Blu-ray Review: Blind Date (1987)

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A minor hit comedy from director Blake Edwards, Blind Date offers the chance to see Bruce Willis as a leading man just before his ascendency to international superstardom. This 1987 relic even has him billed second to Kim Basinger, who plays the blind date from hell Nadia Gates. Willis is mild mannered executive Walter Davis who regrets getting her drunk during their initial night out. By no means a classic, there are enough laughs scattered throughout to make it worth a spin. Blind Date makes its Blu-ray debut January 14, 2014.

The plot couldn’t be simpler. A fancy work dinner to welcome a very important Japanese client requires Walter to have an elegant lady on his arm. His sleazy brother Ted (Phil Hartman) sets him up with his wife Susie’s friend, Nadia. Susie (Stephanie Faracy) warns Walter not to let Nadia drink. Of course, Walter doesn’t take this at all seriously, breaking out champagne at the first opportunity. After a quick visit to see Walter’s guitarist friend (Stanley Jordan as himself, playing guitar phenomenally but displaying awkward acting chops), Nadia causes a scene at the business dinner. The evening degenerates further when the couple is pursued by Nadia’s psychotic ex, David (John Larroquette).

This prolonged dating disaster offers more than enough to laugh at, especially when Walter turns the tables and humiliates Nadia. It’s afterward, when Walter inexplicably decides he truly loves Nadia, that things start to go south. Lawyer David agrees to defend Walter, who was slapped with a bunch of charges after the night of drunken craziness. The only catch? Nadia has to agree to marry David as a form of payment. It’s a silly turn of events, made less believable by the distinct lack of chemistry between Willis and Basinger. It’s probably best not to over-think a film like this. Those who enjoy the lead actors (Larroquette steals every scene he’s in) will likely be pleased with Blind Date.

As for the Blu-ray presentation, the 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer is clean and attractive. Harry Stradling Jr.’s cinematography looks sharp, especially when considering how downright ugly so many modestly-budgeted ‘80s films look. Having seen Blind Date many times back in the day on standard definition cable broadcasts, this Blu-ray is a startling upgrade. The unfussy DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo mix gets the job done, with all the cheesy pop songs of the era and Henry Mancini’s score supporting the crystal clear dialogue.

Obviously Bruce Willis and Kim Basinger each went on to bigger and better things, but anyone nostalgic for the ‘80s (or too young to remember) might want to check out Image Entertainment’s Blind Date Blu-ray. For the record, the bare-bones release has nothing in the way of special features, not even a trailer.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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