Dick Tracy Blu-ray Review

I know most of us around the age of thirty remember this film. Yes the colorfully created eye candy of a film, Dick Tracy. Dick Tracy was directed by its own Warren Beatty, which allowed for its robust cast. The film made its debut in 1990. I for one have been waiting for this to hit blu-ray, among with other childhood favorites. This seems to be the case as of recently, which is pretty awesome (as I am reviewing this, I am watching the Bond set in blu-ray). This movie is based around the comic strip created by Chester Gould, and was first released on October 4, 1931.

Dick Tracy takes place in a metropolitan city that has been fighting crime, and standing up to their evil ways, but only by a thread. As we are lead to believe, this battle between good and evil is only still holding on because of Mr. Tracy (Warren Beatty). Tracy encounters a bit of a roadblock when the woman that he loves, Tess Trueheart (Glenne Headly), tries to persuade him that the city can hold its own without its hero. It seems throughout the film that Tracy’s call to duty always leaves the poor lass on her own.

The story is based around the crime boss Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino), and his plan to own all of the city’s rackets. He is backed by some pretty recognizable muscle; Flatop (William Forsythe) and Itchy (Ed O’Ross). While playing a card game with a rival gang ran by Lips Manlis (Paul Sorvino), Big Boy’s Lieutenants, Itchy and Flattop, gun down Lip’s main guys. This leaves Big Boy in charge of the risqué Club Ritz and the dangerously beautiful (at least at that time), Breathless Mahoney (Madonna). If Tess was not making Tracy’s life complicating enough with her pleads to stop leaving her on short notices after receiving an alert on his swanky two-way radio wrist watch (which I believe I owned a faux version of), Tracy now has to deal with an orphan aptly named The Kid (yeah creative). Tracy and The Kid first encounter each other after The Kid is chased down by Mr. Tracy for stealing a watch. The Kid ends up embarking on Tracy’s calls and actually ends up being quite useful to the Detective.

This movies is chalked full of very recognizable names. If you were trying to tell just by face alone, you would never know whom they were, mainly because of the amazing costume and makeup design. Among some of the noticeable ones are; Dustin Hoffman (Mumbles), Dick Van Dyke (D.A. Fletcher) and James Caan (Spaldoni), among others.


The video is spot on in this one. With the 1080p, the eyes are fed with beautiful colors and a sharp picture. Being that this movie was known for its use of the color pallet from front to back, it is a nice treat to see it transferred to blu-ray without any decline in quality. The faces are well defined with a nice usage of deep blacks which accentuate the contour lines of each feature. Once again, your eyes will thank you for such a delicious treat. 4/5


Heres a little known fact that I just found out. Dick Tracy is famous for being the first movie to ever be recorded completely digital. Now mix that with the blu-ray’s DTS-HD 5.1 Master, and you have a sound that you can be very proud of. The channel usage is perfect, being you can hear random noises out of the rear channels clearly. Each sound, be it a tommygun blasting off a million rounds, or an explosion off in the city, is as clear and booming as it can be. As I said about the eyes being treated to a visual spectacle, the ears as well as your surround sound system, and possibly your neighbors, will also be treated to an auditory smorgasbord. 4/5

Special Features

This part of the movie was quite a disappointment. Aside from the usual Disney additives of “coming soon” “sneak peak” trailers of what to look for on blu-ray (Who Framed Roger Rabbit? YES!!), and some random “Smoking is Bad” PSA, this film has no special features. This was a major disappointment, mainly because of how this movie was presented as well as the Oscars among other standout concepts. I would have thought that maybe they could have gotten Warren out of his house or wherever he is, as well as some of the cast, and got them together to reminisce about the movie. This seems to be a Disney thing. As I can recall, The Rocketeer had little to no special features as well. I am sure if someone did some research they could find an EPK or something, that could spice up these blu-ray transfers. I understand to just have these in blu-ray is a nice treat, but many would like to see some behind the scenes stuff, and I am pretty sure there has to be some that were taken. At any rate. 0/5

Overall this was an amazing movie to begin with. Being able to watch it on blu-ray made it that much more of a visual spectacle. The movie is riddled with typical gangster names, many of which can be seen by a special characteristic of the individual (Flattop had a flattop, Mumbles, well he mumbled). As easy as it is becoming to transfer some of our favorites to blu-ray, this is a definite must get. You will not be let down by the sound as well as the stylistic use of vibrant colors that stand out from the dark and colorless bowels of the gloomy city streets. Also, Al Pacino as Big Boy Caprice, was cast perfectly, as we have all become accustomed to his ability to just shine in that role. 5/5