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Puerto Ricans in Paris: Blu-ray + Digital HD Review

Puerto Ricans in Paris (2016) movie poster Puerto Ricans in Paris

Theatrical Release: June 10, 2016 / Running Time: 82 Minutes / Rating: R

Director: Ian Edelman / Writers: Neel Shah, Ian Edelman

Cast: Luis Guzmán (Luis Lopez), Edgar Garcia (Eddie Garcia), Alice Taglioni (Colette Desrosiers), Miriam Shor (Sergeant Nora), Lilou Fogli (Kate), Julie Ferrer (Francesca), Charlotte Mangel (Ludvine), Frédéric Anscombre (Vincent Gravois), Rosie Perez (Gloria Lopez), Rosario Dawson (Vanessa), Ravi Patel (Hassan)

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For over thirty years, Luis Guzmán has accepted supporting roles and glorified cameos. There doesn't seem to be any limit to the type of movie he'll make, with or without credit: a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, an Adam Sandler comedy, a family film, a violent one.
In 2016, Guzmán finally got rare and probably unprecedented top billing, albeit in Puerto Ricans in Paris, a film seen by few in North America and even fewer outside it.

Guzmán shares pre-title billing and leading man status with Edgar Garcia, an actor with a shorter resume who doesn't even have a Wikipedia page. Luis (Guzmán) and his brother-in-law Eddie (Garcia) are undercover NYPD detectives, who in the film's opening scene are seen uncovering a counterfeit designer bag business. Those are the kind of busts they do and their work has attracted the attention of a high-end French fashion company, which brings an unusual case to them.

One of two prototype bags from the designer Colette Desrosiers (Alice Taglioni) has been stolen and is being held ransom for one million Euro with the added threat that the bag will be used to make cheap knock-offs before the genuine article makes it to the upscale retailers who have ordered it. If Luis and Eddie can recover the missing bag, they will receive a reward of $150,000 each. Paris, here they come!

"Puerto Ricans in Paris" stars Luis Guzmán and Edgar Garcia as a pair of NYPD detectives hired by a French fashion company to solve the theft of a priceless designer bag.

Colette turns the detectives' attentions to the few colleagues with access to the bag whom she believes could have stolen it. Adopting varied personas, the detectives check out each suspect, while acclimating themselves to life in Paris.

The feature film debut of Ian Edelman, who created the two-season HBO dramedy "How to Make It in America", Puerto Ricans in Paris looks like it might be a really lowbrow and broad comedy of shenanigans abroad.
But this film, which is nearly as much of a crime mystery as it is a comedy, has a surprisingly good nature about it. Some of the comedy -- a montage of the guys trying on outlandish designer clothes for a gay assistant or Eddie joining other men in taking off his shirt while dancing in a nightclub -- misses the mark. But the two guys have a solid comic chemistry and the movie doesn't stop for them to try to make us laugh. Subplots about Eddie's wife (Rosie Perez) and Luis' girlfriend (Rosario Dawson) are pretty disposable, but add just enough to flesh out what is a moderately compelling caper you probably only think you've figured out before the detectives do.

Handled like a niche attraction by Focus World, who exhibited the film in 41 theaters for just a single week in June, Puerto Ricans in Paris swiftly comes to DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday from parent company Universal, with the latter including Digital HD with UltraViolet.

Puerto Ricans in Paris: Blu-ray + Digital HD cover art - click to buy from Amazon.com Blu-ray Disc Details

2.40:1 Widescreen
5.1 DTS-HD MA (English), DTS 5.1 (Spanish)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired, Spanish, French
Not Closed Captioned
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Suggested Retail Price: $26.98
Single-sided, single-layered disc (BD-25)
Blue Keepcase in Cardboard Slipcover
Also available on DVD ($19.98 SRP) and Amazon Instant Video

VIDEO and AUDIO

Puerto Ricans in Paris may not have cost a whole lot, but it looks as sharp and terrific as most new studio films do. The 2.40:1 picture and 5.1 DTS-HD master audio are both without complaint or concern. The occasional French dialogue is translated by burned-in subtitle.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Aside from the aforementioned Digital HD, Puerto Ricans in Paris doesn't get a single bonus feature.
Outtakes feature in the end credits, so the studio could have cheated and presented them on their own as something extra. But I doubt many will be saddened not to encounter standard extras like deleted scenes or commentary here.

The disc opens with short trailers for Term Life, Search Party, Hardcore Henry, Mr. Right, Honey 3, and Hard Target 2.

The static, silent menu features a grayer version of the cover art that is adapted straight from the theatrical one-sheet.

The insert supplying the complimentary Digital HD with UltraViolet code is all that joins the silver disc inside the standard, slipcovered blue keepcase.

Eddie (Edgar Garcia) and Luis (Luis Guzmán) try to fit in at a Parisian party for high society.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Puerto Ricans in Paris is not a movie I would have sought out or asked to review, but it showed up on my doorstep and I don't regret seeing it. It's nice to see Luis Guzmán, enjoyable in small doses for so long, get extended screentime and remain entertaining. The film holding that performance is nothing out of the ordinary, but it's diverting in a breezy way. Universal's Blu-ray looks and sounds nice and its inclusion of Digital HD is appreciated.

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Reviewed July 31, 2016.



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