Article first published as Blu-ray Review: 'Blind Date' (1987) on Blogcritics.
The names Bruce Willis, Kim Basinger, John Larroquette, and Phil
Hartman certainly bring you back to the ’80s, don’t they? With all of
them together in a comedy from director Blake Edwards, who wouldn’t be
excited? Well, back in 1987, critics sure weren’t. Blind Date
opened to lukewarm reviews, but still managed to become a box office
hit, paving the way for Willis in starring roles. And as hard as it is
to imagine that this came out before Die Hard, it’s probably even
more unimaginable for today’s audiences to think that Willis used to be
heavily involved in comedy. Remember Moonlighting? Anyone? In any case, Edwards’ screwball comedy makes its Blu-ray debut on January 14.
Davis (Willis) loves his job – despite dealing with grotesque sex
stories dealt from a co-worker. Walter’s brother Ted (Hartman) thinks
Walter works too hard and wants to set him up on a blind date. After
some resistance, Walter finally agrees to go out with Nadia (Basinger).
And thus begins the worst night of Walter’s life. As Walter ignores his
sister-in-law Susie’s (Stephanie Faracy) warning about Nadia and alcohol
because of Ted’s facetious encouragement, Nadia transforms into the
wildest party animal outside a college on spring break. Things go from
bad to worse as Nadia’s ex-boyfriend David (Larroquette) begins stalking
them, and Nadia proceeds to ruin Walter’s life in a matter of hours.
But will true love prevail? In typical rom-com fashion, you probably
already know the answer. But it’s the getting there that’s the fun part.
Image Entertainment debuts Blind Date in a better-than-average
transfer. As it is presented on a 25GB disc in its original 2.39:1
aspect ratio, I was worried about how the rest of the film would look
considering how soft the first few scenes were. But once Walter gets to
work, the image is consistently sharp, and fine detail is probably
better than it was in theaters. From Willis’s suits to Basinger’s hair
to pine trees and couches, the level of detail on display is quite
surprising for an ’80s comedy.
is stable and blacks are dark but never crushing. Colors pop,
especially Nadia’s red dress, but never bloom or bleed. Noise never
creeps in during the night scenes and the typical anomalies never try to
drag things down: banding, aliasing, all absent. The only audio track
available is a pretty sad 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Normally I can
review discs with the volume set around 23, but for this one, I had it
cranked up to 35, and even then, I only noticed surround activity when
shifting closer to the speakers. Once you find a higher listening level,
it sounds quite good however. English subtitles are included, but there
are no special features whatsoever. Not even a trailer.
Blind Date will never go down as a classic, but we all know
Blake Edwards has cobbled together far worse. While never living up to
his early career standards, it never pretends to be in the same league.
But Edwards is still better than most at whipping up his farce to
hilarious extremes. Willis and Basinger make a fun couple on their
disastrous night out and the supporting cast – particularly Larroquette
and Hartman — even steal a few scenes. Boy Meets World‘s Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) also gets some big laughs. I used to watch Blind Date
quite often back in the time of VHS and I remember being excited to see
the film finally available in widescreen for its DVD release. Now, Blind Date looks better than ever on Blu-ray and is worth a purchase, even if it is a bare-bones release.