Director: W.D. Richter
Cast: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin
Release Date: August 16, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10
Brilliant brain surgeon Banzai (Weller) just made scientific history. Shifting his Oscillation Overthruster into warp speed, he’s the first man ever to travel to the Eighth Dimension and come back sane! But when his sworn enemy, the demented Dr. Lizardo (Lithgow), devises a plot to steal the Overthruster and bring an evil army of aliens back to destroy Earth, Buckaroo goes cranium to cranium with the madman in an extra-dimensional battle that could result in total annihilation of the universe!
The odd, yet wonderful cult classic ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension’ drops the viewer into the world of the infamous Buckaroo Banzai: comic star, rock star, and even a Neurosurgeon and Physicist to name a few of his extraordinary talents. Accompanied by his talented entourage and band The Hong Kong Cavaliers, Buckaroo must face one of his toughest challenges to date when he is forced to face off against a race of invaders from another world led by an evil overlord who has escaped custody and ready to cause some havoc. Directed by W.D. Richter who is likely best known for his writing efforts including 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and more, and featuring a fantastic cast including Peter Weller (Robocop), John Lithgow (TV’s Dexter), Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love), Jeff Goldblum (Independence Day), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Lewis Smith (Wyatt Earp), Clancy Brown (Starship Troopers), and a number more, ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension’ is a wildly enjoyable and deliciously strange little gem that has to be seen to be believed.
Get ready to experience ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension’ like never before as this oddly lovable and mesmerizing adventure from 1984 arrives home in a gorgeous new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release from the folks at Shout Factory, marking a perfect cult classic to serve as the first title to kick off their new Shout Select lineup of releases. This new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release will likely be a must own for any fan who hasn’t already picked up their copy (unfortunately my review was obviously notably delayed for which I do apologize). It provides wonderful high definition video and audio presentations, along with a number of great extras including a brand new feature length making of documentary ‘Into the 8th Dimension’, plus ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks and plenty more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below), altogether sure to make this one a definite must own for many of the film’s diehard fans.
Overall, fans of this eccentric 80’s classic will almost surely want to pick up a copy of Shout Select’s new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension’ if they haven’t done so already in order to have the ability to enjoy this strange and adventurous tale time and again with notable high definition video and audio presentations, along with a number of great extras. Those who might not have previously had the pleasure of Buckaroo Banzai but have been meaning to give it a whirl may also want to look into at least renting a copy of the Blu-ray if possible; I certainly can’t imagine a better way to experience this one for the first time.
The Shout Select Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a consistently sharp, detailed and relatively clean presentation that suffers no notable faults throughout, yet still maintains enough grain and mild grit, along with other elements representative of its source material to appease the fans. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation complimented by a more than suitable bitrate that should easily thrill fans of this classic.
The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release features both a lossless 5.1 and 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. I opted for viewing with the 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack although some jumping between showed no overbearing differences aside from the number of channels to work with. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, sharp and on occasion somewhat aggressive audio presentation from start to finish. Utilizing all five available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer within the music, in addition to contributing some surround activity in a few sequences, while never allowing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a more than competent 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that may not overwhelm, but certainly shouldn’t disappoint.
Shout Select’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension’ includes an impressive collection of worthwhile bonus content spread between two discs; the feature film disc and a second disc (this one a DVD disc, not BD) dedicated solely to supplemental material. For the sake of simplicity I’ve broken down the bonus content by disc immediately below:
Disc One (aka the Feature Film Blu-ray disc) includes ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks; the first with ‘Director W.D. Richter and Writer Earl Mac Rauch’, and the second featuring ‘Michael & Denise Okuda’. The disc also includes a brand new in-depth Feature Length Making of Documentary ‘Into the 8th Dimension’ (running approximately 2 hours, 8 minutes in length) exclusive to this release which includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more.
Disc Two (aka the Special Features DVD disc) includes one Featurette: ‘Buckaroo Banzai Declassified’ (running approximately 23 minutes), in addition to an ‘Alternate Opening’ (approximately 7 minutes), and 14 ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film. A ‘New Jet Car Trailer’ (2 minutes) and the ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (1 minute) for the movie are also included.