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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $10.99 Last Price: $22.98 Buy now! 3rd Party 10.98 In Stock
Release Date: April 18th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 2023

Cocaine Bear

Overview -

Cocaine Bear is destructive fun about the true story of a giant black bear who did mass amounts of cocaine. Elizabeth Banks took that story and made it into a funny, and bloody-as-hell comedy with enough absurdity to go around twice. Despite its pacing issues, this is a fun film to watch with friends. The DTS-HD 7.2 audio track sounds wonderful and the 1080p HD video transfer looks great. The bonus features are worth the time even if they are short. Recommended.

 

Inspired by the 1985 true story of a drug runner's plane crash, missing cocaine, and the black bear that ate it, this wild dark comedy finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists, and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound apex predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow—and blood.

'MAXIMUM RAMPAGE EDITION’ EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES TO OWN ON DIGITAL, BLU-RAYTM & DVD: 

  • Alternate Ending 
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • All Roads Lead to Cokey: The Making of COCAINE BEAR - Meet the hilarious ensemble brought together to bring the movie of what is soon to be the world's most famous bear to life.
  • UnBEARable Bloodbath: Dissecting the Kills - From rigging to special effects makeup, to some of the actors doing their own stunts, we'll get a bears-eye view into some of COCAINE BEAR's hilarious and gory kill scenes.
  • Doing Lines - Cast and filmmakers read lines from the script to COCAINE BEAR, which was a work of art unto itself.
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Elizabeth Banks and Producer Max Handelman

OVERALL:
Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
96
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.39:1
Audio Formats:
English (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 for Bonus Content), French Canadian (DTS Digital Surround 5.1), and Latin American Spanish (DTS-HD High Resolution Audio 7.1)
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH, French, Spanish
Release Date:
April 18th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

Eric Clapton should create a sequel song to his adaptation of the 1976 hit song by J.J. Cale, Cocaine, with new lyrics about bears doing cocaine. He should call it Cocaine Bear and base it on the absurd, funny hit film of the same name. Cocaine Bear truly lives up to its title about a bear that does an obscene amount of that Snow White dust but fails to really hold a story or forward any character. It simply exists to entertain and that's just fine.

Cocaine Bear is based on a true story from the '80s about a bear that sniffed its way through a cartel's hidden stash of the heavenly powder. That nugget of truth sent filmmaker Elizabeth Banks on a bender of creativity that follows a bunch of characters crossing paths with a giant black bear on cocaine, whose goal is only more cocaine... and blood. This could have been a straight thriller or horror film with a bear sneaking through the dark forest, hunting its prey viciously, but Banks imployed her comedic roots and went full tilt boogie with a bear jumping in slow-motion into a speeding ambulance to kill its victims.

The film adds a ton of different characters and storylines that all converge in the forest, meeting this unhinged mammal. Two elementary school kids with a pro-wrestling champion belt are the first to meet this bear. After that the mother (Keri Russel), followed by three local misfits, two henchmen for the drug cartel, some paramedics, two park rangers, and a detective are all in the mix here - not to mention Tomund Giantsbane who bookends in the movie. Either someone is looking for the cocaine, the children, or the cartel, but are all thwarted by the bear who seems playful at first, but once its nose smells the Star Spangled Powder, things get violently fun.

Everything in Cocaine Bear is surface material. There is nothing underneath the mayhem and fun here, which is fine, however, plot holes abound and characters never get a true moment to shine, because of course, it's all about the bear here. This is all well and good, but the big fatal flaw with Cocaine Bear is that its pacing is all over the place. It takes too long to get where it's really going with the fun scenes of violence and its absurdity. There might be some quick flashes of a leg falling off or a spray of blood, but it's well into the second half of the film where the carnage and jokes reign supreme. But once it lands on that mark, it's brilliantly funny and enjoyable.

