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The Wild Geese [Blu-ray]
(Andrew V. McLaglen, 1978)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Richmond Film Productions
Region: FREE (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,798,373,155 bytes
Feature Size: 18,748,422,144 bytes
Video Bitrate: 17.25 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: December 11th, 2012
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-2 Video
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio Corsican 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
• Audio Commentary With Producer Euan Lloyd, Star Roger Moore, Second Unit Director John Glen, Moderated by Filmmaker Jonathan Sothcott
• The Wild Geese Director - Exclusive New Interview With
Director Andrew V. McLaghlen (16 mins)
Description: Screen legends Richard Burton, Roger Moore and Richard Harris star as a team of aging mercenaries hired by a wealthy industrialist for one final mission: Recruit and train a squad of desperate commandos, parachute into an unstable African nation, snatch its deposed President from a maximum security army prison, escape via the military-controlled airport, and massacre anyone who gets in their way. Getting to the target will be murder. But when the group is double-crossed, getting out alive may be impossible. Hardy Kruger (A BRIDGE TOO FAR), Frank Finlay (THE THREE MUSKETEERS), Barry Foster (FRENZY) and Stewart Granger (KING SOLOMON'S MINES) co-star in this blood & guts action classic, now packed with all-new Bonus Features and fully re-mastered in explosive HD for the first time ever in America!
The plot concerns a band of seasoned mercenaries hired by a wealthy British industrialist (Stewart Granger) to execute a mission in Africa. This tiny army, recruited by Mr. Burton, Mr. Harris and Roger Moore, is being sent to kidnap an African leader (Winston Ntshona) who has long been held prisoner and is believed by his followers to be dead. At the time the story starts, it suits Mr. Granger and his copper-mining interests to restore this leader to the public eye.Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE
The plot of this of this adaptation of the Daniel Carney's novel, sprinkled throughout a series of extended Sam Peckinpah-inspired action sequences, deals with a collection of mercenary toughguys -- Colonel Allen Faulkner (Richard Burton), Lieutenant Shawn Fynn (Roger Moore), Rafer Janders (Richard Harris), Pieter Coetzee (Hardy Kruger) -- who are hired to parachute into the African bush country and abscond with deposed African president Julius Limbani (Winston Ntshona) and reinstall him as a reigning monarch of an African country, to satisfy British mercantile interests. The action sequences were successful enough to spawn a sequel -- appropriately titled Wild Geese II.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Wild Geese gets an MPEG-2 transfer on Blu-ray from Severin. Despite that it doesn't look too bad - very bright and clean. It is 1080P and the image looks reasonably sharp with some scattered depth. Without using AVC or VC-1 the grain is not as dynamically supported. It is single-layered with a modest bitrate. I suspect it is not far off the theatrical color scheme - it just loses some of the film-like qualities. Contrast exhibits decent to strong levels. Daylight scenes are crisper. This Blu-ray gives a decent, if not stellar, presentation in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Unfortunately the audio is an unremarkable Dolby Digital stereo track that lacks depth. The Roy Budd score supports the action but isn't rendered to export its best attributes. There are no subtitles offered and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE.
Severininclude an audio commentary moderated by filmmaker Jonathan Sothcott - it has producer Euan Lloyd, Roger Moore, and second unit director John Glen reminiscing about the production. There are also over an hour's worth of interviews (with Director Andrew V. McLaglen and Military Advisor Mike Hoare), a documentary on producer Euan Lloyd featuring Lloyd, Roger Moore, Joan Armatrading, Ingrid Pitt plus a vintage featurette and a Wild Geese Royal Charity premiere newsreel clip. There is also a trailer.
December 8th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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