La Bamba is a well made and all around good biographic drama headlined by a great performance from Lou Diamond Phillips marking his first major role, and only third film, playing Valens whose career was cut short before it could really begin.
Genre(s): Drama, Music
Twilight Time | PG13 – 109 min. – $29.95 | September 9, 2014
La Bamba tells the brief, ultimately tragic, but uplifting story of Ritchie Valens, born Ricardo Valenzuela in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Valens (LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS) would have three hit songs before dying at the shockingly young age of 17 in the infamous plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson; his short life — particularly with family and friends in a vibrant Mexican-American community — and obsessive love of music are the focus here.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
Although not jam-packed with the features, the disc does include two Audio Commentaries, one with Writer/Director Luis Valez, Actors Lou Diamond Phillips and Esai Morales & Producer Stuart Benjamin; the second features Producers Taylor Hackford and Daniel Valdez. Also included is the Theatrical Trailer (1:26; HD) and an Isolated Score Track.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
A bit heavy on the noise, this 1080p high-definition transfer from Twilight Time, La Bamba is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio. As I said, the noise factor is a bit much at times but still detail levels aren’t bad, colors are generally vibrant and have a good pop off the small screen and it appears to be a clean transfer with no major signs of dust or scratch marks.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
One would assume that a music-drama would benefit from a lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and for the most part, this one sounds pretty good with clear dialogue coming mainly from
the center channel while the music does have some clarity and depth via the front channels. The rear speakers are typically relegated for ambient noises as well as the score.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, La Bamba is a well made and all around good biographic drama headlined by a great performance from Lou Diamond Phillips marking his first major role, and only third film, playing Valens whose career was cut short before it could really begin. The Blu-ray from Twilight Time offers up good video/audio transfers and two fine commentaries in a limited set of bonus material.