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Reviewed October 14th, 2001 by James Thomas


I love cop movies, and Colors is the movie I have judged all cop movies by. I was thrilled to see the movie finally come out on DVD, and with the exception of a couple of minor complaints, I am very happy with the disc.

The movie, directed by Dennis Hopper, was originally released in 1988, and caused much controversy at the time. Apparently so many gang members went to see the movie, regular folks were alienated from going to the theater. This was followed by many gang shootings at the theaters, assuring that yours truly would wait for video. I bought the original theatrical release on 4:3 video, and have had to live with it until now.

If you have not seen the movie, the story is great; Robert Duvall and Sean Penn both give the performances of their respective careers in the film. The story revolves around two cops (Penn and Duvall), working on L.A.P.D.ís former gang unit CRASH. L.A.P.D. is involved in the investigation of a gang shooting, and soon the cops of CRASH find themselves stuck in the middle of the gang war. Penn plays a cocky newcomer to CRASH, and Duvall, the older, wiser mentor. Itís interesting to watch Pennís characterís development throughout the film, eventually becoming the older, wiser mentor, in spite of himself. Also interesting is Hopperís use of actual L.A. gang members as extras in the film (particularly in the jail scenes toward the middle of the film).

The film is presented in 1:85:1 format, and is anamorphic enhanced. The transfer is very good; colors are vivid, images are clear, little to no grainy images; much better than expected. I was a little disappointed in the sound (2.0 only), but I found that I didnít really notice once the movie got going. Dialogue was distinct, and sound effects, particularly gunshots and explosions came through loud and clear. There were really no extras on the disc, other than the original trailer. I was particularly disappointed with the lack of extra features, considering so many that couldíve been used. Iíd loved to hear a commentary from Hopper on the film, Iíd love to have seen a ďmaking ofĒ segment (as there were several released at the time of the filmís theatrical debut). There were also no deleted scenes, which I found odd considering that there were on some of the VHS releases.

Overall, I am genuinely happy with the disc, and although the extras were lacking, as well as a 5.1 mix, I guess I couldnít ask much more from a $10 disc. Maybe sometime in the future we will see a special edition; in the meantime, I can wait comfortably with this release.


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