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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by Michael Winner
USA 1974

 

In this explosive story of revenge and urban violence, screen legend Charles Bronson (Mr. Majestyk, Breakheart Pass) plays Paul Kersey, a bleeding-heart liberal who has a change of opinion after his wife and daughter are brutally attacked by a gang of thugs in their apartment. His daughter is sexually assaulted and his wife is murdered. Bronson then turns vigilante as he stalks the mean streets of New York on the prowl for muggers, hoodlums and the like. Another classic collaboration between Bronson and director Michael Winner (Chato’s Land, The Mechanic, The Stone Killer), Death Wish is a violent, controversial film that is frank and original in its treatment of urban crime and the average citizen’s helplessness in dealing with it. Jazz great Herbie Hancock (Colors) wrote the musical score. Vincent Gardenia (Death Wish II), Steven Keats (The Friends of Eddie Coyle), Stuart Margolin (TV’s The Rockford Files), Stephen Elliott (Beverly Hills Cop) and Hope Lange (Blue Velvet) co-star. And watch for Jeff Goldblum (The Fly) in his film debut as one of the thugs.

***

After his wife is murdered by street punks, a pacifistic New York City architect becomes a one-man vigilante squad, prowling the streets for would-be muggers after dark.

Posters

Theatrical Release: July 24th, 1974

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Review: Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:33:23.848         
Video

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 69,291,867,402 bytes

Feature: 69,040,699,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 74.75 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2002 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2002 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3639 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3639 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2004 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2004 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 69,291,867,402 bytes

Feature: 69,040,699,392 bytes

Video Bitrate: 74.75 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

I• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Paul Talbot, the Author of the BRONSON'S LOOSE! Books

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Paul Talbot, the Author of the BRONSON'S LOOSE! Books
• Interview with Actor John Herzfeld (18:24)
• US and UK Radio Spots (1:31)
• TV Spot (1:03)
• Theatrical Trailer (Remastered in 2K) (2:20)


4K Ultra HD Release Date: January 24th, 2023

Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside slipcase

Chapters 11

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Kino 4K UHD (January 2023): Kino's are releasing Michael Winner's "Death Wish" to 4K UHD. Paramount released Death Wish on Blu-ray in 2014 in an, essentially bare-bones, edition - reviewed HERE. It was in the opened-up 1.78:1 aspect ratio where this 2160P is in the 1.85:1 losing some information on the bottom of the frame by comparison. We added some frame matches below. This is advertised as a "Brand New 2022 HDR/Dolby Vision Master – From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative". The package includes a second disc Blu-ray that has the feature and more extras. It is stated to be from a "Brand New 2022 HD Master – From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative". The image is not a dynamic improvement - it is darker and has the advantage of the higher resolution showing superior  contrast layering with the ominous shadows and lighting, a notch higher detail in close-ups and a modest amount of texture. It may look as good as it can in the digital format - and, as always, different systems may produce different results. 

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 60 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have recently reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (no HDR), High Plains Drifter (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mystery Men (software uniformly simulated HDR), Silent Running (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dressed to Kill (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Power of the Dog  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Escape From Alcatraz (software uniformly simulated HDR), I, the Jury (no HDR), Casablanca (software uniformly simulated HDR), In the Mood For Love (NO HDR applied to disc), The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Blow Out (software uniformly simulated HDR), Night of the Living Dead (NO HDR applied to disc), Lost Highway (software uniformly simulated HDR), Videodrome (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Last Picture Show (software uniformly simulated HDR), It Happened One Night (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Mummy (1932)(software uniformly simulated HDR), Creature From the Black Lagoon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bride of Frankenstein (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Amityville Horror  (software uniformly simulated HDR), The War of the Worlds (1953) (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Incredible Melting Man  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Event Horizon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Get Carter (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Killing (software uniformly simulated HDR), Killer's Kiss (software uniformly simulated HDR)

On their 4K UHD, offer the options of 2.0 channel and 5.1 surround bump tracks (24-bit) in the original English language. "Death Wish" is filled with violence from the home invasion to Paul Kersey's vigilante vengeance. There are instances of mild separation (subway) in the surround. The score is by Jazz-fusion musician Herbie Hancock (A Soldier's Story, Blow-Up, 'Round Midnight) with some synthesizer, jazz, sole piano and classical with one piece, notably, inspired by Stravinsky's Right of Spring. It suits the film's dark morality themes wonderfully shifting from the, repeated, serene, Joanna's Theme, to the Revenge Suite and Death Wish's main theme. Hancock had a Puerto Rican actress girlfriend named Sonia Manzano, often in Sesame Street, who played the checkout girl at the supermarket in Death Wish, and she recommended him to Michael Winner. Both discs offers optional English (SDH) subtitles - and like all 4K UHD, is region FREE, playable worldwide while the Blu-ray is Region 'A'-locked.

There is a commentary on the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs - by Paul Talbot, author of Bronson's Loose! The Making of the Death Wish Films and Bronson's Loose Again! On the Set with Charles Bronson. He is a wealth of knowledge on Bronson, the production of Death Wish and comparisons to Brian Garfield's novel. He has comments on every minor character and much of the crew - notably Winner and others. What great research! The second disc Blu-ray, also has a 20-minute interview with actor John Herzfeld who played Train Mugger #2 - he recalls his participation in the film. There are also US and UK Radio Spots, a TV Spot and a theatrical trailer remastered in 2K. The package has an O-card slipcase and  reversible sleeve (see below.)

Kino's
4K UHD release of Michael Winner's "Death Wish" - a huge cult favorite spawning multiple sequels - has the iconic film in 2160P, a new edifying commentary and other supplements. This neo-noir thriller is highly re-watchable with the general public appreciating the theme of vigilantism. Bronson's character of Paul Kersey evolves from being fearful to confront and deal with his wife's murder, and daughter's assault, to finding satisfaction with cold-blooded vengeance against a pervasive New York crime element. It sparks the moral debate over how to deal with rampant crime where a judicial system is ineffective and unsatisfying-ly lenient. Death Wish was one of Charles Bronson's (53 years old at the time) most remembered films launching him as an American icon for the next twenty years. The four film sequels, and 2018 Bruce Willis remake, never achieved the success or popularity of this original. Many 4K UHD adopter fans will consider this a must-own purchase. A keeper for me.   

Gary Tooze

 


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