1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not an anamorphic widescreen release
Contrary to what the details reports, this dvd is full screen only and single sided. There is no anamorphic transfer (for widescreen tv's) included on this dvd even though other reviewers here have stated that one does exist. The widescreen review even stated "incorrectly" that the anamorphic transfer looked good.
If you want to purchase this for your...
Published on March 3 2004 by MRB_55
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silly at times, but Thunder-ously fun
Havin' been a big fan of the short-lived show this was based on, as well as Airwolf, it was a given that I'd eventually check this booger out. And I gotta admit that, for a mid-80s bit of super-chopper-action-conspiracy-busting fluff, this ain't all that bad. It's fun enough to watch that I can overlook the usual moments of silliness and plausibility-stretching that I've...
Published on April 3 2004 by Zagnorch
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5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed Movie!,
This review is from: Blue Thunder (VHS Tape)
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars awsome movie and awsome helecopter,
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars He wore Blue Thunder,
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if...it was the future? All books were burned? Aliens invaded? Then you've probably turned to sci-fi to live out your dystopian (or utopian) fantasies. So in the never-ending quest for the right drug, take the blue pill. Blue Thunder, that is. Blue Thunder explores all possible options for expostion. Such a revisionist history usually attempts to redefine science fiction in film-specific terms, opting variously for epistemologically based or image-based criteria instead of the source-based or narrative-based assumptions that have so far shaped most discussions of SF film. Not so with Ol' Blue Thunder. Central to the genius of this film is the reconsideration of the question of whether cinemato graphic aspects of film production could themselves mark film as science fictional or provide in themselves phenomena worthy of consideration by the SF community--the spectacle of production technology deserving and rewarding our attention just as surely as do narratives about the impact of technology. And the SF community would have a lot better things to talk about than cinemato graphic aspects if they did the wild thing more often, instead of drooling over Captain Kirk's tush in Star Trek! The fleeting colaboration of brilliant thespian (Rob Schneider) and brilliant director (John Badham), combined with the building blocks of life known as craft service (oh yeah, and let's not forget the writers!) made one tour de force without the tour or the force, so I guess this film is just made of "de" (get it?) So what are you doing still reading this review? Go out and rent it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Blue Thunder: One Well-Oiled Machine,
By A Customer
"Blue Thunder" is about as perfect as a B-grade thriller can get. It has all the right clichés: the tortured Vietnam vet, the inexperienced sidekick, the grumpy boss, the slimy and smart villain. And, of course, there's the "MacGuffin", an old Alfred Hitchcock term for a particular object in a movie that everyone pursues. In this case, the MacGuffin is a prototype helicopter, presumably being loaned to the LAPD to head off potential terrorist [movements] during the Olympic Games (this movie was made in 1983, a year before the games in Los Angeles. At one point in the film, a police dispatcher describes a robbery suspect as a "male negro". Gives you sort of an idea of how long ago 1983 really was).
Murphy (Roy Scheider) is an LAPD helicopter pilot suffering from a pesky case of post-traumatic-stress disorder. His delicate psychological condition has Murphy one step away from forced retirement, and nobody really wants to fly with him. Luckily, his new partner, Lymangood (Daniel Stern), is too young and naive to know about Murphy's problems. He clearly experienced some pretty horrible things over in the Nam, and one night, while attempting to rescue a city councilwoman from two thugs, he has a flashback to when he witnessed the murder of an enemy soldier.
Later, after the councilwoman dies from her injuries, Murphy suspects that her murder wasn't the result of a crude rape attempt, as the brass are trying to imply. It may have something to do with the new police helicopter they're trying out. Blue Thunder is essentially a tank with propellers. It's heavily armored and has a wicked-looking machine gun mounted on the nose. It also has surveillance equipment that can "see" people through walls via their body heat and hear any words that are spoken above a bedroom murmur. The technology, particularly the computer gear, seem archaic nowadays, of course, but it looked pretty impressive back in the days of New Wave and the Evil Empire.
Murphy has his misgivings about the chopper, particularly when, during a demonstration, it mows down not only a bunch of cardboard dummies representing terrorists but a few of the ones that represent innocent bystanders.
"One [dead] civilian for every ten terrorists is an acceptable ratio," one of the shady government men manages to tell Murphy with a straight face.
"Not if you're the civilian," Murphy responds.
Another federal rep involved in the project is a pilot from Murphy's Vietnam days, a snobby British fellow named F.E. Cochran (Malcom McDowell). Try to figure out what those initials stand for. There is no love lost between these two.
While taking the chopper on a test ride, Murphy and Lymangood inadvertently record Cochran and his associates discussing their real motives behind the Blue Thunder project, which may include killing Murphy. What follows is a mad dash for the incriminating tape; Murphy hijacks the copter and enlists the aid of his girlfriend, Kate (who is possibly the most reckless driver in movie history) to get the info to the public. Director John Badham deftly handles a great climax in which Cochran and Murphy chase each other in the L.A. skies. My personal favorite moment is a comical sequence involving heat-seeking missiles and a barbecue chicken shack. Nearly the entire film is shot with a hand-held camera, giving it a rough, documentarian feel that I liked a lot.
The cast is pretty much top drawer, but the late great Warren Oates steals the whole picture as Murphy's commander, Captain Braddock. Oates continually spews venom and offers paternal advice to Murphy, occasionally doing both at the same time. He also gets all the best one-liners. My favorite:
Shady government guy: "Did you know Murphy checks his sanity with a wristwatch?"
Braddock: "What do you check yours with, a dipstick?"
