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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Dark Steel" or "The Plague Season")


Directed by Ron Shelton
USA 2002

 

Kurt Russell (The Thing) gives a searing performance as an L.A. cop in this story of corruption from novelist James Ellroy (LA Confidential, The Black Dahlia) and David Ayer (Training Day).

Spring, 1992. Days before the trial on the Rodney King L.A. riots. Eldon Perry (Russell), a veteran in the LAPD s Special Investigations Unit struggles with the racially charged violence erupting around him and questions his own underhand methods for dealing with them.

Featuring a support cast of some of the finest character actors including Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) and Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad) delivering classic hard-boiled dialogue wrapped in a powerhouse punch of direction from Ron Shelton (Bull Durham).

***

A cop's personal code of justice begins to change after a number of incidents lead his city to a tragic wave of violence in this police drama. Eldon Perry (Kurt Russell) is a veteran cop with the LAPD's Special Investigations unit, a man who isn't above bending the law if it means putting people behind bars who deserve the treatment. As Los Angeles waits on the verdict in the Rodney King police beating trial, Perry is presenting testimony to Assistant Chief of Police Arthur Holland (Ving Rhames), who is well aware of the corruption in the SIS unit and wants to stop it. Perry, however, twists some facts as he speaks in the defense of his new partner, Bobby Keough (Scott Speedman), who is being investigated for inappropriate use of deadly force. For lack of honest testimony, Keough is let off the hook, and soon he and Perry have a new case to investigate -- a robbery at a liquor store than turned into a quadruple homicide. Perry and Keough quickly track down two likely suspects, Orchard (Kurupt) and Sidwell (Dash Mihok), but Perry is surprised when the head of SIS, Van Meter (Brendan Gleeson), tells him to let Orchard and Sidwell go, and instead points the finger at two ex-cons who should be taken off the street, even though they're innocent of this crime. Perry follows Van Meter's orders, despite Keough's misgivings, but in the wake of the L.A. riots, Perry has a change of heart, and decides to start working with Holland against Van Meter's corrupt methods. In the midst of it all, Perry is trying to hold together his troubled marriage to Sally (Lolita Davidovich), while Keough finds himself romancing a fellow officer, Beth (Michael Michele). Dark Blue was adapted from an original screenplay by noted crime novelist James Ellroy; originally set against the backdrop of the 1965 Watts riots, the story was later updated to 1992.

Excerpt from Barnes + Noble located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 14th, 2002 (Noir Film Festival)

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Review: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Also available on Blu-ray from MGM (US)

and Olive Films (US)

  

Distribution Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:57:59.072     
Video

Disc Size: 42,916,315,607 bytes

Feature Size: 27,436,554,240 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.49 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 

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

Bitrate:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2103 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2103 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), none
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Disc Size: 42,916,315,607 bytes

Feature Size: 27,436,554,240 bytes

Average Bitrate: 25.49 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video   

Edition Details:

Audio commentary by director Ron Shelton
Code Blue An archival documentary on the making of the film featuring Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, screenwriter David Ayer, director Ron Shelton and others (18:20)
By the Book An archival featurette on the look of the film featuring art director Tom Taylor, production Dennis Washington, costumes designer Kathryn Morrison and more (7:16)
Necessary Force An archival featurette on the authentic portrayal of the cops in the film featuring technical advisor Bob Souza, Shelton and Russell (6:55)
Interview with Kurt Russell (11:34), Scott Speedman (7:39), Michael Michele (9:27), Ron Shelton (13:35)
Trailer (1:58) and TV Spots (1:45)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver

Blu-ray Release Date: May 7th, 2018
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Arrow give a dual-layered, Blu-ray transfer of the James Ellroy penned neo-noirish cop-thriller Dark Blue. The 1080P is solid - good contrasts, colors, depth, detail in close-ups. It looks quite strong in-motion. No artifacts or flaws...

There is a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround audio track here is presented in 16-bit. There are gun effects, a helicopter sequences and other aggressive demands on the track that come through with depth and some adroit separation.
The score is by Terence Blanchard's (25th Hour, Miracle at St. Anna, Inside Man) and sounds very clean and crisp in the lossless. There are optional English subtitles on this Region 'B' Blu-ray Disc.

Arrow stack the extras with an audio commentary by director Ron Shelton sharing details of the production - it's a bit bland but worth it for budding directors. Code Blue is an 18-minute archival documentary on the making of the film featuring Kurt Russell, Ving Rhames, screenwriter David Ayer, director Ron Shelton and others, By the Book is a 7-minute archival featurette on the look of the film featuring art director Tom Taylor, production Dennis Washington, costumes designer Kathryn Morrison and more. Necessary Force is the old 7-minute featurette on the authentic portrayal of the cops in the film featuring technical advisor Bob Souza, Shelton and Russell . There are old interviews relating to the production with Kurt Russell (11:34), Scott Speedman (7:39), Michael Michele (9:27), Ron Shelton (13:35) plus a trailer and TV Spots. The package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Tracie Ching and for the first pressing you get a collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver.

Arrow give a wonderful Blu-ray release of a film that I warmed to more on second and third viewings. Russell is a big draw here and the story and supporting cast are effective. I enjoyed it very much. Great Blu-ray by Arrow!

 

Gary Tooze

 


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Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

Also available on Blu-ray from MGM (US)

and Olive Films (US)

  

Distribution Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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