The editing is frenetic at best and the CGI bear is less-than-average, but maybe that's part of the fun where the bear looks like a cartoon rather than something realistic. Strong performances from O'shea Jackson Jr, Alden Ehrenreich, and Ray Liotta are rounded out with terror of the bear that owns the screen anytime it's wreaking havoc. Cocaine Bear is a fun midnight movie under the influence of anything really. Other than that, this is a movie left best to certain sequences of blood and comedy.

 

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Cocaine Bear blows its way to Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Code via Universal. The two discs are housed inside a hard, blue plastic case with an embossed cardboard sleeve. The artwork is a black-and-white image of a bear high on cocaine, roaring into the distance. This is the Maximum Rampage Edition, but there is nothing maximum or rampage-y about it. 

Video Review

Ranking:

Cocaine Bear arrives with a 1080p HD transfer that was digitally shot. The result is something that looks pristine and colorful. The shades of green in the tree leaves surrounding the forest look amazing and give the image some depth. The mix of brown tree bark and dirt looks wonderful as well which contrasts nicely with the blue sky. The wardrobe allows for that added pop of an '80s color palette with hot pinks, yellows, denim, and more. The blood is an epic red that spurts in many places and the black levels of the bear and the darker scenes look inky and rich.

The detail is sharp and vivid as well with great closeups that reveal individual hairs, acne, pores, makeup applications, gory entrails and bone, and some wider shots of the wooded landscape. The bear itself is all CGI and at times can look decent, but most of the time, the CGI rendering is subpar where its hair and face look cartoony and flat. Other than that, the image looks great without any issues with banding or aliasing

Audio Review

Ranking:

This release comes with a DTS-HD 7.1 MA track that is a joy to listen to. Things kick off right away with that famous song, Jane by Starship, from Wet Hot American Summer (a part of Banks' past) that leads into a sequence high in the sky with a coked-out person throwing bags of drugs out the airplane door. The sound effects of harsh wind and the jet engine are wonderful with the right amount of bass. From here, the dialogue is met with ample noises from the forest such as birds, insects, trees rustling, and more in the surround speakers.

When the action ramps up and the bear enters the chat, the low end of the bass kicks into gear with a great rumble that never crosses into rocky territory. Gun blasts, and bear-sized bites all bring a fun and gooey chomp with each sound effect. The waterfall near the end of the film allows for a consistent flow of energy to the sonic landscape. The score and song cues always add to the fun of the film and the dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow.

Special Features

Ranking:

There are about 30 minutes of bonus material included here with an audio commentary, a blooper reel, interviews, behind-the-scenes and more. Each of these segments is too short for any real info to come across, but the enthusiasm and love for the film and comedy are infectious.

  • Audio Commentary - Elizabeth Banks and producer Max Handelman talk about the movie, bringing it to life, the origins, casting, comedy, and gore. It's a decent track worthy of a listen.
  • Alternate Ending (HD, 1 Min.) - Less than one-minute alternate ending that brings the fate of one character back for more. The theatrical ending is far better.
  • Gag Reel (HD, 2 Mins.) - A montage of flubbed lines, missed cues, dancing, and laughter on set.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 5 Mins.) - A few scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, most of which are just extended sequences.
  • All Roads Lead To Cokey (HD, 10 Mins.) - A brief EPK type of feature that includes cast and crew interviews, the true story that inspired the film, the performances, characters, and the bear itself. It's too short to get into the fun of it all.
  • Unbearable Bloodbath (HD, 8 Mins.) - A longer look at some of the more gruesome sequences and how they were made, which was a lot of fun.
  • Doing Lines (HD, 4 Mins.) - The cast reads some of the funnier lines from the movie with amplification.

Final Thoughts

Cocaine Bear can be a ton of fun in the right mood - under the influence and late at night with friends. Other than that, this comedy with blood and guts suffers from pacing issues in the first half of the movie. But once it gets going, the absurdity and fun never stop. The 1080p HD image looks clean and wonderful while the DTS-HD 7.1 audio mix sounds excellent. The bonus features are short but show enthusiasm for the movie. Recommended!