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Dead Bang (Full Screen)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Don Johnson, Penelope Ann Miller, William Forsythe
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: May 25 1999
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790742020
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,199 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Dead Bang is a 1989 action film directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Don Johnson. Johnson's character, based on real-life LASD Detective Jerry Beck, tracks the killer of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy and uncovers a plot involving hate literature, white supremacist militias and arms trafficking

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: VHS Tape
In a constant effort to expand my collection of action flicks, I decided to give 'Dead-Bang' a view. While it ain't a half-bad "lone-wolf-cop-on-a-mission-and-God-help-anybody-who-gets-in-his-way" type movie, the sheer volume of the usual clichés, stereotypical supporting characters, and hackneyed situations borders on the ludicrous. For a start, you've got Don Johnson playing Beck, a divorced alcoholic cop who prefers to work alone and doesn't like to go by the rules. Sounds like a familiar character (or combo of characters) don't it?
But wait, there's more: we can't forget the usual folks the lone wolf cop who doesn't like to play by the rules will hafta deal with on his way to gettin' the job done, right? This lineup of familiar anal-retentives include:
- An annoyingly buttoned-down & arrogant FBI agent (played a bit too stiffly by William Forsythe) who goes by-the-book at all times and tries to grab all the glory for Beck's hard work.
- A ludicrously complacent small-town sheriff who thinks he can handle the situation in spite of Beck's insistence that he's overmatched. Needless to say, the yokel suddenly and almost fatally gets his comeuppance when he and several deputies get caught in the bad guys' ambush.
- A police captain who is on one hand sympathetic towards Beck's plight, but on the other hand is also concerned for the department's image and wants his underling to tone things down.
- A super-geeky & bureaucratic police shrink called in to evaluate the Beck's mental state, who is coerced by Beck into giving him a favorable evaluation.
Then there's the band of white supremacists Beck is after, which might lead one to believe the movie will actually tackle the topic of organized racism in a meaningful way... NOT!
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Format: VHS Tape
YOU REALLY HAVE TO SEE A MOVIE LIKE THIS TO GET A GLIMPSE OF WHAT SOME 'REAL COPS' GO THROUGH. ALTHOUGH DRAMATIZED, THE BASIS FOR THIS FLICK IS THE REAL LIFE EXPLIOTS OF L.A. COUNTY SHERIFFS HOMICE INVESTIGATOR JEROME BECK.
IT IS A RIVETING CHARACTER STUDY OF WHAT THIS JOB CAN DO TO A MAN, HIS MARRIAGE, HIS KIDS AND HIS PSYCHE.
DON JOHNSON DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB OF PLAYING THE MORBID, BURNT OUT COP ON THE EDGE. HE'S DRINKING EXCESSIVELY, GOING THROUGH A BITTER CUSTODY BATTLE WITH HIS EX, LIVING IN A DUMP AND BREAKING EVERY RULE IN THE BOOK TO GET A NEO-NAZI MANIAC WHO KILLED A DISTANT POLICE CAMPADRE.
THE ONE OBVIOUS FLAW IN THE FILM IS THE TOTALLY PROCEDURALLY INCORRECT WAY THE VICTIM OFFICER APPROACHES AN ARMED ROBBERY/MURDER SUSPECT. ANY REAL COP WATCHING THE SHOW WILL BE TEMPTED TO HIT THE 'STOP' BUTTON ON THE V.C.R. THERE. BUT IF YOU CAN WADE PAST THIS NONSESICAL SCENE ITS A PRETTY DECENT FLICK.
JOHNSON SHINES IN A MEMORABLE SCENE WHERE HE IS ORDERED TO UNDERGO PSYCHOLOGICAL COUSELING DUE TO HIS ERRATIC BEHAVIOUR.
AS THE PENCIL NECKED ANALYST'S EGO IS STEPPED ON HE PREPARES TO END THE SESSION 'RUSHING TO JUDGEMENT' ON THE VETERAN OFFICER'S
MENTAL STATE. JOHNSON'S 'BECK' USES SOME PURSUASIVE PSYCO BABBLE OF HIS OWN TO DETER THE COUSELOR FROM ENDING HIS 'BECKS' CAREER.
IT IS A GREAT SCENE AND THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE FILM.
THE THING THAT MAKES THIS CHARACTER DIFFERENT FROM 'SONNY CROCKETT' OR 'NASH BRIDGES' IS THE REALNESS OF THE GUY. HE DOESNT SPOUT POLITICALLY CORRECT ONE LINERS. HE DOESNT WEAR FASHIONS THAT NO REAL COP COULD EVER AFFORD, AND HIS LIFE IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF GLAMOROUS.
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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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