Cyndi Lauper’s Acting Debut

Hoping they had another Ghostbusters on their hands, the supernaturally funny Vibes completely flopped at the box office and was quickly forgotten. That was a shame considering Vibes is a fun, entertaining studio comedy from the 1980s. The movie’s blend of funny characters, and its heady mix of action and romance, is underrated.

Starring an all-star Eighties’ line-up with Jeff Goldblum, Peter Falk and singer Cyndi Lauper making her acting debut, the spirited 1988 romantic comedy saw two zany psychics falling in love. More screwball romance than anything else, it’s light and pulls off the simple premise without a hitch. Other cast members include Julian Sands and Steve Buscemi in small but gratifying roles.

Vibes is a fun, entertaining studio comedy from the 1980s

Psychics Sylvia Pickel (Cyndi Lauper) and Nick Deezy (Jeff Goldblum) are hired by a mysterious man (Peter Falk) with ulterior motives, locating his missing son in South America. Nick can “read” the psychic history of any object he touches. Sylvia is in constant contact with Louise, a helpful spirit she’s been communicating with for years.

The lead characters and their psychic gifts are perfectly designed for great laughs. Together, they investigate a mysterious paranormal object in Ecuador that lies at the heart of Vibes’ freewheeling adventure. Their abilities lead them into dangerous intrigue and eventually into each others arms.

Crisp pacing, adroit characterizations, and excellent comedic chemistry between Lauper and Goldblum make Vibes a satisfying supernatural caper. Cyndi Lauper, already a huge musical star at the time, basically plays an exaggerated version of her media persona, which works exceedingly well with Goldblum’s more reserved Nick. Vibes is more than the sum of its leading couple’s good-natured banter with an excellent ensemble. Peter Falk and Julian Sands both play critical roles that expand the story beyond a mere romantic comedy.

The comedy and romance in Vibes is firmly of its time. If you love films from the 1980s, Vibes is a light-hearted adventure that entertains with wit and memorable characters. Rated PG back in the day, Vibes would definitely earn a harder rating if screened today. The MPAA grew stricter over the years as the PG-13 rating evolved.

Video

Vibes barely made it out on DVD in a limited release, so this BD represents a huge relative improvement in picture quality. In absolute terms, the picture quality is so-so with a less-than-perfect transfer. Mill Creek licensed Vibes from Sony and presumably used Sony’s existing 35mm transfer. Sony is usually capable of performing top-notch film transfers. Vibes doesn’t get a new scan bursting with outstanding detail or any real restoration.

The 1988 movie receives a dated scan taken from the original film elements with adequate grain reproduction. Clarity and definition waver in 1080P resolution, greatly depending on the presence of dated optical effects that visibly degrade the 1.85:1 video. There are no major processing issues in the film-like but mixed presentation.

Film elements are in sound condition with little degradation beyond minor stress. The color palette perks up in the location photography in Ecuador. Apparently some exteriors in South America were filmed in 65mm for effect shots. Black levels are decent outside of the wretched optical sequences. Fans have to take what they can get with Vibes. This isn’t a brand-new, fully-restored transfer bursting with gorgeous detail, but serves up a satisfactory presentation for Blu-ray.

Audio

Vibes’ 2.0 DTS-HD MA audio comes off fairly well for a 1988 film. Surprisingly enough, singer Cyndi Lauper is only heard singing over the closing credits. Composer James Horner’s score, filled with horns and the occasional touches he’s so well known for, sounds full with robust clarity.

Dialogue is clean and doesn’t get lost in the bigger sonic splashes. A big-budget studio film, sound design and mixing are outstanding despite the stereo limitations. Definitely better than many other catalog films from the era.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a white font.

Extras

No special features have ever been created for Vibes, a complete box office flop that barely made it out on DVD. Mill Creek includes nothing extra on this barebones BD.

Released as part of Mill Creek’s Retro VHS line, it arrives with a cardboard slipcover mocked up resembling an old VHS cover.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more about DoBlu’s editorial standards.

Vibes
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  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

Jeff Goldblum and Cyndi Lauper form a fine comedic duo as two psychics search for an ancient treasure in this light-hearted and fun romantic comedy from the 1980s.

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4 (1 vote)

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