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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


Give 'Em Hell Malone [Blu-ray]


(Russell Mulcahy, 2009)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: North by Northwest Productions

Video: National Entertainment Media



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

Runtime: 1:36:28.157

Disc Size: 23,600,384,196 bytes

Feature Size: 18,431,041,536 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 26th, 2010



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3569 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3569 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB



English, Spanish, none



• Interviews with Thomas Jane, Doug Hutchison and Elsa Pataky (19:34 in HD!)

Trailer (2:36 in HD)





Description: Director Russell Mulcahy blends old-school noir with bullet-ridden action in 'Give 'em Hell Malone'. Thomas Jane stars as Malone, a man given a dangerous mission that pits him against a variety of villains, including Boulder (Ving Rhames). Elsa Pataky steams up the screen as the film's femme fatale.



The Film:

Russell Mulcahy’s “Give’em Hell Malone” is one of those anachronistic film noir filled with characters more appropriate in ‘40s and ‘50s detective movies featuring heroes with names like Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. As the film opens, Thomas Jane’s Malone, a private dick with a very big gun that he brandishes expertly, is killing his way through a hotel full of bad guys to get to a metallic case that he has been sent to retrieve. Shot up to hell and back, but still alive, our hero seeks out some answers from his handler Murphy (Leland Orser), eventually discovering that they were both hired by the vivacious lady in red Evelyn (Elsa Pataky). Meanwhile, crime boss Whitmore (Gregory Harrison) dispatches his best enforcer, the brute with a heart of gold Boulder (Ving Rhames) and some other dangerous killers to take back the suitcase by all means necessary.

The thing about a movie like “Malone” is that you just have to roll with the punches. Yes, our hero has just shot up a hotel full of bad guys leaving a pile of bodies in his wake, but no, cops won’t be looking for him. In fact, after getting shot, Malone simply runs over to his mom (Eileen Ryan), who lives in a retirement home and waits for her son to show up every now and then with a gunshot wound that she dresses with her ready-made kit. This is also a movie where a character called Frankie the Crooner (an amusing French Stewart) gets a blowjob from foreign hookers in the back room before running out front to sing for a bunch of stoners in his nightclub audience. And while the crime elements of the film are definitely old school, there’s nothing “classic” about villains like the knife-wielding Mauler (Chris Yen) or the pyro Matchstick (Dough Hutchison).

Excerpt from NIX at Beyond Hollywood located HERE



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

I flip-flopped on the first half hour of Give 'em Hell Malone whether it was pulling off the intended stylistic saturations appearance on Blu-ray ... or whether it just looked like a tampered digital transfer. The former wins out although the single-layered transfer could have been improved upon. It can look a bit frail but impressively sharp in 1080P AVC-encoded resolution.  The background grain is a shade clunky - and there is some noise - but overall the modest bitrate achieves a decent replication of the theatrical intent (although a limited theatrical run inclusing the Cannes Film Market and a Comicon). Lighting is occasionally suspect, blood reds a tad over brilliant and the image is a shade glossy for my own preference taste but it comes together very well with a nice consistency - almost like a poor-man's Sin City. This Blu-ray is competent and gave me a fine presentation but think it may have gone another notch with dual-layering. This film has plenty of appealing visual, Noirish, eye-candy and supports the plot quite well. This is a pretty good film to look at.




















Audio :

While I may have been overly picky on the, acceptable, image - I have no complaints whatsoever with the DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a robust 3569 kbps. The film has plenty of effect noises, many violent in nature (gunshots and punches as solid as gunshots), and the aggression comes through with demonstrative range and depth. The first 10-minutes has an excessive, careening and echoing, shootout but the track held it's ground. I had a little trouble with the consistency of dialogue sound but kept it a notch higher than usual and everything was audible. There are English and Spanish optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

A director commentary would have generated some further appreciation but we don't get one. Just 20 minutes of interviews with stars Thomas Jane (appearing cigar-smoking and in character), Doug Hutchison and sexy Elsa Pataky. These are in HD and there is also a trailer in 1080. Nothing else though.



Jane is damn good as the hunky disconcerted Dick and smooth-skinned femme fatale Pataky brings some further Noir homage in the form of mysterious eyes and an ultra-red set of lips. It was a little action-packed (and burning people) for my personal liking but I did enjoy the hard-boiled pulpy aspects. Even with the 'Lady From Shanghai' hall or mirrors scene Give 'em Hell Malone doesn't go overboard with the references. It has it's own agenda but may have needed more interesting evil-doers than 'Matchstick' (Doug Hutchison) and the appealing Mauler (Chris Yen).  I can't give this a notable thumbs-up but it passed the time well - especially for a noir-lover. The Blu-ray's best asset is the VERY reasonable price - encouraging a description of value. This is a decent 'B' effort for a late Friday film night. Take that for what it's worth. 

Gary Tooze

January 13th, 2010




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 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 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:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
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)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze








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