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The Comancheros - 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
(Michael Curtiz, 1961)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Twentieth Century-Fox
Video: Twentieth Century-Fox
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 47,070,381,592 bytes
Feature Size: 34,403,057,664 bytes
Video Bitrate: 36.26 Mbps
Case: Digi-book Blu-ray case
Release date: May 17th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3020 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3020 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 4.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
English (SDH), French, Spanish, none
•Audio Commentary by Stuart Whitman, Nehemiah Persoff, Michael Ansara and Patrick Wayne
• The Comancheros and the Battle for the American Southwest
• The Duke at Fox – A Two-Part Documentary
• Vintage Comancheros Comic Book Gallery
• Movie Tone News: Claude King and Tillman Franks Receive Award For The Comancheros
• Theatrical Trailers (English & Spanish)
• PLUS: 24 Page Collectible Book
Description: Texas Ranger determined to crush a violent gang of gunrunners and thieves known as Comancheros. Through an unlikely turn of events, Cutter enlists the help of his own prisoners to accomplish his mission. Also featuring an all-star cast that includes Stuart Whitman, Lee Marvin, Edgar Buchanan and Patrick Wayne, and a catchy soundtrack by Elmer Bernstein, this fast-paced Western is pure entertainment from start to finish.
A Texas Ranger and a fugitive gambler stop white renegades running guns and liquor. Directed by Michael Curtiz. Stars John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Lee Marvin, Ina Balin, Nehemiah Persoff, Michael Ansara, et al
The Comancheros is the last film from the great studio director
Michael Curtiz, and ironically despite over 30 years in Hollywood, “The Comancheros” it's his only collaboration with John Wayne. It’s not
Curtiz’s finest hour, nor Wayne’s, but still a competent action Western,
for fans of the genre.
This new Western film, "The Comancheros," which landed in the
Paramount yesterday, is so studiously wild and woolly it turns out to be
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
There is some softness to the Blu-ray transfer of The Comancheros from Fox. The image quality is thicker than I anticipated but grain-like texture exists in a clunkier form. Colors stand out well from a variety of period and western garb with a backdrop of the grand vistas. So, detail may be a notch below expectations but in motion this looked quite good with colors being the most impressive standout in 1080P. This is dual-layered with a very high bitrate. Daylight scenes dominate and contrast is adept. The transfer produces a clean and consistent presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
There wasn't much notable separation via the DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 3020 kbps. Elmer Bernstein's string, brass and mellow woodwinds score is wonderful and the lossless track carries it exceptionally. The composer may have been at his peak for the genre with The Magnificent Seven (1960) the year previous. I doubt we will get it sounding any better although certainly range and depth are not a modern levels. Fox have included the original 4.0 channel track as an option. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.
Although I believe it was absent on the last Fox DVD - the group commentary featuring Stuart Whitman, Patrick Wayne, Michael Ansara, and Nehemiah Persoff that was available on the old LaserDisc - is back and worth the listen. There are also what appear to be two new featurette pieces - the historical The Comancheros and the Battle for the American Southwest and a two-part homage entitled The Duke at Fox. The brief Movie Tone News: Claude King and Tillman Franks Receive Award for The Comancheros was on the last DVD as were the English and Spanish trailers. There is a very brief look at the 'Vintage Comancheros Comic Book' although I wouldn't call it a 'gallery' as the info suggests. Lastly this is bound in a nicely appointed 24 page booklet with photos and essays. Like the one for The Hustler - this is extremely professional.
May 10th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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