Badham has a few good movies under his belt ("Saturday Night Fever", "Stakeout") and quite a few bad ones ("Point of No Return", "Short Circuit"). "Blue Thunder" is basic good Badham: it's no classic, but it gets the job done.
4.0 out of 5 stars Blue Thunder,
Blue Thunder is a good film. Not great, but good. It's biggest boost comes from actors Roy Scheider (Jaws) and the late Warren Oats (The Wild Bunch, Stripes). Warren Oats gives his captain role enough witty sarcasm to make other actors in kind take note. This was his last film performance. If your a fan of either actor that of it's self is reason to own the film. The Arthur Rubinstein music score also helps give the film a pulse (note: to give the music a haunting effect, Rubinstein placed a microphone in a water cooler bottle and set it underneath a Grand Piano while recording some tracks).
As for the story, it tends to lose the pace of the film at a point but that pales in comparison to other, more obvious flaws. Things like a boom mic in a shot, or continuity mistakes like that found in Lymangood's death (note: watch his hands).
The herald of Blue Thunder coming forward with the Pinkville sunrise in the background is just as menacing now as it was for a certain nineteen year old who saw it in '82. The climactic duel between Murphy and Cochrane (Malcolm McDowell) is also one of the films best moments even if it was imposible. There are little features to be had on this DVD, this might hurt any must-have-it-all collectors like myself, but for me one reason was all I needed to purchase Blue Thunder, ...memories.
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Gun meets the X-Files,
This review is from: Blue Thunder (VHS Tape)
"Blue Thunder" is an experimental helicopter designed to be prevent or otherwise deal with any terrorist situation. With its armor plating and rotary cannon, Blue Thunder (a converted Gazelle Helicopter) is no mere observer helicopter. Also equipped with an array of sensors and a computer that can hack into anyting, and an engine silencer and its pilot can sneak the chopper's awesome firepower right up to the enemy before being spotted.
Roy Scheider is Murphy, a police pilot and shell-shocked Viet Nam vet, is given the task of field-testing the new chopper in hopes of getting it in service for the LA Olympics (this movie is circa 1982). Never one to go by the book, and with the help of fellow flyer Lymangood (Dan Stern), Murphy takes the super-chopper on an unauthorized jaunt and discovers the dark secret of Blue Thunder's purpose, uncovering proof of a massive conspiracy to turn LA into a police state governed by a fleet of gunships. When the conspirators - who include a sinister pilot (Malcom McDowell) who was also Murphy's Commander in Vietnam - realize they face exposure, they kill Lyman and set their sites on Murphy. Driven to desperation, Murphy hijacks the machine, stalling for time until his girlfriend (Candy Clarke) can find the proof that Lyman left behind revealing the truth about Blue Thunder. The police and the military pull out every stop to bring Murphy down - missiles, fighters and other choppers. Murphy's solutions are pretty inventive, but you know that these are only previews for the big one - the major dogfight between Scheider and Macdowell over the streets of LA.
Blue Thunder is actually pretty smart, obscured though by how much fun it is. The first half, before we see the super-copter show its moves, is wonderfully paranoid, with an eerie electronic score and wonderfully spastic camera movements (now ruined in countless episodes of NYPD Blue). Schieder and Stern develope this great dialog (mostly ad-libbed) that keeps things flowing, Macdowell is great as the evil Colonel and Warren Oates - though underused - is also excellent as Scheider's boss. The flight-scenes are incredibly choreographed and have yet to be surpassed (after nearly 20 years!?!?).
All in all, a great flick.
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie of all time,
Blue Thunder is the fictional story of a high tech helicopter which the government plans to use against the population under the guise of "crowd control from the air" for the upcoming Olympic games. Some of you may remember Airwolf, or even the short lived Blue Thunder series with James Farentino and Dana Carvey, this is where it all started.
Although the plot is kinda lame, this movie boasts state of the art (in 1983) aerial combat action sequences over Los Angeles (L.A. natives will recognize the Piper Tech building, where air support is headqurtered, the downtown cityscape, the L.A. river), and a cool chase scene through the LA River, which like the rest of L.A., is concrete and steel. Roy Scheider (Murphy), Daniel Stern(Lymangood), and Warren Oates (in his last picture), give great performances, however, Malcom MacDowell's character, a sinister Army Lt. Colonel, is a bit hard to believe. The real star of the show here is Blue Thunder, a modified 1972 French Gazelle, outfitted with listening devices, video and infrared cams, and an M61 20mm vulcan cannon fitted to the nose. Blue Thunder is able to see through walls, peek down dresses at 1000 feet, and destroy a city block at the touch of a button. Some will notice the similarities to the Apache AH-64, and the cockpit windows are faceted, much like the then-classified stealth fighter.
Blue Thunder takes us to that "big brother is watching you" card reminicent of 1984,(which is the year the Olympics were in L.A.) what with its surveillance equipment, and there is even a reference to that in the movie, when Lymangood asks Murphy, "Big Brother, you want it on or off?" referring to the cockpit recorder which records their conversations. "I think we can lose that,"he replies.
The ending battle scene is great, with an awesome finale, and a somewhat chilling epilogue, as the credits begin to roll. You get the feeling that Murphy has avenged.
All in all, a pretty good movie with a bit of techno-sci-fi-thriller.
4.0 out of 5 stars slick police thriller,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but turn off your brain,
By A Customer
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasing Actioner Despite Plot Flaws,
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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Blue Thunder [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import] by John Badham (Blu-ray - 2009)