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Foxy Brown [Blu-ray]
(Jack Hill, 1974)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)
Video: Arrow Video / Olive Films
Region: 'B' / 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:31:40.495 / 1:31:40.536
Disc Size: 49,402,892,368 bytes / 24,751,346,678 bytes
Feature Size: 27,719,043,264 bytes / 24,602,142,720 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps / 30.00 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 24th, 2013 / June 9th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3976 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3976 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
•Audio commentary with director Jack Hill
• From Black and White to Blaxploitation Actor Sid Haig speaks about his long and influential friendship with Jack Hill (19:53)
• A Not So Minor Influence An Interview with Bob Minor, the first African-American member of the Stuntman s Association, and co-star of Foxy Brown (18:57)
• Back to Black Legendary actors Fred The Hammer Williamson (Black Caesar) and Austin Stoker (Sheba Baby, Assault on Precinct 13 ), alongside Rosanne Katon (Ebony, Ivory, and Jade) and film scholar Howard S. Berger speak about the enduring popularity of the Blaxploitation film (25:07)
• Photo gallery of behind-the-scenes and publicity images (10)
• Trailer Reel Trailers for all the major works by Jack Hill including Foxy Brown, Coffy and Switchblade Sisters (19:50)
• Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide, a new interview with Pam Grier by Jack Hill biographer Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
Description: It's clear that Quentin Tarantino is a huge
fan: he cast Grier in the title role of his direct homage
Jackie Brown, while the one-woman revenge scenario
that fuelled the Kill Bill films didn t just come
from the Far East.
Blaxploitation icon Pam Grier stars as Foxy Brown, a sexy but streetwise woman whose ne'er-do-well brother Link (Antonio Fargas) is a drug dealer who owes mobsters 20,000 dollars. To get the hoods off his back, Link names Foxy's boyfriend as a government agent trying to wipe out organized crime, and the mob soon has him rubbed out. But Hell hath no fury like Foxy Brown scorned; posing as a hooker to get the inside scoop on the mob, she goes on a crusade to find out who murdered her man, and she exacts revenge with the help of a local activist group. The supporting cast includes cult figure Sid Haig as a bad guy (as usual) and Peter Brown and Kathryn Loder as a seriously kinky couple who rule the local mob.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Grier's follow-up to Coffy, also scripted and directed by Hill, lacks all the fine, subversive qualities she lent that film. She continues the avenger role, but in much diluted form, simply exacting retribution for the murder of her narcotics officer boyfriend (gone is Coffy's environment of all-pervasive and over-weening corruption); and in any case this is subsumed in a general racial tone, with every white within spitting distance made a bigot, for the sole purpose of milking audience reactions in the most blatant way possible. Grier is an actress able to convey an amazing and unflinching strength, and she reveals the film for the dross it is.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Foxy Brown gets a Blu-ray transfer from Arrow in the UK. I think it looks great - certainly the best I have ever seen the film. Colors are brighter - especially the more psychedelic-style fashions including Foxy's underwear. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame. It's pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks exactly like the theatrical version of Foxy Brown. It's smooth in-motion, no noise with hints of grain. The Arrow transfer gave me a wonderful, nostalgic presentation.
Unlike the Coffy Olive Blu-ray vs. the Arrow - there are some more significant image quality differences with the Olive looking much darker with cooler skin tones. Similar though to that other comparison the Olives shows more speckles and dirt - not present on the Arrow. I am not sure which is more correct in terms of the theatrical appearance but I would lean to the Olive - who don't usually have the budget to do any form of restoration. These are from the same print source as I see minor surface scratches are duplicated.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Subtitles only on Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
More Arrow Blu-ray Captures
The audio comes in a linear PCM 2.0 channel track at 1536 kbps. There are some effects in the various skirmishes in the film but the score by Willie Hutch probably benefits the most from the lossless rendering. His "Foxy Brown" theme tends to run throughout with its period and genre telltale sound. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
Like the video variance - similarly we have Olive going with a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump at a robust 3976 kbps. There is action, fighting and gunplay and it the richer deeper transfer is definitely noticeable in the Olive - although the Willie Hutch score remains flat. Purists will lean to the Arrow and there is not an abundance of discreet separation in Olive's bump although it is a more intense, aggressive, audio. Olive offer no subtitles on their region 'A'-locked disc.
Arrow stack the supplements starting with an audio commentary by director Jack Hill. This is the same one from a past DVD release (I believe) discussing the wardrobe and Pam Grier's elevated ''status after Coffy. There are also 3 exclusive featurettes. From Black and White to Blaxploitation has 20-minutes of actor Sid Haig speaking about his long and influential friendship with Jack Hill. A Not So Minor Influence is an 18-minute interview with Bob Minor, the first African-American member of the Stuntman's Association, and co-star of Foxy Brown and Back to Black has legendary actors Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson (Black Caesar) and Austin Stoker (Sheba Baby, Assault on Precinct 13), alongside Rosanne Katon (Ebony, Ivory, and Jade) and film scholar Howard S. Berger speak about the enduring popularity of the Blaxploitation genre. It runs 25-minutes. There is a photo gallery of behind-the-scenes and publicity images and 20-minutes of' Reel Trailers' for all the major works by Jack Hill including Foxy Brown, Coffy and Switchblade Sisters. The package contains a Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide, a new interview with Pam Grier by Jack Hill biographer Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
None. Olive offer another totally bare-bones disc.
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Olive Films - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Olive create the option for an 1080P, bare-bones, package for Foxy Brown. Its another must-own of the Blaxploitation genre and, while Arrow win the essential release - I like the darker look and there is now an option for a simpler edition. Still recommended!
May 30th, 2013
May 29th, 2015
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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