Blu-ray Review: Vibes | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, July 24th, 2021  


Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment

Feb 20, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Sylvia Pickel (Cyndi Lauper) and Nick Deezy (Jeff Goldblum) are two gifted psychics: she’s able to commune with spirits and astrally project her consciousness, while he’s able to channel the history of any object he holds in his hands. While leading dead-end lives in New York City, they’re discovered by a wily treasure hunter (Peter Falk) who figures their special talents might help lead him to a fabled city of gold hidden deep in the mountains of Ecuador. Tricked into a trip to South America, the mismatched pair—she’s a down-on-her-luck beautician, he’s an intellectual academic—have no choice but to go looking for a treasure that may be more dangerous than anyone’s let on.

Released in 1988, Vibes was intended as a comedic vehicle for Dan Aykroyd and Cyndi Lauper, with Goldblum replacing the former Ghostbuster after the actor dropped out. You can tell the role was written with the other star in mind, but Goldblum’s great in anything, especially a part that’s as quirky as the overwhelmed psychic he plays here. Vibes is better than its <10% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes would lead you to believe: the script comes from the team behind Night Shift, Splash, A League of Their Own and City Slickers, among other solid mainstream comedies. It’s not the humor that’s the problem so much as the plot itself: characters’ motivations stop making sense once we get deep into the Romancing the Stone-esque treasure hunt, and the psychic stuff becomes less-defined as it gets bigger in scope. What begins as a promising comedy turns into a real head-scratcher in its second half.

It’s worth noting that the cast is fantastic. Beyond the two stars and the ever-loveable Falk, we have a villain played Julian Sands, The Breakfast Club’s John Kapelos as Nick’s co-worker, and a barely-credited Steve Buscemi as Sylvia’s shifty ex-boyfriend. James Horner’s pan flute-driven score is cheesy, but effective.

Mill Creek’s Retro VHS Blu-ray release comes in one of the great, rental-like slipcovers the series is known for, but with no extra features. At least the movie looks and sounds great, and the price point keeps it under ten bucks at most retailers. For a fan of any of the stars, it’s worth a pickup.



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