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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Against All Odds [Blu-ray]


(Taylor Hackford, 1984)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Image Entertainment



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

Runtime: 2:01:22.275

Disc Size: 21,703,322,727 bytes

Feature Size: 19,992,514,560 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.95 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 22nd, 2011



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2168 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2168 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps



English (SDH), Spanish, none



Taylor Hackford with Screenwriter Eric Hughes Commentary

• Taylor Hackford, Jeff Bridges and James Woods Commentary
Deleted Scenes (23:09 - in 480i)
Theatrical Trailer (1:33 - 4X3 - 1080P)





Description: Dark passions explode in this steamy, sinister love story starring Rachel Ward and Jeff Bridges. Terry Brogan (Bridges), a cynical ex-football star, is hired to find Jessie Wyler (Ward), the runaway mistress of a ruthless L.A. nightclub owner, Jake Wise (James Woods). According to Jake, Jessie had stabbed him and vanished with $50,000. But Terry's mission is soon forgotten when he tracks down and falls in love with the beautiful Jessie on a Mexican island. Trouble brews, however, when Jake dispatches his henchman, Hank Sully (Alex Karras), to bring the lovers back. Driven by passion for the mysterious young woman, Terry quickly finds himself trapped in a complex web of corruption, betrayal,and murder. Packed with riveting excitement and vivid sensuality, AGAINST ALL ODDS grabs you and never lets you go.



The Film:

There have been too many sweet girls in thrillers. What we need are more no-good, double-dealing broads who can cross their legs and break your heart. "Against All Odds" has a woman like that, and it makes for one of the most intriguing movie relationships in a long time; in thirty-five years, to be exact, which is when they told this story for the first time. You may remember the original movie. It was called "Out of the Past." It starred Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas, and it was the greatest cigarette-smoking movie of all time. Mitchum and Douglas smoked all the way through every scene, and they were always blowing sinister, aggressive clouds of smoke at each other.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

There is plenty of evidence to support the idea that ''film noir,'' the late 1940's genre marked by shadow and duplicity, cannot successfully be updated for the 80's. There is also reason to wonder why the task would even be attempted, since modern characters who deliver the genre's dated dialogue or espouse its notions of evil can't help but seem mannered and false. Despite all that, Taylor Hackford's ''noir''-ish ''Against All Odds'' has a lot of appeal. If Mr. Hackford has done nothing more than make a steamy, sinister, great-looking detective film cum travelogue, he's still managed to come up with something fast-paced and eminently entertaining. .

Excerpt from Janet Maslin at the NY Times located HERE

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

Like the film's strongest quality itself - Against All Odds maintains its 'sexiness' on Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.  The image quality shows a high level of detail and colors are bright and notable. It ventures to the 'glossy'-side but never enough to appear plastic or visually superficial. This is only single-layered but I was very impressed with the way it looked - both in terms of depth and contrast. Skin tones don't seem overly warm - and black levels - as a function of sharpness - are healthy and rich. Natural daylight scenes are most impressive and I zoomed in a few times for edge-enhancement - but didn't detect any flagrant usage. This Blu-ray has a consistent and reasonably dynamic appearance that is easily in advance on the last SD-DVD of the film.
















Audio :

I have always liked the music in Against All Odds - not Phil Collins or Kid Creole pieces but the wonderful score by Larry Carlton and Michel Colombier. It has some dominant bass Spanish guitar that melds with the visuals of El Castillo, Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico to create a potent aura - and it sounds fabulous in lossless. There are a few effects and separations but these pale in comparison to the mood-setting score, in my opinion. There are optional English and Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.



Extras :

This is noted as a 'Special Edition' from Image Entertainment and includes the same supplements from the 1999 DVD release - being a competent director with screenwriter Eric Hughes commentary and a second - looser one with Taylor Hackford again, Jeff Bridges and James Woods giving input on the locales and production. The latter one is excellent and has some fun with Woods making jokes while the former is a bit more technical based. There are also 23-minutes of deleted scenes - some of which are interesting enough to indulge. This is in 480i but the 4X3 theatrical trailer included is in 1080P.



I've always liked this film which is an abundance of style-over-substance. This is a remake of Tourneur's masterful Out of the Past and while I would choose the older film - this newer one has some definite enticement. It's a very cool - kind of superficial and sexy ride. I think it is a great film to have on Blu-ray as I like to revisit when I am in the appropriate mood. I was very pleasantly surprised at how strong the video transfer is and I loved the score in lossless. Throw in the commentaries and appealing price and we give this a definite recommendation.  

Gary Tooze

March 16th, 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 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.

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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