Blu-ray Review: VIBES

Feb 10 Posted by in DVD/Blu-ray, Reviews | Comments

This week Mill Creek Entertainment has released another batch of Blu-rays with Retro VHS slipcovers. One of these new releases is the 1988 adventure comedy Vibes, which arrives on Blu-ray for the very first time.

Dr. Harrison Steele (Julian Sands) of the NYU Department of Paranormal Studies is hosting a study to test folks’ special abilities. While he claims to be doing this as research, Steele has some ulterior motives—he is really trying to find folks who can help him track down The Lost City. Two of his most promising candidates are Sylvia Pickel (Cyndi Lauper) and Nick Deezy (Jeff Goldblum). Sylvia is a free-spirited young woman who is just a few credits short of graduating from beauty school. She is a transmedium, which means that she can commune with the spirit world, and her primary contact is a ghost named Louise. Louise can see into the future and knows things that mortals don’t. Nick, on the other hand, is much more serious and straight-laced. He is a curator at a museum, where his psychometry ability comes in quite handy (so-to-speak). Just by touching an object, Nick is able to tell where’s it’s been and/or whom it has come in contact with.

After the week-long study is over, Sylvia and Nick get back to their normal lives, where both aren’t so lucky in love. Sylvia discovers that her ex Fred (Steve Buscemi) was only pretending to be interested in getting back together in order to take advantage of her to make a quick buck at the race track. And Nick learns that his girlfriend Hillary (Karen Akers) has been cheating on him when he picks up her undergarment and has a vision of a hockey player. Both Nick and Sylvia are looking for a fresh start when a man named Harry Buscafusco (Peter Falk) approaches them with an offer of $50K to help him find his lost son, who was last seen in Ecuador. The pair agree to help, but soon discover that Harry may not have been quite truthful about who or what it is that he is looking for. And there are some deadly folks who will stop at nothing to ensure they don’t complete their mission.

Vibes is a fun romantic adventure/comedy, in a similar vein to Romancing the Stone or Jewel of the Nile. While Nick and Sylvia have clashing personalities, opposites attract, and over the course of their adventure they discover that they have feelings for one another. However, there are several miscommunications, hurdles and deadly encounters that they must overcome along the way. Sylvia is excited for the adventure of visiting a new country, while Nick is paranoid about catching a parasite—he’s even packed extra suitcases containing food and water. Harry joins the would-be couple on their search, and often seems oblivious to the dangers that arise—such as supervillain/cocky mentalist Ingo Swedlin (Googy Gress), whom Dr. Steele resorts to hiring after Nick and Sylvia decline his offer to join his project, and assassin Consuelo (Elizabeth Peña), who has been hired to eliminate them.

There is great chemistry between Nick and Sylvia. Cyndia Lauper is so delightful in her first motion picture role—it’s a wonder why she didn’t really take on any other leading roles after this. Goldblum is also fantastic, doing what he is great at, playing that intellectual worry wart type of character. The writers find fun ways to show off the character’s special abilities for comedic effect, putting the characters in some comical situations, allowing the two actors to play off of one another brilliantly. And while the overall adventure plot of the film falls a little short in the final act, I still quite enjoyed the journey, and the relationship that forms between Nick and Sylvia.

Mill Creek’s Blu-ray provides somewhat solid video and audio. The scenes that take place in foggy conditions—such as the opening title sequence, and parts of the final act—are a bit rough looking, with heavy grain. However, the rest of the film looks fantastic, with a bright, clean, and detailed picture. The audio track provides clear dialogue, and showcases the film’s nice soundtrack, which includes a score by Titanic‘s James Horner and original song “Hole in My Heart (All the Way to China)” by Cyndi Lauper. This is certainly the best home entertainment presentation this film has received to date. Unfortunately, the disc doesn’t include bonus material or digital copy. The main menu only offers the option of watching with or without subtitles.

What’s Included:

Film: (1:39:35)

  • 1080p / Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Subtitles: English SDH


    There is no bonus material included

Final Thoughts:

My Rating

While Vibes certainly won’t be accused of being robbed of any award nominations, it is still a pretty solidly-entertaining adventure rom-com with a great cast and some really fun, iconic moments. I wish Lauper and Golblum had teamed up for more films as they are both hilarious and have great on-screen chemistry. Mill Creek’s Blu-ray looks and sounds really good, but unfortunately doesn’t include any bonus material. It’s great to see Mill Creek continuing to release some of these fun older movies on Blu-ray so fans can watch them in HD, or fans of the actors can discover these nearly-forgotten gems.