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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Shark aka Caine [Blu-ray]

 

(http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/fuller.htm, 1969)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Cinematográfica Calderón S.A.

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:33:05.913

Disc Size: 20,559,476,917 bytes

Feature Size: 20,429,678,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 25th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 852 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 852 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: An American gunrunner, Caine (Burt Reynolds) arrives in a small dusty town in Sudan after escaping corrupt government soldiers. Broke and desperate, he agrees to sign up as a deck hand to ichthyologist Dan Mallare (Barry Sullivan) and his mistress Anna (Silvia Pinal) who are supposedly collecting rare fish specimens. Caine soon discovers that his new employers are crooked treasure hunters looking for gold bullion buried in the deep, shark-infested waters and that they would stop at nothing to get their hands on sunken treasure. Arthur Kennedy co-stars as Doc, an alcoholic American doctor who befriends Caine. Co-written and directed by legendary director Samuel Fuller (China Gate, The Big Red One).

 

 

The Film:

In this actioner, a gun runner gets a job as a marine biologist while stranded in the Middle East. He quickly finds out that his new employer and his wife are really treasure seekers looking for bullion. Unfortunately, the gold lies in deep, shark-filled water. Tragically, while the movie was being shot, a stuntman really was killed by a shark.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Although Fuller disowns this because it was cut against his wishes, it still remains worth seeing for what's left. The search for sunken treasure by four totally amoral protagonists, all intent on double-crossing each other, is capably handled; but the lasting impression is of how well Fuller conveys the atmosphere of hot and dusty small towns in the middle of nowhere.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

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

Shark has a single-layered, bare-bones, Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. The bitrate seems supportive but the film has some inconsistency issues. It is most noticeable at around 50-minutes when the image obviously sharpens in close-ups. The underwater sequences are weak. None of this is the fault of the Olive transfer.  Visuals sometimes appear muddy. This is in the, bastardized, 1.78:1 aspect ratio and I'd say the high point is the colors which tend to look superior to what SD could relate. The Blu-ray is certainly no demo - but I expect that it is the best we are likely to get for this, more clandestine, Fuller effort.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD mono track at 852 kbps is, predictably, unremarkable. There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. The score is by a guy named Rafael Moroyoqui - who only did one other film besides Shark. It seems at odds with the film at times but sounds clear although never crisp.  There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with almost all their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Because of Fuller I had some interest - and there are brief sparks of his enigmatic style but overall Shark doesn't come together. I have trouble believing this turned out the way Fuller was expecting when he wrote it. The Olive Blu-ray is nothing special and I suspect only die-hard Fuller completists will see the value. I'd suggest a pass. 

Gary Tooze

June 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.

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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