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Innocent Bystanders [Blu-ray]
(Peter Collinson, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Sagittarius Productions
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 21,976,888,038 bytes
Feature Size: 21,902,678,016 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 19th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 921 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 921 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
Description: Innocent Bystanders stars Stanley Baker (Sands of the Kalahari) as John Craig, a James Bond like British secret agent who's given one last chance to redeem himself after a failed mission. Loomis (Donald Pleasence), the head of the organizations no longer trusts Craig, so he sends two younger and more ruthless agents to intercept the Russian scientist Craig has been sent to locate. Accompanied by Israeli spy Miriam Loman (Geraldine Chaplin), Craig must decide if the scientist is to be rescued or eliminated. The level of violence and bloodshed in Innocent Bystanders is such that at times it makes the James Bond films look like models of decorum. The stellar cast includes Dana Andrews as Blake, the CIA boss, Sue Lloyd and Derren Nesbitt as Craig rivals, Joanna Benson and Andrew Royce. Stylishly directed by Peter Collinson (The Italian Job).
Paramount Pictures has provided film critics with an unusually detailed plot synopsis for its "Innocent Bystanders." I've read the synopsis and I've seen the picture, and I still don't know exactly what is going on, or why, through perhaps 60 per cent of Peter Collinson's new movie, which opened yesterday at local theaters.Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE
Innocent Bystanders stars Stanley Baker as a Bondlike British secret service agent. In collaboration with fellow spies Geraldine Chaplin and Dana Andrews, Baker is sent behind the Iron Curtain to locate a Russian scientist who has escaped from Siberia. There's a likelihood that the scientist was permitted to escape so that he can spy on the Good Guys. Baker must decide if the escapee is to be rescued or eliminated. The level of sadism and bloodshed in Innocent Bystanders is such that at times it makes the James Bond films look like models of decorum.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Innocent Bystanders has a reasonable Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and the film carries a thick, grittiness belying its early 70's production roots. I doubt dual-layering would benefit the visuals extensively. This transfer exports the prevalent grain, no gloss and certain greens and reds show vibrancy. I can't imagine it ever looks pristinely crisp - even theatrically. The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an SD rendering and any minor flaws had no detrimental effect on my viewing. It seems to looks authentic, if flat and unremarkable.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
We are given a pretty basic DTS-HD Master mono track at a modest 921 kbps. There is some aggressiveness but the track treats it with limp indifference. Original music is credited to Johnny Keating who wrote "What Makes the Man" as performed by Norman 'Hurricane' Smith. It's very 70's and suitably defining the film's niche. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with many of their releases.
February 20th, 2013
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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