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Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham star in this US drama written and directed by Steve de Jarnatt. After meeting Julie (Winningham) at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, Harry (Edwards) makes arrangements to meet up with her again after her shift finishes at midnight. However, his alarm fails to go off and he oversleeps, missing the date. When he then receives a mysterious call telling him that nuclear war is about to break out, Harry begins frantically searching the city for Julie in a desperate bid to get her out of town and to safety.
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Gym wear. Check.
Tangerine Dream on the soundtrack. Check.
It must be another '80s film, and it is but one thats getting its first release since the days of VHS.
Miracle Mile is one of my favorite films, I long ago wore out my old copy taped from terrestrial TV, so its great to finally have a region 2/B friendly copy. Its basically a love story set during an imminent nuclear holocaust, a bleak but wonderfully engrossing film that defies easy pigeon-holing.
Arrows Blu/DVD combo has a nice booklet with liner notes from the mighty Tim Lucas and the usual reversible sleeve art and for once I prefer Arrows new artwork on the cover.
Extras are good with features, interviews with the cast and director, although the alternative ending is a letdown.
Grain is present and correct and the picture is beautiful with vibrant colors, blacks good etc. However there is very slight print damage, back and white specks, evident more or less the entire run-time. You can go 20-30 seconds without seeing damage but some will find it unacceptable. Arrow must have looked at the figures and known full restoration costs would not be recouped in the UK.
Its a price to pay I suppose just to have this long overlooked film in my collection.
Other posters have set out the plot, which gets more tense (and hysterical) as it goes, so I won't repeat it. There are so many things I love about the film: the wonderful, neon saturated LA architecture and nightscapes (similar to To Live and Die in LA); the amazing, pitch perfect Tangerine Dream score (it's just as great as their wonderful score for Risky Business); the kooky characters like the transvestite in the cafe, Wilson with his trunk of stolen radios, the ripped bodybuilder etc (it's very similar to another outstanding film that explores city life at night, Martin Scorsese's After Hours, which bizarrely has never been released on Blu Ray); but the best thing is how believable and realistic Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham are as Harry and Julie: they look like everyday people not plastic Hollywood babes and their relationship is so tender and touching. If I have a criticism, it's the way Harry and Julie - and may other characters - willingly get separated at times to fit the story, when in practice I am sure they wouldn't choose to be apart. I also wished it finished with them kissing, but that's getting picky.
Miracle Mile is also surprisingly funny with some clever gags along with some very dark humour, and the film does become darker and bleaker as it evolves. The sequence when the TV reporters are shot during a live broadcast and Harry is shot at by fleeing Los Angelenos perfectly captures the terror and horror accompanying a breakdown in civil society. The Gerstead character (yuppie at the top of the skyscraper) is particularly unpleasant and his offensive language does somewhat jar, but he is a counterpoint to the decency of Harry and Julie.
When Miracle Mile was released it was a flop, which is hardly a surprise given the lack of A list cast, bizarre story and very dark themes, but it's the perfect cult film.
The Arrow Blu Ray release isn't the sharpest image, it's not as saturated as some releases and it's grainy in the early nighttime scenes, but it's still a decent and must-have release and the extras are excellent. The booklet makes for interesting reading too.
Budget limitations aside, the movie does exactly what it sets out to do and does it well. There is a feeling of tension from the moment the phone is answered to the end credits and you really feel invested in what happens to the characters. Not a big hit when it came out, but it's since gathered itself a deserved cult following for being one of those "Do you remember a movie where..." type of films that sticks in the brain not just because it's a good movie, but also because it's so unique.
The DVD / Blu Ray release by Kino Lorber comes with commentary tracks (Director - no cast), new interviews with the leads, a 'diner reunion' with the supporting cast, outtakes, deleted scenes and bloopers, and an alternate ending.
The picture quality's excellent, widescreen 1.85:1
& fills all the screen on a modern T.V. L.A nuclear love
story, a race against time & bodybuilders. How far would
you go to save the person you love?, it's an amazing film,
beautiful to look at while fantastic Tangerine Dream music
plays in the background. A true classic...the countdown
begins now- 3 Mississippi...2 Mississippi...1 Mississippi...fallout
Run time:1hr 28min 9sec. Extras: commentary's, deleted scenes,
outtakes & bloopers, supporting cast and crew reunion, interview
with stars, alternate diamond ending & trailers.