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Rolling Thunder [Blu-ray]
(John Flynn, 1977)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,553,929,069 bytes
Feature Size: 20,453,339,136 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: May 28th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1823 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1823 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
English (SDH), none
• The Making of Rolling Thunder (21:49)
•Theatrical trailer (2:31)
• TV Spot (:32)
• Radio Spots (3:11)
Description: Major Charles Rane (William Devane) comes back from the Vietnam war and is given a number of gifts from his hometown because he is a hero. A group of sadistic thugs decide that they want to steal a number of silver dollars from him and in the process kill his wife and son and destroy his hand. The Major wants revenge so he enlists the help of his war buddy Johnny to meet the thugs in a final showdown.
Rolling Thunder's ex-Vietnam War POW Major Charles Rane (William Devane) returns to a hero's welcome in San Antonio in the early '70s. He's bestowed with a red Cadillac convertible, $2,500 in silver dollars, and accolades from all sides. Soon, however, he discovers that all is not as it seems; his wife strayed with a close friend during his years of confinement. He also finds that he has his own personal POW groupie, Linda; her fascination with him is met with the same shoulder-shrugging blandness that he shows toward everything else in what's left of his life. One day Rane comes home to find a houseful of assorted Texas white trash demanding his small fortune in silver dollars. Their efforts to beat him into revealing the location of the money are for naught, so they jam his right hand down a garbage disposal instead. When his wife and kid come home, the two gladly give up the money but the robbers cold-bloodedly gun them down anyway. Flash-forward: Rane has himself fitted with a hook prosthesis (which he sharpens on a grinder), cuts down a couple of shotguns, and points the scarlet Caddy land yacht south towards Nuevo Laredo, bent on revenge.Excerpt from DVDBeaver Review located HERE
After spending eight years in a Vietcong prison camp, Maj. Charles Rane
(William Devane) returns home to a small town in Texas to be greeted as
a hero with a Cadillac convertible and couple thousand dollars in silver
dollars (donated by a supermarket), one for each day of his
imprisonment, plus one for luck. He accepts the car and the money in
much the same manner as he accepts his wife's news that she's fallen in
love with another man—impassively.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Rolling Thunder arrives on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory in the US. We reviewed the MGM Limited Edition DVD HERE. Unfortunately, that DVD is interlaced (see sample) and the 1080P from Shout Factory improves upon it in a number of areas. Contrast - the SD had a tendency to look green and there is significantly more texture in the HD transferred visuals. This is only single-layered but is probably a decent representation of the original appearance. Colors seem brighter and truer than SD relates although it can tend to look blocky at times. Skin tones have some warmth. There are a few speckles but no detrimental damage. By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done. I don't see any signs of digital manipulation and this Blu-ray seems to do its job well.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Blu-ray TOP - Interlaced MGM DVD BOTTOM
No boost going on here - basically we have the original audio via a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at a reasonable 1823 kbps. Barry De Vorzon's (Hard Times, Looker) score is well balanced and sounds tight. The gunplay packs some punch but dialogue can be a bit hard to hear - I expect this is a function of the original - sounding a shade scattered and Devane's character is so 'quiet'. But there are optional English subtitles on the Region 'A'-locked disc.
There are some supplements - a 20-minute The Making of Rolling Thunder. We get short snippets from Devane, Tommy Lee Jones, writer Paul Schrader and others. There is also a theatrical trailer, TV and Radio Spots and a Photo Gallery.
May 21st, 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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