Release Date(s)2016 (August 23, 2016)
Studio(s)Warner Home Video
- Film/Program Grade: A+
- Video Grade: A+
- Audio Grade: A+
- Extras Grade: F+
From the always dependable Shane Black comes the epic tale of two men bound by destiny, but scratch the “epic” and “destiny” parts. The Nice Guys is a good, old-fashioned, neo-noir thriller in the form of a buddy cop comedy. Set in the 1970s, an older, grizzled private investigator (Russell Crowe) is checking up on a missing girl when he runs into a younger P.I. (Ryan Gosling), and the two of them set off through the seedy L.A. underground to uncover a plot that’s bigger than they imagined. The movie was well-received by critics, but dwindled at the box office... despite many reviewers singing its praises.
The Nice Guys is something that we’re not used to today, which is a well-made, well-written, and well-acted comedy. In the age of movies like Central Intelligence and The Heat, The Nice Guys is a welcome bit of fresh air. There’s nothing particularly new or original about it, as it relies mostly on great dialogue and putting charming characters into interesting situations, but that’s actually its best trait. It’s also nice to see Russell Crowe used in better ways on-screen. Lately he’s been relegated mostly to large scale movies where he’s either the narrator and/or the one pumping out the exposition, so seeing him in a character role like this for a change is good. Of course, enough can’t be said about Ryan Gosling. He’s often given roles that require very little dialogue but, in this case, he’s given plenty and he’s absolutely hilarious. Also of note is Angourie Rice, who portrays Holly, Gosling’s smart and resourceful daughter. She steals the movie out from under its two stars often and is certainly a talent to keep an eye on.
The Nice Guys on Blu-ray is just what you’d expect from a movie shot primarily with ARRI Alexa and RED digital cameras. The image is superlative, reference quality even, soaking in fine detail in all respects with amazing depth, strong texturing, and deep, inky but detailed blacks. Colors are bold but of a specific time period: greens, tans, browns, etc. Skin tones are accurate, while brightness and contrast levels are perfect. The audio is much the same, in four separate options: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Descriptive Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital, and French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. The DTS track is pure ear candy, soaking you in the sounds of the period with perfection. Dialogue is precise and clear, while sound effects are strong and well-placed. Speaker-to-speaker activity is frequent, with plenty of LFE activity to give your sound system a real workout. There’s just not much else to say, other than this is an immaculate presentation that represents the movie beautifully. Optional subtitles are included in English SDH, French, and Spanish.
Unfortunately, the extras are brief; nothing more than two short EPK featurettes (Always Bet on Black and Worst. Detectives. Ever.: Making The Nice Guys). You also get a DVD copy of the movie, and a paper insert with a Digital HD code.
The bottom line is, if you haven’t seen The Nice Guys yet, see it on Blu-ray. It’s a perfect little movie with all of the laughs and human drama you could want. Crowe and Gosling are a perfect pairing, and the two of them working together against a gritty L.A. backdrop, with a rocking 70s soundtrack, make this film one of my favorites of the year. Warner’s Blu-ray release is one that you’ll want to pick up, but the film is definitely deserving of a more definitive package. Perhaps, sometime down the road, we’ll get one. For now, this disc’s strong A/V presentation will do.
- Tim Salmons