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Peter Faiman
Paul Hogan, Linda Koslowski, John Meillon
Writing Credits:
Paul Hogan, Ken Shadie, John Cornell

An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
French Dolby Monaural
Spanish Dolby Monaural
Portuguese Dolby Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $33.99
Release Date: 9/21/20211
Available as Part of “Crocodile Dundee Trilogy”

• Trailer


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Crocodile Dundee (Crocodile Dundee Trilogy) [Blu-Ray] (1986)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 17, 2021)

Paul Hogan’s career started in his native Australia during the early 1970s. However, it took some early 1980s tourism commercials to make him known in the US.

With a promise to “throw another shrimp on the barbie” for American visitors, Hogan gained some form of fame in the States. However, it took 1986’s Crocodile Dundee to turn him into a real star.

For a while, at least, as Hogan couldn’t generate another character that found an audience in the US. Still, few ever create an iconic role like this, so Hogan deserves credit.

Journalist Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowksi) hears about an Australian man who supposedly survived a near-death encounter with a crocodile. Eager for this story, she travels Down Under to meet the man himself.

There Sue encounters Michael “Crocodile” Dundee (Hogan), and the pair connect as more than reporter/subject. Sue invites Dundee back to New York with her, where the Outback warrior contends with the challenges of the big city.

From the vantage point of 2021, it can feel difficult to remember what a major success Dundee became. Everyone recalls Top Gun, 1986’s biggest US hit.

However, the Tom Cruise smash barely edged out Dundee at the box office. Top Gun earned a mere $2 million more in the States, a much closer result than one might expect given that the Cruise film remains viewed as a classic whereas Dundee feels like a largely forgotten relic.

Though I saw Dundee theatrically back in 1986, I don’t think I’d viewed it again until I watched it in 2021. I can’t claim that this occasion left me sad I went so long between screenings.

Not that I think Dundee becomes a bad film, as it manages some goofy charm at times. The film essentially splits in two parts, as the first half focuses on Mick/Sue in Australia while the second section leaves them mainly in New York.

Both sections work in very different ways, though. In Australia, we find some comedy, but that part mostly gives us Mick as adventurer, with a little romance as well.

Once the film shifts to America, though, Dundee turns into a traditional “fish out of water” tale, also with hints of love between the leads.

Outside of the then-exotic-to-Americans Outback focus, Dundee never brings us anything remotely original. The characters and gags follow their well-worn paths and fail to locate much that seems creative.

Hogan’s Aussie charms worked for audiences 35 years ago, and maybe they still do, though I can’t claim that I think he provides as engaging a performance as I might remember. I like that he lets Mick become the butt of jokes at times, but he never seems all that winning or likable, and that’s a bit of a flaw.

Sue also lacks much personality. Kozlowski looks good and holds her own, but she exists mainly as the generic love interest and plot facilitator, so the film doesn’t allow her to give us an especially memorable character.

All of this leaves us with a sporadically entertaining comedy but not one with much to stand out from the crowd. Though Crocodile Dundee never flops, it also doesn’t find much to impress circa 2021.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio C+/ Bonus D-

Crocodile Dundee appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a transfer that seemed good but not great.

Sharpness generally seemed positive. Occasional shots came across as a bit soft, but the majority of the flick offered appealing delineation.

I saw no signs of moiré effects or jagged edges, but moderately heavy edge haloes appeared. In terms of print flaws, I saw a few tiny specks but nothing major. Grain felt fairly natural, though I got the impression a little noise reduction might’ve been used.

Colors usually boasted fairly lively tones. The movie went with a natural palette that didn’t leap off the screen, but the hues seemed largely well-rendered.

Black levels generally seemed too crushed, while shadows came across as a bit dark and dense. Neither issue became truly problematic, but these elements lacked great delineation. Ultimately, the image felt more than watchable but never impressive.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio, the soundscape proved to be fairly active and involving. The front channels demonstrated the best movement/integration, and the surrounds added some material as well.

The mix focused mainly on the forward spectrum, though. Given the age of the soundfield, it offered reasonable activity.

The quality of the track felt erratic. Speech occasionally became a bit edgy, but the lines were always intelligible and usually appeared reasonably natural.

Music was peppy and bold at times, but the score could also feel a little shrill. Effects also varied, as they sometimes came across as clear and distinctive but other occasions seemed a bit rough. Given the ups and downs, I figured this was a “C+” mix for its era.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The two offered similar soundfields, but the BD’s lossless audio seemed slightly warmer and truer.

Visuals offered improvements in terms of definition and colors, and the Blu-ray also lost most of the print flaws from the DVD. Even with its mild drawbacks, the Blu-ray became an obvious upgrade over the now-20-year-old DVD.

Note that Crocodile Dundee initially came out on Blu-ray in 2014 via a “double feature” with its 1988 sequel. I never saw that release but because the two come with identical specs, I strongly suspect that the 2021 version simply reissues the 2014 disc.

The disc includes the film’s trailer but it lacks any other extras.

35 years ago, Crocodile Dundee became a smash hit that did wonders for Australian tourism. Seen in 2021, though, it seems vaguely charming but leaves me somewhat befuddled that we all loved it so much back then. The Blu-ray offers reasonably good picture with mediocre audio and it lacks bonus materials. This winds up as a decent release for a sporadically amusing but badly dated movie.

Note that this Blu-ray can be found only as part of a “Crocodile Dundee Trilogy” three-disc set. In addition to 1986’s Crocodile Dundee, it also includes 1988’s Crocodile Dundee II and 2001’s Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.

To rate this film, visit the original review of CROCODILE DUNDEE

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