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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Mandingo [Blu-ray]

 

(Richard Fleischer, 1975)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Legend Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:06:48.642

Disc Size: 22,990,950,546 bytes

Feature Size: 16,676,413,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.04 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 14th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio:1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Stills Gallery

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Based on the best-selling book, Mandingo is a shocking look at plantation life in the Deep South. Mede (Ken Norton) is a slave whose master, Hammond Maxwell (Perry King), intends on keeping him as a prizefighter. As Maxwell focuses his attention on his wenches and Mede's brutal training, his neglected wife (Susan George) turns her passions towards Mede himself. The sordid doings explode across the screen as Mandingo plays out its savage and dramatic story.

 

 

The Film:

The tedious, emasculated stereotype of the Deep South circa 1840, with its stoical slaves and demure southern belles, is effectively exploded here. Fleischer utilises the real sexuality and violence behind slavery to mount a compelling slice of American Gothic which analyses, in appropriately lurid terms, the twists and turns of a distorted society. The plot (from a novel by Kyle Onstott) explores the declining years of a slave-breeding family, whose slaves are treated not so much like animals as humanoids: their physical intimacy with the master-race is total. Finally it is the sheer absurdity and incongruity of the various women's roles in this crazy set-up which cracks the society wide open. The story is basically Victorian melodrama with more than an echo of the Brontes, but it is acted with enormous gusto, by Perry King especially; and Richard Kline's highly atmospheric pictorialisation of the Falconhurst domain adds a great deal. Good to see Fleischer returning to the kind of psycho-pathological thriller that he can handle so well.

Excerpt from Timeout located HERE

 


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

Mandingo doesn't have a particularly dynamic image on Blu-ray from Legend Films (notable for some colorization of 'classic' films to DVD - like The Little Shop of Horrors, The Most Dangerous Game, or Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew). The image quality shows some grit and minor grain but noise is equally present. Colors and detail may be dull/soft but it doesn't look poor in motion. The grain that is present gives some texture and, aside from some damage at beginning, it is acceptably clean. This is only single-layered and in relation to other 1080P transfer - this would be considered at the more modest end - but to be fair - the price reflects that. The disc gave me a decent, if not stellar, presentation - hinting at depth although never quite achieving it. Whatever limited expectations I had for this Blu-ray were, at least, fulfilled. It seems a competent straight-from-source transfer without embellishment of boosting - it is superior than SD-DVD could relate.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

It's lossless (linear PCM) and original stereo 2.0 channel. The audio may actually be a bit more advanced than the video rendering. It's clear, clean - no separation or depth but it often feels robust enough to handle any aggression - which is present in a few scenes. There are no subtitles but my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Nothing but a 'Press Kit Slideshow' with black and white stills from the film - with captions indicating what is happening at that segment of the film or details of the actor(s).

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Mandingo has implied 'taboo' salaciousness that ends up being fairly tame by today's standards. I don't really buy into Susan George's southern accent but that is okay - she brings her own brand of wide-eyed sexuality to the role. I don't rate the film that highly - but it is, strangely, very watchable - even after all these years. I'll credit Fleischer. The Blu-ray is modest but gave me a reasonable a/v presentation. As a positive - for those keen to see or own Mandingo - the price is right - other than that there is not much to endorse. 

Gary Tooze

September 22nd, 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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