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The Mechanic [Blu-ray]
(Michael Winner, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: United Artists
Video: Euro Video / Twilight Time
Region: 'B' / Region FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:40:05.220 / 1:39:52.027
Disc Size: 22,076,342,470 bytes / 31,613,603,957 bytes
Feature Size: 20,910,643,200 bytes / 30,305,101,824 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.97 Mbps / 35.00 Mbps
Chapters: 13 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: April 14th, 2011 / June, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS Audio English 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
DUB: DTS Audio German 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1106 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1106
kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit /
English (SDH), none
• 4 trailers in 576i
• Audio Commentary with cinematographer Richard H. Kline and Film Historian Nick Redman
• Isolated Score
• Original Trailer (2:28)
Liner notes by Julie Kirgo
Description: Charles Bronson delivers [in this] action-drenched (Variety) gangster thriller that delves into the dangerous minds of the underworld's most elite killers. Visually alive (Cue) and 'totally engrossing (The Hollywood Reporter), The Mechanic is a movie you won't want to miss! Arthur Bishop (Bronson) is a mob hit man who operates in a world of his own an uncompromising world where conventional rules of morality don't apply and where one wrong move could cost him his life! He's always worked alone but, as age catches up with him, Bishop takes on a competent and ruthless apprentice (Jan-Michael Vincent) and teaches him everything he knows. Together they become an unmatchable team of globetrotting killers until the pupil's ruthlessness puts him on a collision course with his teacher!
Based on the story by Lewis John Carlino, Bronson plays Arthur Bishop, a hit-man in California who is the best in his career. "The Killer of Killers"! Bishop, even hitting old age, is still the best at what he does, but his work as a cold-hearted assassin start to hit him and after a hit on a good-friend Henry McKenna, he suffers a breakdown and realizes a back-up wouldn't be so bad. He then discovers a protégé in Steve McKenna (Henry's twenty-ish year old son) strangely interested in Bishop's work. Bishop finds Steve as the perfect candidate and he is taken under Bishop's wing learning everything he knows. The hiring soon becomes a mistake when "The Organization" realize Bishop has made the choice to hire McKenna on his own, which is violating the code. What will happen next?Excerpt from Corey at MovieWeb located HERE
"The Mechanic," which opened yesterday at the Victoria and other
theaters, is about Arthur Bishop (Charles Bronson), a cool professional
killer who lives in lonely splendor in the Hollywood hills, with a pool
in his living room and an ache in his heart. Although Arthur is a genius
at planning the accidental deaths of others (including an old associate,
on whom a contract has been let), and although he spends a lot of time
keeping fit (jogging, handball, karate, flying a plane), something is
awfully wrong in Arthur's life.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
This European Blu-ray of The Mechanic surpassed my expectations. The, almost 40-year old film, looks surprisingly good in some instances of this single-layered DVD. It is reasonably clean, has decent detail and there is some pleasing depth. This isn't perfect though - colors seem a little faded and there is a shade of noise evident in the darker scenes. Flesh tones seem accurate and there is some less-clunky grain visible. This Blu-ray produces a consistent presentation without manipulation that I can determine. It's a darn-sight better than SD could relate and I expect that it is the best digital way to see the film presently available.
Not a lot between the two transfers. The Twilight Time is more robust - dual-layered and has a higher bitrate. It may be marginally crisper and show some pleasing depth not as prevalent on the German disc. The Twilight Time may show slightly warmer skin tones in a few scenes. Also 1.85:1 and very clean. I suspect it is the same source - very consistent. The US Blu-ray may win in regards to the video, but it is not overwhelming.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitle Sample Twilight Time - Region FREE - Blu-ray
The DTS stereo is probably reasonably accurate in regards to the original presentation but it is still compressed and would have benefited to some degree by being lossless. Jerry Fielding's original score isn't particularly memorable but sounds consistent as it runs along beside the film. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked disc.
Twilight Time have a decent mono track - going lossless with a DTS-HD master in the original English. I noted superiority over the European transfer in terms of depth - especially the heavy action sequences later in the film. The US package offers optional English subtitles (see sample above) and is region FREE (limited to 3,000 copies!).
The supplements consist of 4 SD trailers and it has a untested BD-Live link.
Twilight Time easily beat the Euro Video by adding an audio commentary with cinematographer Richard H. Kline and film historian Nick Redman, as well as their usual isolated score option, an original trailer and some liner notes by Julie Kirgo.
This is another Bronson fan-favorite. The Twilight Time wins out in every category and those keen shouldn't wait too long as this is a limited edition. Thumbs up!
June 27th, 2011
June 20th, 2014
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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