Big time rock singer Ellen Aim is playing a gig in her hometown when a local bike gang known as ‘The Bombers’, led by the menacing Raven, storm the stage and kidnap he. Tom Cody, a tough ex-soldier and Ellen’s ex-boyfriend returns home to get her back and he’s ready to take on the whole gang.
Presented in 1.85:1 1080p this is a brand new transfer commissioned by Second Sight.
The detail on the print is good with some good definition, for example when we first meet Cody with his brown raincoat all wrinkled and stained and the facial details on the actors. Day time scenes are bleak with a grey palette but colours do stand out very well, in particular when the streets are filled with extras all of the bright colours that they are wearing jump off the screen and also the neon lights from the clubs look great on screen. The film does have quite large amounts of grain and noise, but thankfully his has been left intact on this Blu-Ray release so comes across more natural rather than being cleaned up too much which seems to hinder a lot of Blu-Ray releases today.
Sometimes the picture did look soft losing the detail, but this was on the more distance shots of the movie, but I didn’t find this too distracting and overall the transfer is a god one. The movie which was released in 1984 is never going to look amazing but I’m sure this transfer is going to please the fans.
Second Sight have included two audio tracks on the disc, an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and an English PCM 2.0 track.
For review purposes, I opted to for the DTS-HD Master Audio track and I must admit I was surprised. I thought I’d give the DTS-HD Master Audio track a go first with the intention of switching it over to the PCM track but I didn’t.
The mix was very good, and the thing that struck me the most was the soundtrack of ‘Streets of Fire’. It’s recreated superbly in the mix with the front three speakers picking up most of the track and music, the rear speakers were left mainly untouched apart from the odd sound effect. The best example I can give for this is nearer to the beginning of the film with the motorcycles roaring through the city, the rears kick in here and immerse you into the film. Whilst it’s mainly very front heavy, the track overall is a good one. Dialogue is clear and natural without seeming forced. The LFE kicks in every now and again with explosions, motorcycle engines, gunshots and of course the awesome soundtrack adding a bit more realism to the track and I couldn’t hear any background hiss throughout the movie.
Surprisingly no subtitles at all are included on the disc.
Just as they did with ‘Creepshow’, Second Sight have bought to the table some great extras.
* ‘Rumble On The Lot: Walter Hill’s Streets of Fire Revisited’ (HD, 79 mins) – A brand new feature length documentary commissioned by Second Sight for this Blu-Ray release.
* Original electronic press kit (SD, 24 mins)
* Music Videos – ‘Tonight is what it means to be young’ and ‘I can dream about you’
The main crop of the extras here is the ‘Rumble On The Lot’ documentary. Split into 11 chapters (Introduction and Main Credits, A Voyage of Discovery, Soldier Boy, The Queen of the Hop, The Leader of the Pack, The Sidekick, The Battery, The Richmond, The Fights, The Music, Heroes Don’t Cry) or a ‘Play All’ option this documentary is superb. Very high quality and in-depth look into the making of the film. There’s various interviews with cast and crew (both archival and new), we get to hear about what choices were made for the film and why and so much more. It’s hard to not say too much about it as it’s a documentary that’s well worth watching, and one I recommend doing straight after you’ve watched the movie.
The electronic press kit is again split into chapters (Rock and Roll Fable, Exaggerated Realism, Choreographing the Crowd, Creating the Costumes, From the Ground Up, Personality Profile, Featurette, Teaser Trailer and 3 x On Air Promos) or there is a ‘Play All’ selection. This is all in standard definition and once you’ve watched the ‘Rumble On The Lot’ documentary you’ll notice a lot of the information is repeated here.
Whilst not an extensive list of extras, the actual quality of the extras is fantastic, especially the feature length documentary. If you are looking for a reason to upgrade to Blu-Ray then this new documentary should be enough to sway anyone.
‘Streets of Fire’ has been another one of those movies that I have never seen, but it’s always been on my ‘To watch’ list but have never gotten round to watching it. Being a big fan of both 80’s movies and Walter Hill, ‘Streets of Fire’ seemed a bit of a no brainer for me.
I found the film’s look to begin with quite a strange one; made in the 1980’s but with a 1950’s look and feel, it’s weird but it worked for me. I think that the younger generation of today who are going to sit down and watch this film for the first time won’t enjoy it as much as perhaps someone my age will. If you’re revisiting this film for the first time in years then you’re bound to have a blast, and for me being my first time watching the movie I really enjoyed it. I just wished I had seen this film sooner.
The standout for me was the soundtrack to the film, I thought it was superb and coming through my home cinema system it sounded great, and it’s one that I have since bought.
I thought the cast were great. Michael Pare was great as badass Cody, Amy Madigan as McCoy played a great female counterpart to Cody, Diane Lane was hot as singer Ellen Aim, I loved Willem Dafoe as villain ‘Raven’ he was sleazy and menacing wit that crazy look in his eyes all through the movie. I found it quite strange watching Rick Moranis in a more serious role (I’m more used to his comedic work), and a nice little supporting role from Bill Paxton thrown in the mix for good measure. After looking at what Michael Pare had gone on to do, I was surprised to see he had not made any ‘big’ movies and has become quite the ‘Uwe Boll’ regular. However it appears he has made some decent looking action B-Movies throughout the 90’s which I wouldn’t mind trying to check out.
Second Sight have released a fine Blu-Ray of ‘Streets of Fire’ with a strong picture and a good soundtrack, the extras are fantastic and are bound to please fans of the film. Having never seen ‘Streets of Fire’ before I cannot compare it to the DVD or HD-DVD but in my opinion the Blu-Ray release is great for both AV and extras.
Order your copy from Amazon.co.uk