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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hit [Blu-ray]

 

(Sidney J. Furie, 1973)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount Pictures

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:15:12.104

Disc Size: 23,619,896,163 bytes

Feature Size: 23,449,645,056 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 24th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 911 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 911 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None (English burned in for non-English dialogue)

 

Extras:

None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: A federal agent, Nick Allen (Billy Dee Williams) whose daughter dies of a heroin overdose is determined to destroy the drug ring that supplied her. He organizes a small independent task force of mercenaries to travel to France in order to kill the nine leaders of a Marseilles drug syndicate. The motley crew of angry American citizens includes construction worker, Mike Willmer (Richard Pryor); call-girl Sherry Nielson (Gwen Welles); rogue cop, Dutch Schiller (Warren J. Kemmerling); college professor Barry Strong (Paul Hampton) and the kindly old Jewish couple, Ida (Janet Brandt) and Herman (Sid Melton), who want to inflict Old Testament revenge upon the syndicate. Photographed by legendary cinematographer, John A. Alonzo (Chinatown) with a beautiful score by Lalo Schifrin (Dirty Harry). Directed by Sidney J. Furie (The Ipcress File).

 

 

The Film:

In Sidney J. Furie's interminable caper film, Billy Dee Williams is a federal agent who takes matters into his own hands after the government refuses to do anything about French drug trafficking. After his daughter dies of an overdose of heroine and the authorities seem unconcerned, Nick Allen (Williams) takes it upon himself to organize a small independent task force of mercenaries to travel to France in order to kill the nine leaders of a Marseilles drug syndicate. This motley group of angry American citizens who are out for blood include the rabid Mike Willmer (Richard Pryor); the sedate Sherry Nielson (Gwen Welles); the robust Dutch Schiller (Warren Kammerling); and the kindly old Jewish couple, Ida (Janet Brandt) and Herman (Sid Melton), who want to inflict Old Testament revenge upon the dope peddlers.

~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Williams stars as a federal agent who returns from an assignment only to discover that his daughter has died from a drug overdose. Williams jumps in to find those responsible and learns that a giant, well-organized drug smuggling operation, based in Marseilles, has been shipping huge amounts of illicit materials into the US. Shocked and angered that his own government won't help him smash the dope dealers' operation, Williams organizes his own band of guerrillas to combat the influx of drugs. This of course leads to the action-packed climax of the film. The film features some interesting performances from Pryor, Welles, and Brandt, but that can't overcome the clichés.

Excerpt from TV Guide  located HERE

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

Hit! appears decent if not notably stellar on Blu-ray from Olive Films.  The image quality shows some 70's grit and I'm guessing it looked quite similar to this theatrically almost 40 years ago.  This is only single-layered but appears to do its job on the bare-bones release where the 2 1/4 hour features shares the allotted file-space with nothing else. There is a smidgeon of noise in the darker scenes. This bright Blu-ray is pretty consistent without any damage or speckles. There is no real depth but this and the thickness is more a factor of the original production never looking glossy - which would be totally consistent with the era.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

No surround boost going on here - another modest but faithful DTS-HD Master mono track from Olive at a subtle 911 kbps. The original music for Hit! is by the renowned Lalo Schifrin and it never interferes with the plot but supports it with a flat, crisp edge under the surface. Sweet. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked like all Olive Film Blu-ray releases before it.

 

Extras :

Nutt'in... bitch.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
It wouldn't be accurate to label this a 'Blaxploitation flic'  however it does have leanings in that direction. This is a decently composed revenge film and while certainly not a stellar example of that genre - it does have the rough-and-ready edgy 70's appeal that shows the grit of many from that genre/era. Billy Dee is great - as is Pryor. Hit! has some things going for it and I can't expect anyone who isn't fully aware of the, oft-repeated, style not knowing full-well what they are getting themselves in for. Sure, there is mediocrity here and the charisma lies in the campy value. I was sold. The Blu-ray is solid producing a better-than-deserved presentation for such a film. In the right mood Hit! can hit the spot like wings + beer. Go for it. 

Gary Tooze

April 16th, 2012


 

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 5000 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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