05/29/2015  
Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes ConversationDespite The Gods on DVD May 19The Gunman on Digital HD Jun 16 & Blu-ray Combo Jun 30So Bright Is the View on DVD May 26

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' to return to US screens for 4...
Trevor Noah to take over 'The Daily Show' on September ...
'Jonny Quest' hitting the big screen...
How Miley Cyrus Helped Get Grace and Frankie, Your New ...
Carrie Underwood Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Her 'Am...
Johnny Depp could face up to 10 Years in Prison...
Jon Stewart's big secret: Even Fox News might cheer 'Da...
Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16...
Anne Meara Dies: Actress, Ben Stiller's Mother and Jerr...
'The Voice' Winner Tessanne Chin sings 'I Will Always L...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Studios presents
Urban Cowboy (1980)

"All cowboys ain't dumb. Some of 'em got smarts real good, like me."
- Bud (John Travolta)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: March 06, 2003

Stars: John Travolta, Debra Winger
Other Stars: Scott Glen, Madolyn Smith-Osborne, Barry Corbin
Director: James Bridges

MPAA Rating: PG for (some sexuality and language)
Run Time: 02h:14m:00s
Release Date: October 08, 2002
UPC: 097360128543
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ C+B-B C-

DVD Review

John Travolta has bloated into a lazy marquee movie star in recent years, and it's sometimes hard to remember why he ever was famous in the first place. The answer, of course, is "a white polyester bodysuit," with an assist from the Bee Gees. Yes, Travolta's career-making performance in 1977's Saturday Night Fever created a national craze for ill-fitting suits, and his "eh, yeah, ya know" charms as Tony Manero won him an Oscar® nomination. But really, it was the dancing. When Travolta steps on to the dance floor, you lose track of his chiseled chin and aggressive eyebrows and focus on his feet, flying fast and furious. But let's not get too poetic.

Urban Cowboy is a rather obvious cash-in on the success of Fever, and it repeats many of the same themes and plot points, merely transferring them into a honky-tonk western bar-with-a-mechanical-bull setting. The results are somewhat less endearing, and certainly not as enduring. Fever is still remembered as a classic; Urban Cowboy lives on only in the hearts and minds of Travolta-lovers and late night viewers of TNT.

Travolta plays Bud Davis, oil refinery worker by day, sexy Stetson stud by night. His line-dancing skills wow the pants off of the patrons at Gilley's, Huston's most popular nightclub. But the only pants he wishes to wow are those of the sassy Sissy (Debra Winger), a regular at the bar, who is looking for a real cowboy. Complicating things is ex-con Wes Hightower, brought to life by character actor Scott Glenn (witness the nightlife of Jack Crawford!). Hightower has designs on Sissy and on the registers at Gilley's, and it's up to Bud to stop the criminal and heel-heel-toe-toe-star his way into the heart of his leading lady.

The script, co-written by director James Bridges, is riddled with romance clichés, but the predictability is reminiscent of the feel of a broken-in pair of leather chaps. There is real chemistry between Travolta and Winger, and the two inject plenty of life into their stock roles. Sadly, Bridges is no John Badham when it comes to filming the many dance sequences, and the static setups and dull camerawork sap some of the energy from Travolta's floor-burning performances. More lively are the testosterone contests on the mechanical bulls (and here the long takes show just how much abuse the stars were willing to take).

Urban Cowboy contributed to a brief country & western craze, and the soundtrack, featuring Bonnie Raitt and The Charlie Daniels Band, among others, went triple platinum. The film itself is fairly disposable fun. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but the wooden dialogue and static characters constantly nagged at me, and Bud's desire to be a star on the dance floor is never as desperate or visceral as Tony Manero's. Eminently watchable and utterly forgettable, Urban Cowboy can at least be praised for having the good sense to put Travolta in a movie and let him dance. Now where's my five-gallon hat?

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Paramount's remaster of Urban Cowboy yields some mildly pleasing results; this is a decent vintage transfer. Source material shows some grain but is generally clean. Colors are fairly solid, and detail is good. On the downside, blacks are uneven, and shadow detail is somewhat lacking, making some of the smoky interior scenes a bit difficult to make out. There is also some occasional edginess and some mild aliasing. On the other hand, this has always been a rather ugly film with a muddled visual palette, so I can't complain too much.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoFrenchyes
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Once again, Paramount has blessed an older film with a serviceable 5.1 DD remaster (there is also an additional 2.0 English mix, along with a mono French track). The 5.1 track is decent, adding a bit of oomph to the rather limited original mix. The audio is still very front heavy, with dialogue anchored in the center channel, with the music and effects mixed into the mains. Music can sound a bit tinny in the high ends, but comes across fairly cleanly throughout. Surrounds are used sparingly, only providing some crowd atmosphere at times.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 25 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, Portuguese with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Outtakes
  2. Rehearsal Footage
Extras Review: It has become the norm for Paramount to drop the trailers from their catalogue releases, but in the case of Urban Cowboy, they've at least added a few goodies to make up for it. The Rehearsal Footage features a few minutes of Debra Winger trying out the mechanical bull. Outtakes offers a few unedited takes of Travolta hoofin' it to a honky-tonk beat. THWACK! (That's a whip, see? Thwack.)

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Urban Cowboy is a mostly lifeless retread of the vastly superior Saturday Night Fever that survives on 1980s charm and John Travolta's dancin' feet. It will never be more than a guilty pleasure, and with a bloated two-hours-plus running time, you'll feel mighty ashamed afterwards.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

movie, steven spielberg, jaws, summer blockbuster, fathom events, turner classic movies, television, the daily show, trevor noah, comedy central, jon stewart, animation, jonny quest, action adventure, robert rodriquez, netflix, grace and frankie, miley cyrus, jane fonda, lily tomlin, music, carrie underwood, american idol, memorial day, may 25, 10th anniversary, celebrity, johnny depp, australia, yorkies, quarantine laws, comedy channel, stephen colbert, new york times, documentary, comedian, anne meara, jerry stiller, ben stiller, sex in the city, law & order: special victims, memorial day concert, tessanne chin, nick fradiani, sci-fi, drama, a very murray christmas, bill murray, sophia coppola, george clooney, amy poehler, chris rock, paul shaffer, rashida jones, the late show, david letterman, ed sullivan theater, taco bell, dancing with the stars, abc, rumer willis, riker lynch, noah galloway, val chmerkovskiy, mile high club, plastic surgery, saturday night live, louis c.k., racism, israel-palestine, movies, cannes, jackie, jackie kennedy, darren aronofsky, pablo larrain, pitch perfect 2, rebel wilson, super fun night, derek hough, nastia liukin, fox, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, ryan seacrest, gary newman, daytime soap, general hospital, anthony geary, genie francis, frank valenti, mad max: fury road, mel gibson, george miller, tom hardy, hugh keays-byrne, charlize theron, the cw, arrow, the vampire diaries, supernatural, the originals, jane the virgin, the flash, the 100, izombie, reign, beauty and the beast, action, afc football championship game, jim mcnally, john jastremski, tom brady, bill belichick, prince, baltimore, rally 4 peace, freddie gray, 3rdeyegirl

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store