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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann [Blu-ray]


(William Dear, 1982)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Zoomo Productions

Video: Shout! Factory



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

Runtime: 1:33:24.473

Disc Size: 30,165,777,605 bytes

Feature Size: 24,445,255,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.76 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 19th, 2013



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1579 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1579 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: DTS-HD Master Audio English 1569 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1569 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)






• Commentary with Writer / Director William Dear

The Making of Timerider (19:29)

• Stills Gallery (Behind-the-Scenes, Storyboards)

Trailer (2:25) / TV Spot (2:19)





Description: Lyle Swann (Fred Ward) is a champion off-road racer who accidentally gets zapped into a time-travel experiment and sent 100 years into the past! When a gang of brutal bandits steals his motorcycle, Swann must outsmart the local cowboys and submit to the desires of a beautiful outlaw woman (Belinda Bauer). Armed with only his wits and a map from an Exxon station, will Lyle Swann survive the Wild West and get back to his future?

Peter Coyote, L.Q. Jones, Ed Lauter and Richard Masur co-star in this cult film co-written and directed by William Dear (Harry and the Hendersons, Angels in the Outfield) and produced, co-written and scored by Michael Nesmith (Repo Man, Elephant Parts).



The Film:

Given the off-the-wall premise in this sci-fi western -- that a motorcyclist rides his bike through a time warp right into the Wild West, into the middle of a gang of outlaws, and cannot figure out what happened -- the glitches and gaps in the plot fit right in with the spirit of the adventure. When the outlaw Reese (Peter Coyote) catches sight of the macho bike, he decides that several hundred horsepower are better than his one and is out to rustle the vehicle any way he can. Unfortunately, the bike does not run on high-octane hay -- an issue that bites the dust when pistol-packing Clair (Belinda Bauer) appears on the scene.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Fred Ward is Lyle Swann (not the catchiest of names), the motorcycle rider who has no idea he is in the Old West. Outside of a pack of cowboys led by the scenery-chewing Peter Coyote (in what may be his sole villain role), the lack of phones, a buxom Belinda Bauer who doesn't take too long before she removes her clothes, it all looks the same as the present. Add to the cast a listless, taciturn L.Q. Jones, himself a veteran of westerns, and Ed Lauter as a priest and we got the makings of a cinematic disaster. Fred Ward looks too out of place as the clueless hero, Bauer is there to show some flesh and look helpless as she is tied to a bed and little else, and Coyote and most of the cast overact to the hilt. After Lyle finds himself in the Old West, we get a love scene and numerous shootouts that are badly staged and edited - they take over the last three-quarters of the movie and add nothing to the story outside of reminding us that the Old West was a stomping ground for wild and crazy trigger-happy cowboys.

Excerpt from located HERE

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

Timerider comes to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. It gets dual-layering and has a good bitrate. This is only single-layered and one of the earlier classic brought to hi-def disc. Colors seem a little pale at times and this may be a function of the early 80's film stock that often produced lackluster quality. Contrast can also be a shade dusty but there are a few scenes with some depth. This 1.85:1 aspect ratio Blu-ray visuals don't have any major flaws... but are also frequently unremarkable. I suspect though that the 1080P is reproducing faithfully and the culprit is the original film. This Blu-ray transfer may be 'true' but it doesn't make the a/v any more remarkable.
















Audio :

Audio comes in the form of an authentic DTS-HD Master stereo track at 1579 kbps. There are some effects, motorcycle engines, guns etc. - but not an abundance of depth. The music is by co-writer/producer Michael Nesmith (yes, Ex-Monkee), and it suits the film and the score benefits from the lossless rendering. There are no optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Shout! Factory are pretty good with supplements and there are some decent ones here. We get a commentary with Writer / Director William Dear which did advance my appreciation somewhat and it was evident that he was very keen on the project and did his best. The Making of Timerider runs 20-minutes and has Dear and Nesmith talking about the production. Many will find this interesting. There are also Stills Galleries (Behind-the-Scenes, Storyboards,) plus a Trailer (2:25) and TV Spots (2:19).



I tried to get into Timerider but it just wasn't happening. I read that Vincent Canby (NY Times) walked out after 55-minutes - but I stuck it out. It just didn't have enough appeal to forgive the weaknesses. Fred Ward is the right choice for the Lyle Swann role but it lacked the adventure aspects that could alleviate the clumsiness. This may sound odd - but Timerider wasn't 'cute enough'. The Blu-ray is no prize and I suggest a pass on this one.

Gary Tooze

March 14th, 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.

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
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Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

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Gary W. Tooze






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