Used Cars is not only a biting and dark satire but it’s also very funny and pretty edgy even by today’s standards to the point I’d doubt a film like this would get widely released. Kurt Russell is fantastic in the lead role and the supporting cast, led by Jack Warden, is wonderful as well.
Twilight Time | R – 113 min. – $29.95 | April 8, 2014
THE MOVIE – 4.0/5
Outline: From writer-director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) and writer-producer Bob Gale, Used Cars stars Kurt Russell as a charming/nefarious car salesman caught up in a war between feuding car-lot owners, the twin brothers Roy and Luke Fuchs (both played by JACK WARDEN). This satiric look at the American dream also stars Gerrit Graham (Class Reunion), Frank McRae (Loaded Weapon 1), Deborah Harmon (Bachelor Party), Michael McKean (A Mighty Wind), and David L. Lander (Scary Movie) as a madcap group of miscreant strivers in a film that has become a cult favorite.
Quick Hit Review: I wasn’t sure what to make of Used Cars going in but when it ended, I could understand the hype it has garnered over the years with its dark, sarcastic comedy and wonderfully hilarious performances from Kurt Russell and Gerrit Graham to go along with the rest of the cast including the always delightful Jack Warden.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
The release comes with a 6-page booklet with an essay written by Julie Kirgo.
Audio Commentary features Co-Writer/Director Robert Zemeckis, Co-Writer/Producer Bob Gale and Actor/Star Kurt Russell who provide a jovial track giving tid-bits on the filming process, locations, etc. The three keep it light yet still informative.
Gag Reel & Outtakes (4:25) is an extremely dated reel with some line flubs and such.
Radio and TV Promotional Materials contains a car commercial (0:32) featuring Kurt Russell on the car lot where the film was made; an interview (5:02) with Russell and some radio spots (7:51).
Also included are galleries for “Action and Stunts”, “Unused Concepts”, “Behind the Scenes” and “Posters and Lobby Cards”, the Original Theatrical Trailer (1:50) and Isolated Score Tracks, one with the film score, the other using unused pieces.
VIDEO – 5.0/5
Used Cars arrives on Blu-ray through Twilight Time presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture here is downright pristine with no obvious signs of artifacting, pixilation or dust marks and scratches. Colors are bright and well balanced while detail levels are sharp without looking like edge enhancement was used.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The movie includes a 5.1 and 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks and even though this was a smaller production made back in 1979/1980, sounds really solid with clear dialogue levels with the center channel getting the primary use while the rear speakers are relegated for the score and soundtrack.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, Used Cars is not only a biting and dark satire but it’s also very funny and pretty edgy even by today’s standards to the point I’d doubt a film like this would get widely released. Kurt Russell is fantastic in the lead role and the supporting cast, led by Jack Warden, is wonderful as well. The Blu-ray released by Twilight Time ports over all the features from the DVD release and even adds isolated score tracks to the menu while the audio and video transfers are both solid.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.