Aerospace engineer Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) is stuck in a boring, dead-end job. He spends hours each day commuting in Los Angeles traffic, and for the past few months, he has been suffering from insomnia. One day he heads home early from work to try to take a nap, only to discover his wife in bed with her co-worker. So Ed decides to take a drive to clear his head, and ends up at the airport parking garage. A mysterious young woman named Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer) runs towards his car screaming for help. She is being chased by some foreign men with guns, who are demanding Diana return something she took from them. Diana jumps into Ed’s car and they speed off with the gunmen in tow.
As the night goes along, Ed learns that Diana is a failed actress/model who became a kept woman for a very powerful man. She had agreed to smuggle some emeralds into the country, but now several parties who claim to be their rightful owners are after her. Despite the fact that Ed now finds himself in constant pursuit from several deadly groups, all trying to get their hands on the emeralds, he is drawn to Diana and the excitement she has brought into his life.
I had never heard of Into the Night before receiving this Blu-ray for review. It was never a huge hit in the U.S., though it did well abroad. The film’s tone is noir-ish femme fatale thriller meets dark comedy. The four Persian/Iranian men chasing Diana at the start of the film (one of whom is played by director John Landis) are ruthless killers who murder people who get in their way, but at the same time, they are bumbling idiots who are constantly messing up their own plans. This leads to a lot of physical, slapstick, Keystone Cops-style humor. Meanwhile, there is also a bit of a romantic comedy vibe as Ed and Diana are constantly forced to come to one another’s rescue. The film kind of reminded me of other ’80s films such as Who’s That Girl? or Something Wild.
Jeff Goldblum plays his signature role of the nervous guy who rambles on in a comedic way. He has great chemistry with Michelle Pfeiffer, who is quite delightful in this movie. Diana has this mysterious but fun vibe to her. This film also includes some nice guest performances by Dan Aykroyd as Ed’s co-worker and David Bowie as one of the villains after the emeralds. While I did enjoy the film overall, there were a few parts of the story that I found a bit confusing—it was difficult to keep track of who all the various parties interested in the jewels.
Into The Night is spine #35 in Shout! Factory’s Shout Select line of Blu-rays. The release features a newly restored picture that looks quite good, especially for a film that’s 32 years old. The picture is generally clear, with a pleasant amount of film grain. Occasionally there’s a scene that’s slightly less sharp or a bit blurry, but I did not find this distracting or off-putting. The mono audio track isn’t anything remarkable, but it does provide clear dialogue, and the film’s bluesy soundtrack sounds really good. The disc contains a solid selection of bonus material, including brand new interviews with director John Landis and star Jeff Goldblum, as well as a vintage documentary on musician B.B. King. The disc comes packed in a standard HD keepcase.
- 1080p / Widescreen 1.85:1
- Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
- Subtitles: English SDH
- John Landis: Back Into The Night (25:47)
In this brand new interview, the director talks about the script, the characters, and casting the movie. He shares a fun story about originally trying to cast Jack Nicholson and Jamie Lee Curtis, and how he ended up with Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer. He also talks about how/why he ended up in the movie himself, casting David Bowie, filming at LAX, working with B.B. King on the score, and the film’s lack of success in the U.S. but how it was well-received abroad.
- Jeff Goldblum: Requiem For An Insomniac (22:31)
This brand new interview was recorded August 21, 2017 for this Blu-ray release. The actor talks about the backstory he imagined for his character and why Ed is sleepless and troubled, the funny noir tone of the film, how he interprets the film as an actor then vs now, being a leading man, working with Michelle Pfeiffer, doing night shoots, the filming locations, working with John Landis, and filming the music videos with B.B. King and the actors.
- B.B. King Into The Night (26:05)
Award-Winning 1985 Documentary that looks into B.B. King’s career, includes some vintage B.B. King interviews and performance footage, as well as director John Landis interviewing King about how he got into music. The documentary also includes music videos for “My Lucille” and “In The Midnight Hour” starring B.B. King, Jeff Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. Plus B.B. King performs “Into The Night” as cameras pan around him backstage. Finally, Landis, King, and composer Ira Newborn discuss the scoring of the film.
- Theatrical Trailer (1:39)
Into the Night is a little known but entertaining 1980s comedy/thriller featuring great performances by Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer. Shout! Factory’s Blu-ray release features an excellent, newly-restored transfer as well as some brand new retrospective interviews with the director and star of the film. It’s always great to discover a fun new old film that you never knew existed. This release is definitely worth checking out.