Blind Date (Blu-ray)

Director Blake Edwards had a long, successful, and influential career. He is the man who brought us Inspector Clouseau, The Great Race, 10, and Victor Victoria among others. Released in 1987, Blind Date was originally intended for the then-married Madonna and Sean Penn, but the pair dropped out. Edwards cast Bruce Willis, then starring on Moonlighting, in his first credited feature film, giving him second billing to Kim Basinger, who had starred in the erotic 9½ Weeks as a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again.

Angelino Walter Davis (Willis) is a hard working finance professional with little time for a social life. With an important business dinner to attend and in need of a date, Walter’s sister-in-law suggests her cousin Nadia Walker (Basinger), but warns him not to let her drink, as she tends to get a bit wild. Nadia is beautiful, and Walter thinks he might have hit pay dirt. Despite warnings, Walter gives her a little champagne. After all, Walter’s sister-in-law meant not to let her drink to excess. Right? Things get off to a rousing start when he and Nadia stop at an art exhibit by a friend of Nadia’s on the way to dinner. Her “psychotic ex-boyfriend”, David (John Larroquette), shows up, introduces himself, and immediately turns violent. Nadia and Walter spend the entire evening trying to stay one step ahead of him, with David taking increasingly ridiculous pratfalls.

Nadia has her own problems. Uniquely sensitive to alcohol, by the time Walter and Nadia arrive at the restaurant, where his firm is holding a dinner for prospective client Mr. Yakamoto (Sab Shimono), a traditional Japanese businessman with a geisha-like wife (Momo Yashima), Nadia is a laughing embarrassment, saying anything to anyone, flirting with the waiter and destroying her surroundings. Basinger is surprisingly convincing as the blind date from hell!

A lot of the jokes are contrived, but a few are genuinely funny. By the end, the movie feels like little more than fluff, but entertaining nonetheless. All of the actors involved do a good job, but John Larroquette hits it out of the park. Best known for his role as Dan Fielding on Night Court, Larroquette is wonderful as the crazed boyfriend. Without him, Blind Date would be boorishly bland.

Blind Date is a Sony catalog title being released on Blu-ray by Image Entertainment. For a film made in 1987, the image is sharp, and detail is above average. Blacks are vibrant, and vary as the evening goes on. Colors are appropriate to the given environment, and a natural grain pattern gives things a nice filmic appearance.

Blind Date‘s original Dolby Stereo mix has been reproduced in lossless DTS-HD MA 2.0. It offers clear, concise dialogue, and exaggerated sound effects help deliver punch lines. Henry Mancini’s score, Stanley Jordan’s guitar and songs by Billy Vera and the Beaters (who are seen playing during the disco sequence) alternate to assist in setting the appropriate mood.

English SDH subtitles are available.

The disc contains no extras.

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