‘Days of Thunder’ Blu-ray Review
Tom Cruise was riding success in the 80’s and 90’s with hit after hit. After a string of big budget hits, in 1990 Tom Cruise comes back with ‘Days of Thunder’ which allowed him to take part in one of his favorite sports of racing. This was a fun project for Cruise as he had a lot of involvement in the story of the film. The film was widely successful at the theaters with a total worldwide gross of $157 million dollars.
Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) quickly learns the world of NASCAR from Tim Daland (Randy Quaid) who is a car dealership owner. His dream begins to become a reality of racing in the most popular sport in the United States. Cole meets Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall) after they are introduced to each other by Tim. Harry builds vehicles for drivers and will become a mentor to Cole. There is a problem between the two at first as their styles clash. With Cole being a rookie driver, he has a hot head that gets him into a few bits of trouble.
A racing film would not be fun without a rivalry of sorts. Enter Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker) who is notorious for playing the villain in other films. They both compete against each other in several races before the inevitable occurs as they get into a serious car crash which almost costs both men their lives. As much as their lives were at stake with the accident, it doesn’t stop either man from getting back into a vehicle to race.
Both men are getting treated by the same doctor, Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman). Let the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman relationship begin with this film. At this point Cole begins to fall in love with Lewicki. With his heart going towards her, then there is a problem with his heart not being in the sport of racing as it once was. With Cole being injured, he gets replaced by Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes). With the threat of a new driver taking his spot, it is time for Cole to get his game back into the game.
Movie Content: 3.5/5
The print is presented in 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Out of all the latest Paramount catalogue titles, this is the most inconsistent release. Colors are saturated, but don’t have that pop you would expect. There are quite a bit of white specs and dirt on this print throughout the entire presentation. All this ends up hurting the details of the print where they aren’t at their best. This does trump the DVD version all around; it is not a huge upgrade.
Video Quality: 3/5
The audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. The print falters a bit, but the audio picks up the slack. The mix actually does a good job providing some immersion while out on the track. The audio excels in the soundfield with panning and directional effects during the races. Being able to listen to the race cars zoom by from one speaker to the next is rather amazing for an older audio mix. Dialogue is crisp through the center channel. There is an issue with dialogue being a bit too low, as I had to raise the volume a few times.
Audio Quality: 4/5
- Theatrical Trailer [HD]
There is only one special feature on the disc and that is the Theatrical Trailer.
Special Features: 0/5
If you are a huge fan of ‘Days of Thunder’, than this is a nice upgrade over the DVD version. While the video quality lacks in a few areas, the audio picks up the slack making this a nice entry on Blu-ray. This is one of those titles that I can see Paramount going back to the vault doing some more work to the print with a special edition release down the line. Special features are lacking here with only the theatrical trailer, so this could be an issue for some that like to have features packed to the brim..
Overall Rating: 2.5/5 (Rental)