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4.3 out of 5 stars
Blue Thunder [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
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on May 13, 1999
One hates to get caught agreeing with such insufferably elitist movie critics like Pauline Kael and Leonard Maltin, but their misgivings about the movie Blue Thunder are fairly accurate. Kael goes too far in calling the film "Suspense In A Void," for its implied argument that the film skimps over characters and plot is unfair. The film establishes good audience involvement with the characters, helped by the fine performances of Roy Scheider, Daniel Stern, and Malcolm McDowell.
The main draw, of course, is the helicopter, a French-built gunship, reminscent of the AH-64 Apaches featured in Firebirds, but sporting a Gatling cannon with a fire-rate of 4,000 rounds per minute, and high-tech surveillance cameras and microphones. The ship's lethality is demonstrated in a terrific test run by the Army for LAPD brass; the ship blasts away at cardboard dummies representing terrorists and civilians within a mockup of a city block. The film pointedly highlights civilian dummies getting blasted; the audience thus forgets that, given the hopeless interminging of terrorists amid civilians, the gunship's ability to pick out the right targets comes through as well as can be honestly expected. It all closes out with a delightfully explosive strafing run of a bus manned by terrorists.
Frank Murphy (Scheider) is assigned to test Blue Thunder over LA, this over the trepidation of old Army foe Colonel F.E. Cochrane (McDowell). Murphy and his copilot Richard Lymangood (Stern) test the ship's surveillance capability in hilarious fashion when they stare down the cleavage of a waitress and then listen in on a CHP cop (nicknamed Double Dork by Murphy) in bed with another man's wife. But then they get wind of the real reason for the chopper's existence when they follow Cochrane to the city's federal building and record a conversation between Cochrane, other members of the Blue Thunder project, and several government types; they've been instigating rioting in LA's barrios to justify bringing out Blue Thunder in a program called Project THOR. It is a plot that lacks even a minor level of believability or plausibility.
The action scenes and cast are good, but the absurdity of the plot ultimately hurts the film. Nonetheless, the visuals are worth a look.
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on September 23, 2002
What can be said about Blue Thunder? It is an excellent action and political techno-thriller with a fine cast, solid plot, good special effects, excellent aerial stunt work, cinemaphotography, musical soundtrack, and the like. It is also a movie with a serious message. Much like the conspiracy thriller Seven Days In May, this film really captures the action and suspense, let alone the old saying of how one man can make a difference. If you enjoy the works of Roy Scheider, Malcolm McDowell, Daniel Stern, director John Badham, and the others who labored hard on the 1982-1983 production, be sure to check out Blue Thunder. Or if you enjoy avaition, check out the film. You won't be disappointed.
If you also get a chance, be sure to check out Andrew Gilchrist's website devoted to the film. There is even a cool sequel written to the 1983 film.
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on February 7, 2003
After seeing reviews on this flick, I decided to pick it up at the local Media Play. I remembered loving the t.v. show as a kid, but I never got a chance to see the film on which it was based. Let me just say it's a great 80's action movie. Roy Scheider gives an impassioned performance as an L.A.P.D. chopper pilot on the edge. When he signs up to test a new, powerful military helicopter (for use in urban warfare-here!), he soon realizes the potential danger it poses to the general public. I'll leave it at that. For anyone who feels just a little uneasy about the encroachment on civil liberties since 9/11, this movie hits home. If you haven't thought about it, you will after seeing this. I thought silent, black helicopters didn't exist? Maybe they're blue...
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on August 17, 2002
This movie is quite exciting.You have Roy Scheider in the lead role as your hero. He is the lead pilot of an ultra modern helicopter called Blue Thunder, He soon discovers a conspiracy by the government with the usage of Blue Thunder.The villain in this movie is Roddy McDowell.He is the government agent in charge
of the conspiracy. They do battle in the skies. You have outstanding special effects. The skyscrapers in this movie add to
the special effects. The helicopter chases are breathtaking and exciting. This movie is action packed and the actors do a very good job. Watch this movie,you will enjoy it.
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on May 15, 2002
this is a great movie about a conspriacy to have Blue Thunder have ground control.
Murphy, sensing something is wrong, is to be killed due to his suppicsions on the death of a political leader. following the death of his partner, after his parter, Daniel Stern from Rookie of the Year, steals the tapes that show a deadly plot and who really killed the political leader, Murphy steal Blue Thunder and exposes the truth. this is an awsome movie, and at one time, Blue Thunder had her own toy and model!
great movie to watch over and over.
DVD is crisp and clean.
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on July 29, 2003
I saw this movie four years after it came out and it continues to be one of my favorites. Not only do you have great action, but what a cast; Roy Scheider from Jaws as the hero who trys to outrun his watch,Malcom Mcdowell from Clockwork Orange as evil as ever, and you can't forget Daniel Stern as JAFO. One of the best climaxes i have ever seen where Scheider hijacks Blue Thunder fighting police choppers, fighter jets and Mcdowell in an awesome looking camouflage chopper. The best aerial action movies definitely came out the 1980's.... this is one of the best.
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on June 26, 1999
This was one of the first VHS movies I bought. It's fun if you don't think and want to watch cool guys in cool machines trying to kill each other. The plot is thin, but the machines are cool, and for guys, sometimes cool machines are enough. I just happen to be one of those guys.
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on December 14, 1999
This was one of my favorites as a pre teen. If you've ever seen the TV show AIRWOLF, you get what this movie is about. They kind of ripped this movie off with that show. The action scenes are top notch and the story is pretty amusing. All around a pretty solid flick.
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on December 12, 2002
Simply put, this a great movie! Roy Scheider and Daniel Stern give wonderful performances, and the helicopter chase scenes are unbeleivable! This was one of the first DVDs I bought, and I only wish there were more extras on the disc.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An iron-plated Huey gunship with duel-mounted .50 caliber machine guns threatens to destroy the world. Only Roy Sheider can save the day by hanging off a flagpole on the side of a building and firing a rifle at Blue Thunder's gas tank, causing the shark to explode and then Sheriff Brody has to swim back to shore with a guy who has been "counting money all [his] life". Something like that. Blue Thunder had slightly less appeal than the hit tv series "Airwolf" (starring critically acclaimed alcoholic wife-beater, Jan Michael Vincent). As the film moves toward the end, you will look back and realize that the woman getting naked in the first 15 minutes of the movie was the best part ... and you will want to rewind it and watch that part again. If Popeye, Iron Eagle, and Red Dawn are in your movie collection, you may as well round it off and purchase Blue Thunder as well.
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