Let’s be honest, Steve Martin as a gangster and Rick Moranis as an uptight FBI agent sounds like a dream come true. The 1990 Warner Bros film My Blue Heaven stars Steve Martin as Vinnie Antonelli, an Italian mob boss who is being escorted to his new home in Fryburg, California for witness protection. FBI agent Barney Coopersmith (Moranis) must keep tabs on Vinnie as he is escorted to several court trials in New York in the upcoming weeks. Keeping Vinnie quiet and helping him to blend into the small town might just be Coopersmith’s biggest challenge yet. Going into My Blue Heavenn I thought the movie would poke fun at Rick Moranis portraying a FBI agent and Steve Martin playing a gangster, which I never thought would be a combination on screen ever.
This was my first time viewing My Blue Heaven and upon viewing the Blu-ray case and seeing Steve Martin in dark brown hair I was really interested. After seeing Steve Martin in so many past films with gray hair, a change of hair color is great and it’s always a treat to see Rick Moranis on the screen. To my surprise, both Martin and Moranis both played their parts very well and were quite believable. Martin played a larger than life character and he brought a lot of charm and energy to the movie. Throughout the film, Vinnie struggles to blend into his community and is frequently caught hijacking cars and running schemes, making no real effort to hide his identity. Vinnie and Barney eventually bond and offer each other advice on love and life as both are of them are interested in people in Barney’s career field. These are easily the funniest moments in My Blue Heaven as Barney is running around the town trying to keep a leash on Vinnie, but unfortunately there isn’t enough of it.
My Blue Heaven at times is a hilarious film with a stellar cast, but there are scenes where this movie downright gets boring. Joan Cusack also stars as a local cop, Hannah Stubbs, who believes Vinnie should be in custody for his various criminal acts instead of frolicking throughout the town. Of course, if Vinnie was locked up, he wouldn’t be able to attend his trials in New York City in the upcoming few days. Barney must work to convince Hannah that Vinnie needs to stay free. As much as I like Joan Cusack as an actress, I felt that her character brought the tone down quite often. When her character is introduced, it is quickly shown that she would be important to the plot and she does play an integral role to the relationships between Vinnie and Barney.
My Blue Heaven is presented on Blu-ray with crisp bright colors and sharp details consistently from beginning to the end. The film specifically offers a great nightclub scene with plenty of fluorescent lights that shine beautifully. The film takes place near San Diego and the Blu-ray transfer makes the location seem so inviting. Everywhere in the film looks so happy and cheerful which is due to the impeccable resolution of the fine details.
The stereo track for My Blue Heaven has been taken from the original source and cleaned up to enhance the fun score by Ira Newborn. There are a few action scenes with bursts of gunfire that sound clear and authentic. The dialog is rendered clearly and there are even a few scenes in Italian, which are subtitled.
There are no special features presented on this Blu-ray transfer for My Blue Heaven besides a trailer for the film which I found to be disappointing. I would have liked to see Steve Martin and Rick Moranis interact behind the scenes.
My Blue Heaven gives the idea of Martin and Moranis as two characters that really don’t fit their personalities and it truly does work on that front. Where the movie falters are its long, dry moments that fill the run time. First time viewers might enjoy this promising concept but might also find problems with its execution. If nothing else it was fun, at times, to see Steve Martin rocking the brown hair instead of his iconic white style.
The Warner Archive generously provided Hotchka with a Blu-ray of the film for reviewing purposes.