Coyote Ugly (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 9 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Of all the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced movies, “Coyote Ugly” might be one of the most unique. Usually a Bruckheimer movie is associated with action, testosterone and mindless dialogue. Wouldn’t you know it; “Coyote Ugly” has some but not all of these traits? It’s no secret that the movie appeals to men, what with five attractive ladies on the cover of the box (and one of which is Tyra Banks). And the name…what the hell is it supposed to mean – Coyote Ugly? Huh? As it turns out they do give a reason and explanation behind the meaning of the name, but I found it much more satisfying to hear Maria Bello explain it, so I won’t ruin the surprise for everyone. Take away the skin, the suprmodel-type bartenders, the drinking and dancing and you’re left with the rest – the story of a young woman who wants to be a songwriter and make it big in New York City. Well, we never said that “Coyote Ugly” was the most original of movies, did we?

Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo) is sick and tired of living in her New Jersey suburb home. She’s a talented songwriter who has a great voice, but stage fright has kept her out of the limelight. She lives with her father (John Goodman), whom she takes care of. After her friend gets married, she decides its time to bite the bullet and move the 42 miles to New York City to try and make it as a songwriter. Remember, “Songwriter”, she has no ambitions as to being a singer – yet every other scene has her singing. Odd. Violet quickly finds out that the city is a rough and tumble place and when her money quickly vanishes, she finds solace in a bar. And wouldn’t you know it; the name of the bar is “Coyote Ugly”. It’s a hole in the wall, yet every night it’s packed to the gills with plenty of horny men. What’s the attraction, you ask? Four very attractive women entertain the crowds while getting them soused in the process. What more do you need? There’s also a sub plot with Violet’s boyfriend (Adam Garcia) as they go through the ever so predictable ups and downs of their relationship.

“Coyote Ugly” banks on a few things: It’s a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, so it’ll have attractive women. It’ll probably have a good soundtrack. And mindless violence and/or sex is an absolute given. I’m proud to say that the film succeeds on all of these levels. The movie hasn’t really been dated, it’s now five years old and some of the pre 9/11 New York City skyline is visible, but we look past it. This is also now the second incarnation of the movie on DVD as this edition contains some unrated material. I really had not watched the movie since it came out on DVD the first time, so it was hard to say what new was included. I do not, however, recall the very steamy sex scene between Violet and Kevin – so we’ll say that was included as well as a few scenes between Violet and her father (in an obvious attempt to build a bit more on their characters). Love it or hate it, “Coyote Ugly” prides itself on guilty pleasures and if you’re into those, well…this one is for you.

Video: How does it look?

“Coyote Ugly” was a darn good-looking movie on standard DVD and now that it’s been given the high definition treatment, it looks that much better. The very wide 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer brings out the best in this transfer. Colors are very strong and bright and the lack of edge enhancement gives the image a very clean 3-D type effect to it. The movie is coming up on its tenth annivesary (hard to believe) and the transfer makes it look as if it were made yesterday. The “softness” that was abundant in some of the scenes in the previous DVD release has been taken care of and I’m really finding it difficult to find much wrong with the way this looks. Fans of the movie will be delighted with this Blu-ray release.

Audio: How does it sound?

Disney’s titles usually feature a PCM uncompressed track, but in this case we’re presented with a Dolby TrueHD track which, quite simply, rocks. The previous special edition DVD featured dual DTS and Dolby Digital tracks, though they’re both surpassed by this uncompressed mix. A great example of the robust sound is during an early scene when the “Coyotes” are singing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” – the thump of the bass mixed with the highs and lows of the fiddle really give a great ambiance to the entire scene. Dialogue is, of course, very clear and clean. This trumped up track is an improvement over a audio mix that didn’t really need one – a bonus here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There’s nothing truly new here as this Blu-ray release contains the exact same supplements that were on the Special Edition DVD a few years back. We do get two versions of the movie in that we’ve a choice between the unrated version or the theatrical cut of the movie. And we start off with a “Coyote Commentary” with all of the Coyotes, Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Director David McNally. It’s a fairly crowded track that does offer up some new information, but the girls just seem to be there having fun. Bruckheimer chimes in from time to time and does seem to have a pretty good grasp on the film (as he should). It’s a good, if not fun, track. Next up are some featurettes under the “Coyote 101” label. First up is “How to Be a Coyote” which tells us of the general attitude of the ladies, the bar tricks they did and such. “Inside the Songs” tells us of Violet’s character and how inspired she was by things – there are a few scenes from the movie that shows us this, too. “Search for the Stars” gives us some screen test footage of Violet and Mr. O’Donnell to name a few. There are five more deleted scenes, show in anamorphic widescreen no less, that don’t offer up much information as to why they were cut. We can only assume for pacing reasons, but it’s still nice to have them here. “Action Overload” is a twenty second montage of action-oriented clips that appear in the movie. It’s utterly pointless. Also included is a Lee Ann Rimes (who also cameo’s in the film) music video and the original theatrical trailer.

Disc Scores