Fletch (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Irwin Fletcher (Chevy Chase), also known as Fletch, is a newspaper writer who uses the pen name Jane Doe and has uncovered some incredible scandals in his column. He makes use of disguises, his skills of persuasion, and flat out lies to get to the bottom of whatever he is looking into. His latest target is the drug trafficking on the beach, but even after extensive recon work, he has been unable to crack this one. He poses as a homeless man, which prompts an encounter with a wealthy businessman (Tim Matheson). He wants Fletch to murder him, as he has bone cancer and he has no wish to live. The man has it all planned out, but of course, Fletch knows there is more to the story than he is being told. As he digs into the businessman’s life, he uncovers deep corruption, but has Fletch gone in over his head this time?

This is one of the funniest movies ever made, a wild ride of non-stop laughs and memorable moments. Over two decades after it was released, Fletch remains quite quotable and almost all the humor still works. I hadn’t seen Fletch in a few years, so it was a treat to revisit the film once again. This is back when Chevy Chase was bankable and more to the point, effective. His performance here is dead on, with pinpoint timing, madcap lunacy, and yes, even charm. It is a shame Chase lost his skill over the years, but Fletch reminds us that he was once as sharp as a tack. The plot is fine, but it is just an excuse to have Chase in unusual situations disguised as unusual characters. As classic as Fletch is, Universal’s Blu-ray release doesn’t show it much respect. The technical merits are not remarkable and the supplements are sparse. Fletch deserves a full restoration and supplemental package, but in the meantime, the movie is just to hilarious to miss out on.

Video: How does it look?

Fletch is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is the same transfer from the HD-DVD, which means a mediocre visual presentation. This is not the worst treatment and the movie doesn’t look terrible, but Fletch needs to be spruced up and some kind of restoration is needed. The print is worn, with flecks and nicks in volume, which in turn softens the visuals. Some scenes look decent, but most come off as lackluster. I do think this is better than the DVD, but its time for Universal to invest in Fletch and give us a proper visual effort.

Audio: How does it sound?

A DTS HD 5.1 option is present, but the audio here is thin and this new soundtrack can only do so much. I do think there is a little more presence here than in previous editions however, which is most welcome. The track is fueled by dialogue, as it should be and the vocals are solid for the most part. A few instances come off as thin or poorly placed, but the dialogue remains clear and clean in most scenes. The music and sound effects are fine, but unremarkable. This isn’t a memorable soundtrack, but it does make sure the basics are covered. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The lone extras here are a montage of famous scenes from Fletch, as well as two brief, uninspired featurettes. This movie deserves a Special Edition, not this bare bones treatment.

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