H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Man of Violence aka Moon [Blu-ray]

 

(Pete Walker, 1971)

 

Offered as a Dual Format Edition October 24th, 2011

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Pete Walker Film Productions

Video: BFI Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:07:58.032 / 1:16:42.598

Disc Size: 45,852,206,472 bytes

Feature Size: 26,505,370,368 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Chapters: 21

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 24th, 2009

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 matted onto to 1.78

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) (1968, 75 mins): Pete Walker's pulp thriller which includes a climactic shoot-out in the snow on Brighton's now destroyed West Pier
Original trailers for Man of Violence and The Big Switch in HD!
Alternative 'Moon' title-card
Extensive illustrated booklet featuring newly commissioned contributors from Pete Walker, novelist Cathi Unsworth, producer and critic David McGillivray, and film historian Julian Petley
 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In a world of gangs and villains, one man - Moon - will stop at nothing to get the girl and take the spoils. Pete Walker's affectionate low-budget homage to the gangster thriller is packed with sights and sounds from a Britain about to swing out of the Sixties and into a somewhat less optimistic decade. It offers not only rare glimpses of a world gone by, but also some unexpected twists on generic convention. The cast includes Hammer girls Luan Peters (Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil) and Virginia Wetherell (Doctor Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Demons of the Mind).

Presented here in a stunning new High Definition transfer from the original negative, this release also includes Pete Walker's earlier thriller The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker).

 

 

The Film:

Moon (Michael Latimer) is the mercenary hired to steal 90 million dollars in gold from an Arab country decimated by political chaos. Sex, violence and mayhem accompany the group of double-crossing heavies who covet the purloined loot. Burgess (George Belbin) is the crook who poses as a cop, and Nixon (Derek Aylward) is the criminal who poses as a policeman. A bevy of females willingly submit to seduction, and a sadistic homosexual murderer trails Moon and his malevolent gang for the gold in this uneven crime drama. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide.

 


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

We have another exciting BFI 'Flipside' package. Both Man of Violence and The Big Switch were transferred in High Definition from their original 35mm combined negatives. The, longer, export version of The Big Switch was transferred from separate picture and sound negatives. Both look wonderful and I suppose credit goes to the healthy sources and the HD-DVNR and MTI restoration systems utilized in the transfer. Man of Violence, a 38-year old film, looks virtually brand new. Colors are very bright - skin tones seem slightly red at times. Detail is astounding. If there is a flaw it might be that grain has taken a backseat and the image is probably a shade more glossy than it was when originally shown. The MPEG-4 encode for 1080P exports tight and clean visuals which are clear of any damage or speckles and it even exhibits some desirable depth of field. I was incredibly impressed with the appearance and hopefully the screen captures below will bear that out to some degree. This image is so perfect it really transports you back to the early 70's.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Pure original audio with a linear PCM 2.0 track at 2304 kbps. It does a superlative job of exporting the film's dialogue and campy, repetitive, music (it's still in my head). There really isn't any need for heavy separations and the economic 2.0 channel is more than up to the test of replicating a clean, crisp sound experience. I noted no flaws - dropouts or hiss. There are optional subtitles in English and, like the other Flipside releases, my Momitsu has identified this as being region FREE!

 

 

 

Extras :

The main supplements is another HD-transferred Walker feature entitled The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker) from 1968. It's another pulpy thriller which is advertised as 'including a climactic shoot-out in the snow on Brighton's now destroyed West Pier!' You can watch this via a 'domestic' (1:07:58) version or the nine-minute longer, and slightly raunchier, 'export' version (1:16:42). It might be closer to a Drive-In flic from the early 70's not quite reaching the status of 'Grindhouse'. We also get original trailers for Man of Violence and The Big Switch in HD, plus an alternative 'Moon' title-card. Included is another extensive illustrated booklet (26 pages) featuring newly commissioned contributors from Pete Walker, novelist Cathi Unsworth, producer and critic David McGillivray, and film historian Julian Petley. This is all perfectly in keeping with the kitsch of the Flipside label cinema.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I don't know if I followed all of Man of Violence with perfect understanding but in that sense it may be more akin to Seijun Suzuki with plenty of its own style - and unapologetic about filling all salient points of the story with cohesion. I believe this was Walker's last effort of this genre before moving onto horror - where he would eventually make more of a name for himself. Luan Peters is hot as a pistol in her bikini and many sexy outfits and some of her scenes give the exploitive quality that many love to leer and snicker at. On Blu-ray this is another amazing package (I promise to never tire of these!) and one I can't see it ever looking or sounding any better. Luckily, I love the cheese and The Big Switch fits the mold even more perfectly in helping define this cinema that is more respectful in nostalgia than it ever was in it's prime. This is VERY cool, but it's appeal may be limited - I'll bet the BFI releases though are certainly establishing its growth. 

Gary Tooze

August 18th, 2009

 

Offered as a Dual Format Edition October 24th, 2011


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze

 

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