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Directed by Tom Laughlin
USA
1971

 

The trend-setting smash hit that broke box office records and had audiences cheering! A half-Indian/half-white ex-Green Beret, Billy Jack is drawn more and more toward his Indian side. He hates violence but can't get away from it in the white man's world. Pitting the students of the peace-loving free-arts school in the desert against the oppressive bad guys in a nearby town, this action-packed film remains a landmark focusing on the most emotional themes of the time: anti-establishment, two-sided justice, and racial segregation and prejudice.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 1st, 1971

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Comparison:

Warner - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Image Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD LEFT

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution Warner - Region 1 - NTSC Image Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:54:00 1:54:22.897
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.70 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

Disc Size: 23,796,255,772 bytes

Feature Size: 23,796,255,772 bytes

Average Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Single-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:   DVD

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio EnglishDolby Digital 1.0)  DTS-HD Master Audio English 3360 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3360 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentaries: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33

Edition Details:

• None  

DVD
Release Date: June 1st, 1997
Snapper Case
Chapters: 36

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment

Disc Size: 23,796,255,772 bytes

Feature Size: 23,796,255,772 bytes

Average Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:

• Commentary featuring Tom Laughlin and Dolores Taylor recorded in 2000.

• Commentary featuring Tom Laughlin, Dolores Taylor and Frank Laughlin recorded in 2005.
• Mini Documentary (14:01 in SD)

• TV Commercials used during the 1973 re-release (7:50 in SD)

Blu-ray Release Date: January 12th, 2010

Standard
Blu-ray cases
Chapters: 15

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Image Entertainment Blu-ray - January 10': Firstly, I can appreciate the film's cult appeal but it still seems a bizarre choice to bump up to 1080P resolution. It's somewhat laughable today but one can't deny it's popularity (cost $800,000 to make and grossed over $65 million!). It has it's own grassroots charm that is embodied in the lead (and writer/director) Tom Laughlin whose honest convictions spill over gratuitously via the film's cloying narrative.

This is a little strange - the 4:3 DVD is abnormally green but the color improves as the film runs along. Son Frank Laughlin has put the effort into the cleaning and minor restorations that resulted in the 1.78 widescreen Blu-ray. It's much smoother, less artefacts and supports some decent grain structure. My eyebrows raised a bit on the colors but I honestly have no knowledge of how it looked originally. On the Blu-ray the sky is extremely blue and other colors adeptly saturated. For the most part it looks very impressive - skin tones are warm, detail isn't pristine and there isn't much depth but one has to recall that there wasn't an 'unlimited' production budget. There may have been some digital filtering here and there but this is easily the best Billy Jack has looked for home theater digital presentation.     

 

The DTS-HD Master with a 5.1 bump at English 3360 doesn't sound unnatural and is quite crisp. Along with the video this was remastered in 2009 and supports the film to a decent level - certainly more audible than the mono 1.0 channel track on the ancient DVD. Neither have subtitle options and My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

There are no extras on the single-layered DVD. The Blu-ray commentaries (Tom Laughlin, Dolores Taylor ('Dodi') and, included on the second commentary Frank Laughlin is included) were recorded in 2000 and 2005 also found on the The Ultimate Billy Jack Collection. Laughlin is honest but often humble with his wife supporting him. His charm flows forth and he brings up multiple topics including various causes that he now shows concern as well as enjoyable memories of production. In the 15-minute mini-documentary Laughlin narrates, with amusing inter-cuts, his struggle to get 'Billy Jack' to the screen. Short story - it succeeded well beyond expectations despite the limited marketing. 'Billy Jack' was a cultural phenomenon. It's a perfectly paced little story, with some bragging, and well worth the watch although it utilizes some of the testimonials from the TV commercials which are, comparatively, in very poor shape.

So Billy Jack hits Blu-ray and it looks as good as the film every will for your home theater. For the minions of loyal fans, fighting the good battle against prejudice, here it is... and the price is right.      

Gary W. Tooze

 



Menus

 

1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD LEFT

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray RIGHT


 
 

Screen Captures

 

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

 

1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

Damage apparent on the DVD

 

 


1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Warner  - Region 1 - NTSC DVD TOP

2) Image Entertainment - Region FREE Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More screen caps from the Blu-ray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DVD Box Cover

Distribution Warner - Region 1 - NTSC Image Entertainment - Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

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