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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Yukon aka Death Hunt [Blu-ray]

 

(Peter R. Hunt, 1981)

 

 

Being Released in August 2013 by Shout! Factory in the US here:

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Video: Koch Media

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:37:01.816

Disc Size: 19,214,559,080 bytes

Feature Size: 14,989,117,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 16.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 27th, 2012

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1053 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1053 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 1057 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1057 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1050 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1050 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, Italian, none

 

Extras:

• Audio interview with Bronson and Marvin (26:55 - in DTS-HD)

German Trailer (2:27 in 1080i 4:3)

• Original Trailer (2:27 in 1080i 4:3)

• Photo Gallery (2:18)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Set in the '30s, Mountie Millen (Lee Marvin) is assigned to track down accused murderer Johnson (Charles Bronson), who... has escaped in the high passes of the Canadian Rockies. Johnson, a trapper, has extensive knowledge of wilderness living, but Millen has the resources of the Canadian police at his beck and call.

***

Canada 1931: The unsociable trapper Johnson lives for himself in the ice-cold mountains near the Yukon river. During a visit in the town he witnesses a dog-fight. He interrupts the game and buys one of the dogs - almost dead already - for $200 against the owner's will. When the owner Hasel complains to Mountie Sergeant Millen, he refuses to take action. But then the loathing breeder and his friends accuse Johnson of murder. So Millen, although sympathetic, has to try to take him under arrest - but Johnson defends his freedom in every way possible.

 

 

The Film:

Two of cinema's greatest "real man" stars re-team (after appearing together years earlier in The Dirty Dozen) for this low-key, fun chase movie. Charles Bronson stars as Albert Johnson, a trapper living in the Yukon in the 1930s. He rescues a badly injured dog from a dogfight and nurses it back to health. But when the dog's original owners try to get it back, the result is a huge bloodbath. Mountie Edgar Millen (Lee Marvin) sets out to track down and bring in the fugitive Johnson, even though he identifies more with the trapper than with the cackling rednecks that caused all the trouble. There's one great shot in which the two leads regard each other through binoculars, sizing each other up and finding the result agreeable.

Excerpt from Jeffrey M. Anderson at Combustible Celluloid at the NY Times located HERE

''Death Hunt,'' which was directed by Peter Hunt, has something of the manner of an old-time movie serial whose hero, at the end of each chapter, is put into an impossible corner from which, in the succeeding chapter, he escapes in a way that is never as clever as the circumstances demanded.

Mr. Bronson and Mr. Marvin are such old hands at this sort of movie that each can create a character with ease, out of thin, cold air. Everyone else acts up a storm, especially Ed Lauter, the principal villain, the transparency of whose lies goes unnoticed by Sergeant Millen, a decent man if not a very bright one.

Excerpt from Vincent Canby at the NY Times located HERE

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

Easily superior to DVD the Koch Blu-ray of Yukon (aka Death Hunt) does the job. The image is clean and clear without any manipulation.  This is only single-layered but can export some impressive detail in close-ups and depth is apparent in a few scenes. Colors appear true with some redness in the skin tones. Contrast exhibits healthy black levels and there is some grain and texture. Daylight scenes dominate the film but there is some noise prevalent in the night sequences. This Blu-ray has a consistency and provides a strong presentation. By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done. This Blu-ray probably looks like the film Death Hunt and it advances beyond any SD editions.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is via DTS-HD Master stereo tracks in original English as well as Italian and German DUBs. Predictably - there is some aggression in the form of rifle shots with a few extensive battles. There is some punch via the uncompressed. There are optional English and Italian subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

I enjoyed the 26-minute audio interview with both Bronson and Marvin who seemed extremely candid with Bronson not holding back and coming across as an intelligent conversationalist who is generally less concerned with the media/journalists. There are also trailers and a photo gallery.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Fabulous adventurous premise with Bronson his usual stalwart self. If you are in the mood for this genre the film has many positives - making it worthy to indulge. The Blu-ray was surprisingly competent in providing a strong presentation. Yes, I will watch this again. 

Gary Tooze

May 24th, 2012

 

Being Released in August 2013 by Shout! Factory in the US here:


 

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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