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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Jayhawkers [Blu-ray]

 

(Melvin Frank, 1959)

 

 

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: 1:40:50.836 

Disc Size: 17,634,641,720 bytes

Feature Size: 17,498,535,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.00 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 24th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 908 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 908 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

• None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In the maelstrom of Pre-Civil War Kansas, a government agent infiltrates the vigilante group called the Jayhawkers. In this visually evocative western, Jeff Chandler (Merrill's Marauders) plays Luke Darcy; a ruthless man who wants more than what life is willing to offer. Starting out as anti-slavery activists, Darcy uses the Jayhawkers' origin to support his growing power. Opposing his unscrupulous bid for control of the region is Cam (Fess Parker, TV's Davy Crocket), an ex-convict who knows that Darcy was responsible for the death of his wife while he was in prison. Henry Silva and Nicole Maurey co-star in this action-packed western. Co-produced, co-written and directed by Melvin Frank (Knock on Wood).

 

 

The Film:

Set in the Kansas territory during the middle of the 19th century, this is a visually evocative but conventional western.... The story deals with Darcy (Jeff Chandler), a ruthless man, one of the raiders known as "Jayhawkers" who wants more than what life is willing to offer. Starting out as anti-slavery activists, the Jayhawkers' origins are barely mentioned in the story, as Darcy uses them to support his growing power. Opposing his unscrupulous bid for control of the region is Cam (Fess Parker, of Davy Crockett fame on American TV) an ex-convict. Cam knows that Darcy is responsible for the death of his wife while he was in prison and he plans to bring him down.

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

The Jayhawkers! looks pretty impressive on Blu-ray from Olive Films. The image shows quite a few horizontal marks/surface scratches but they are mostly frame-specific. Pastel colors are supportive and contrast well with the heavy, western, earth-tones. This is single-layered but has an acceptable bitrate showcasing some strong detail. Like most Olive Film Blu-ray this aspect ratio has been bastardized from 1.85 to 1.78:1. There is frequent depth and looks solid in-motion. There is no digital noise worth mentioning. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film The Jayhawkers! and it advances well beyond the limitation of SD in several key areas - notably detail and color.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master mono track at 908 kbps is faithful and certainly not overwhelming although a gunshot and galloping horses get some aggressive, punchy bass. The original music by Jerome Moross - notable for wholesome western tracks for The Big Country, Have Gun - Will Travel and Wagon Train among others - runs parallel to the film spiking the action and seething subtly for stare-down intensity. Overall - it sounds better than the technicals would suggest. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Standard for Olive Films - no extras - not even a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Perhaps I was just in the mood for a good ol' western but I loved The Jayhawkers! Fess Parker is grand as the protagonist as is Nicole Maurey as the homestead hottie. Let's not forget perennial bad-guy Henry Silva and his menacing visage - and what about Jeff Chandler? - looking regal and prosperous. This is no masterpiece but for fans of the genre is an easy-going way to spend a Sunday afternoon in front of the Home Theater - as I did. The Olive Blu-ray is typical for them - bare bones, but competent transfer that supplies a worthy presentation. Recommended! 

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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