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The hard-driving, fast-talking, star-studded Smokey and the Bandit comedies that turned America to CBs and outlaw truckers are now together in the Smokey and the Bandit Complete Collection. Featuring the red hot chemistry of movie stars Burt Reynolds and Sally Fields, the good ol boy charm of Jerry Reed and the outrageous performance of comic legend Jackie Gleason, the Smokey and the Bandit movies are an endlessly entertaining package of breathtaking stunts, irresistible romance and rowdy good times that never runs out of gas. [Official Synopsis]

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
So breaking this Blu-ray collection down, I’d actually covered the original film a few months back when it got its individual release, so head over to that review that covers the first disc of this collection here:  Smokey And The Bandit Blu-ray Review...

Now moving on to the rest of the set and those Smokey And The Bandit Sequels

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection

Smokey and the Bandit II

(100 mins, DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo 2.0, No Subtitles)

In Smokey And The Bandit 2 outlaw driver The Bandit (Burt Reynolds) is now an alcoholic down on his luck, who accepts the job of delivering an elephant to the Republican National Convention in just 24 hours. Hot on his tail of course, is the redneck Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), still smarting from his earlier humiliation.

Now the start of this sequel didn't ring any bells, even though I knew I must have seen it and then the elephant turned up and it all came rushing back to me. I think maybe I saw this sequel more than the original as a kid because this one was really familiar once the plot got going. It's certainly the loosest of loose plots. Frog (Sally Fields) is getting married to the deputy again, for no real reason, The Bandit is needed again to transport something across country again (for a reason I struggle to fully grasp) and once again Sheriff Justice is in hot pursuit of The Bandit and The Bandit only, making the transporting of the elephant extremely secondary to the plot.

So this one is more of a romp but with characters this good, bouncing off of each other this well, I don’t really care the plot is thin y'know. Bandit and Frog are every bit the adorable couple again, they maybe not have quite the same amount of charming moments or spunk to their attitudes but they are still a hell of a lot of fun to be around.

My favourite moment, which again I had forgotten all about but when it arrived it was like being transported to the joys of my youth again was that giant big rigs vs cop cars face off at the end. It's not quite Fury Road if comparing to today's standards but damn it was everything when I was a kid and seeing all this flips, crashes and rolls all these years later still completely enthralled me. It doesn't make a lick of sense but it's so much fun to watch as those cop cars take a pounding while not one gets hurt. It's a huge scale thing, all in camera and just a wild way to wrap a largely silly film up. Yeah this Smokey movie borders closer to a comedy caper than the previous one did but it's still a ton of fun.

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection

Video


As expected the image here is middling. It's a little less colourful that the first film's presentation and it's a touch grainier at times. In low lighting the image is flat and interior scenes really struggle to shine in HD but colours are good, probably more natural than the original film's presentation in fact and wide open exterior scenes show off well lit elements well. Despite the discs failings this is still a presentation that sits comfortably above the DVD editions and TV broadcasts, even if it's only slight.

Anything with minimal lighting crushes darker colours, the Bandit's black shirt in a night time black background has nothing to set them apart at all really and it's really only his red jacket that has any real pop and even that's only from time to time. This 80s cult classic (well sequel to a cult classic) looks exactly like the era its set in.  The grain isn't overwhelming and actually presents a fair nice look to the image most of the time, really only strangling the life out of the visuals in stock footage or scenes that are under less control and out in the middle of nowhere.

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection

Audio


The music here sounds great, the dialogue clean and clear but don't expect much else in this minimal stereo track. Sound effects can sometimes sound more prominent than the dialogue it's sitting next to, which is odd, a scuffing footstep on tarmac out doing three people talking is a little strange sounding but this is few and far between in this otherwise solid, though doing only the basics track.

Extras


Once again Smokey has confiscated any extras here and all we get is the leftover Trailer.

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection

Smokey and the Bandit III

(84 mins, DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo 2.0, No Subtitles)

In Smokey and the Bandit 3 The Enos's hire truck driver Cletus (Jerry Reed) to deliver a replica shark from Miami to a seafood restaurant in Texas. The snag is Cletus isn't to drive his usual big rig, has to pretend to be the infamous Bandit. When Sheriff Justice (Gleason) sees the bandit on the road again, it's time for another hot pursuit!

Okay, so this third entry is more about Sheriff Justice. He's retiring and the one that got away is there to be caught. In most other film series, the idea that the villain gets his own entry would be all kinds of ridiculous but Jackie Gleason is so good in this role it totally works. Of course the film isn't quite as focused as previous entries an relies heavily on car chases and stunts mixed with nostalgic echoes of the previous films but it's still a whole lot of fun and delivers the same Smokey and the Bandit thrills and chuckles even though Sally Field and Burt Reynolds as absent (thought Burt does get a small scenes towards the end which is actually quite a nice moment to end the series).

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection

Video


The image here is much the same as the presentation on the first film on first glance but has a few noticeably better results. The colours, such as the reds and blues pop off of the screen and black levels are noticeably stronger at times.

More positively, the presentation is noticeably sharper with quite a bit of fine detail at times. Foliage, car upholstery and the reflection off of a shiny car paint job can all look pretty great. Due o the majority of the film taking place outside, the natural light offers a distinctly HD look to this. Of course there’s also a ton of grainer scenes and softer elements so this isn’t an all round win but it was certainly a better presentation than I would have predicted for the lesser known third Smokey and the Bandit film.

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection

Audio


The audio track is clear and strong but extremely central. Music on the soundtrack sounds good and offers the best of the track as it's consistently strong and adds a whole lot of depth to the otherwise simple and small track.

Extras


Three films. No extras of notes. It's a real shame.

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection

The Smokey and the Bandit Collection Overall


I know, I'm watching these films through rose tinted glasses as my youth has such fond memories of multiple rewatches of this series but I struggle to see many flaws with these purposely whacky and light romps. They are what they are and what they are is fun. Enjoyable characters, wonderful car stunts, insanely memorable dialogue (mainly from Sheriff Justice) and some delightful chemistry between of the players just make this a series that Saturday afternoon viewings were made for. Many years on and these flicks just work as well as they ever did.

The collection is not exactly a Blu-ray masterpiece, which no extras, there's no celebration to be had here but I liked the presentations despite the fact there's no real bells and whistles to the remaster. The films looks better than I ever remember seeing them, sound clear and strong enough (despite limitations) and despite the odd unavoidable softness or overkill of grain from time to time look fresh and clean throughout. For the right price, there's literally no reason not to get this if you want to spend a thoroughly enjoyable few hours seeing a bit of comedy, a bit of romance and some mad car chasing and honestly, who wouldn't want to do that?

 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection
 Smokey And The Bandit The Complete Collection


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