren't thinking at all, since this film is already letterboxed when shown on TV sometimes. So why didn't they bother ?. -Who knows, maybe they hope someone will buy it now and possibly again one day. One thing's for sure, it looks a million times cooler in widescreen so you're a lot better off waiting for that to happen. (-You'll also get to see a tiny bit more of biker extra Ron Jeremy !.) Gary Chang's music is great as always, though.
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Format: VHS Tape
Dead Bang is an exceptional cop film from a great director. John Frankenheimer created a nice, engaging film here. I may be biased because I'm a Don Johnson fan, but I also love cop films so I know what I'm saying. Willim Forsythe and Don Johnson are both good in this, but Penelope Ann Miller is wasted. The plot may be a little cliche , but it gets the job done. If you liked this, I recommend Seven Days In May, The Train and French Connection 2 for other great Frankenheimer films.
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