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Three Amigos! Blu-ray

United States
25th Anniversary Edition HBO | 1986 | 103 min | Rated PG | Nov 22, 2011

Three Amigos! (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (21.99 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: DTS 2.0
Spanish: DTS Mono

English SDH, French, Spanish

25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Region A (locked)

List price: $14.98, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 3.8 of 53.8
Audio 3.6 of 53.6
Extras 3.0 of 53.0
Based on 5 user reviews

Movie appeal


Three Amigos!


Three Amigos! Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this exceptional Blu-ray release

When a villainous bandit terrorizes her small Mexican village, a real-life damsel in distress enlists the help of three goofy singing cowboy Hollywood stars--mistakenly believing that they are as heroic in person as they are onscreen. The wimpy actors think they are going south of the border to perform a one-time show for a large fee. As they arrive in the tiny oppressed village, they begin to realize that they are caught in a horrible case of mistaken identity and must truly fight for their lives against the evil marauder El Guapo. They cowardly run for their lives while the village is almost destroyed until they realize the importance of their mission and are forced to use real cunning and bravery to try to defeat the villain's hordes in order to prove that the Three Amigos are as truly as courageous and heroic as they appeared onscreen.

For more about Three Amigos! and the Three Amigos! Blu-ray release, see Three Amigos! Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.

Director: John Landis
Writers: Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels, Randy Newman
Starring: Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Alfonso Arau, Joe Mantegna, Phil Hartman

» See full cast & crew

Three Amigos! Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

With one small reservation, which I'll discuss below, HBO's Blu-ray of ¡Three Amigos! presents the film as it was meant to be seen and more than makes up for the 1999 DVD travesty. Gone is the pervasive gate-weave and print damage, and the credits play to the end. The 1080p, AVC-encoded image features strong, saturated colors that shift as appropriate to portray the scene on display, whether it's the dusty earth tones of Santa Poco and El Guapo's hideout, the Hollywood tackiness of the Goldsmith studio, the purplish hues of the sunsets into which the Amigos ride (several times) or the soundstage technicolor prairie on which the Amigos camp, dining on barbecued bat (actually bacon). Even the parched desert crossing is colorful without being blown out by the hot whites of the sand and sun.

Black levels are very good, and they need to be, or the Amigos' costumes wouldn't look right. Detail is so well delineated that the hideous patterns of the outfits the Amigos wear to their Flugleman meeting (costumes they inherited from their flop, Those Darn Amigos) are on full display. The dirt, grime and bad teeth of El Guapo and his men are also conveyed in suitably grotesque detail, along with the stitching and spangles on the Amigos' costumes.

My only reservation is one that I hesitate to bring up, because of the likelihood that it will be taken out of context and magnified to the exclusion of this Blu-ray's virtues (and I'm giving it a high score). There is almost a complete absence of visible film grain, which is surprising in a film of this vintage. Every so often -- and we're talking about a handful of shots in the entire film -- a close-up on one of the Amigos' faces left me with the impression that the texture was a little too smooth. I'm not talking about a "wax dummy" effect (a phenomenon that I suspect Landis is all too familiar with, given what Paramount did to his Trading Places); it's more like the effect of too much pancake makeup.

We have reached the point in the development of digital tools where it is possible to effectively eliminate film grain without stripping image detail; a recent impressive example is James Cameron's Aliens. However, just because an ability exists doesn't mean it has to be used. The decision whether or not to eliminate grain is an aesthetic, even a philosophical one. Obviously, it may also have commercial implications. For whatever combination of reasons, Landis and the technical staff he was overseeing appear to have made the decision to produce a grainless ¡Three Amigos!, and they have certainly done it the right way: leaving the full range of picture information intact and introducing no artifacts that I could detect. Indeed, judged by the standards of today's digital intermediate world, where grain is frequently non-existent in the final product, this is a pleasantly film-like image, and it certainly lacks the digital "edge" that has marred Blu-rays such as Back to the Future.

I've already devoted more words to this issue than a non-problem deserves, but since it caught my eye, I couldn't say nothing. And since it's a subject that can't be raised without risking battles over lines in the sand (much like the one Ned draws), I'm taking this opportunity to articulate my observations in full before recommending the disc.

Three Amigos! Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

The film and DVD were released in stereo, but the Blu-ray's soundtrack is offered in 5.1 mastered in DTS lossless. The track remains front-centered, although the discrete format provides an improved sense of left and right separation during scenes involving large number of characters. The single most noticeable enhancement is bass extension. When Carmen and Rodrigo enter the church where the Three Amigos' film is being shown, the bass from the organ accompaniment is deep and powerful. Elmer Bernstein's lush orchestral score, which is also a witty send-up of Bernstein's own Oscar-nominated score for The Magnificent Seven, also benefits from the track's deep bass, as does the full range of the orchestra's instrumentation. The Amigos' songs, written by Randy Newman, have the crystal clarity of studio recordings, and no attempt has been made to make them sound otherwise. When the Amigos break into "Blue Shadow" in the middle of the prairie, the change in pitch and tone is as obvious as the painted background, and it's meant to be.

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Three Amigos! Blu-ray, News and Updates

This Week on Blu-ray: November 22-28 - November 22, 2011

After successfully bringing Star Trek to the mainstream, director J.J. Abrams teamed up with legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg to create this generation's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. While the story behind Super 8 surrounds the aftermath of a train wreck, the ...

Exclusive Interview: Director John Landis - November 20, 2011

In anticipation of the November 22nd Blu-ray release of Three Amigos, news reporter Josh Katz interviewed the film's director, John Landis. The guiding hand behind such screen entertainments as National Lampoon's Animal House, An American Werewolf ...

Three Amigos Blu-ray (Updated) - August 10, 2011

Warner Bros. has confirmed the Blu-ray release of John Landis' 1986 comedy Three Amigos. The HBO Films production stars Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short as three silent film actors who mistakenly believe that they have been cast as the stars of a film ...

» Show more related news posts for Three Amigos! Blu-ray

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