Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Kyle Dean Jackson
What's it about
A tough as nails street detective (Madsen) is hot on the trail of a killer who is busy offing prominent criminals.
Is it good movie?
What can I say? I won't lie, I dig Micheal Madsen. I dug him in Sin City, I dug him in Kill Bill Vol 2, and I even dug him in Free Willy. That's why I had high hopes for Chasing Ghosts, and after multiple attempts to convince myself otherwise, I must admit that even my dearest brother Budd couldn't save this one. This role is tailor made for Madsen, he's a typical reckless cop with nothing to lose who is attempting to catch a serial killer. How do we know anything about our lead detective? The movie begins with a bunch of expository and sort of silly flashbacks regarding his past. Unfortunately, that's almost all we get in the way of development, after that, Madsen's character is essentially just going through the motions.
There's a fine B-movie cast supporting this romp, including the terrifying Gary Busey, Micheal Rooker, and even Meat Loaf (YEAH!). Unfortunately, the problem here is that this movie is nothing more than a typical tv movie that really just feels like a long episode of your favorite cop/crime drama. The "love story" feels ridiculously tacked on, and the film's biggest fault is that you can see the ending, the truth, the unraveling coming from a frickin' mile away! It took me about 45 minutes before I guessed at it and was unfortunately right.
Video / Audio
The dvd claims to be presented in 1:85 widescreen, but it didn't seem to be that ratio to me. The picture is crisp and clear though, just like any other Sony release, but isn't really anything to write home about.
The audio on this disc shines. Pop this bad boy in your player and you'll be treated to a glorious Dolby 5.1 mix that your speakers will thank you for.
Outtakes- This is a rather long series of cuts that were left out of the film, and rightfully so, because if it were any longer and i'd never have made it through.
'Making of'- A standard fluff piece which you should stay away from if you haven't watched the film yet, as it's full of spoilers. Only thing worth noting here is how the creators managed to make L.A look like New York!
'Shade and Spade'- this is a silly, short spoof of detective/crime dramas that is neither funny nor appropriate for this disc. Why is this here?
VFX Effects focuses on, surprisinginly enough, the various effects of the film, be it the car chase scenes, the wounds, the elaborately staged shootouts, etc.
Last but not least, we get a Sony promotional gallery.
I can't say that this is a bad flick, per se, as it's perfectly watchable and I did enjoy it on some levels. It's always great to see the manic Busey, and Micheal Madsen does remain the man- this movie doesn't hurt his reputation. If you're in the mood for some crime/drama, and you don't watch CSI much, this one will suit you on a boring evening.