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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)
Disc Size: 23,600,384,196 bytes
Feature Size: 18,431,041,536 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps
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.
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.
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.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
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.
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.
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
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze