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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Gang War in Milan aka Milano rovente [Blu-ray]


(Umberto Lenzi, 1973)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Telemondial

Video: Raro USA



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:40:16.468 

Disc Size: 24,164,886,312 bytes

Feature Size: 22,470,727,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: May 20th, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1Video



LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
DUB: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English (SDH), none



Video introduction by Mike Malloy (5:51)

12-page liner notes booklet with essay by Mike Malloy





Description: Salvator Cangemi is a produce purveyor in Milan, Italy whom moonlights as a pimp and runs a profitable twin businesses. But the appearance of a ruthless and greedy French gangster called Le Capitaine threatens Toto s livelihood when Le Capitaine wants to unite the organized crime in Milian for him getting a large share of the profits. But Toto wants no part of Le Capitaine s organization and wants to continue running his own ring in a low-key quiet way. But no one says no to Le Capitaine and he threatens an all-out war to keep his organized crime ring, and reputation, intact.



The Film:

A violent crime thriller from cult filmmaker Umberto Lenzi, Milano Rovente deals with the rivalry between a pair of kingpins in the Milanese prostitution racket. Sadistic gang warfare ensues as nude hookers are beaten with belts and have their faces slashed with stilettos while men are garotted electrocuted and gunned down with their families. Eventually, a truce is called, until one of the gangsters (Antonio Sabato) has his mistress (Marisa Mell) leave him for the other gangster and is betrayed by his own men. Franco Fantasia co-stars in this well-paced melodrama featuring a mournful jazz soundtrack by Carlo Rustichelli.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Italian and French organized crime have it out in Umberto Lenzi’s Milano Rovente, one of a string of violent crime thrillers Antonio Sabato Sr. did that put his name on the map. He plays a wholesaler in the produce yards of Milan, but is up to more than just making sure the citizens eat their vegetables. He is the head of a Sicilian clan about to have their power challenged by French gangsters anxious to push them out of town. But Italy is their home turf and they will fight to the end in this still effectively graphic Gangster genre import.

When they are not shooting, strangling or stabbing each other, they are sexually assaulting or actually mutilating to damage the cash value of a group of hookers working for the Sicilians. It is the kind of violence that is graphic, though it sometimes looks phony and is not the hyper/surreal/fantasy we see too much of today.

Excerpt from FulvueDribe-In located HERE

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

Gang War in Milan is typically supportive of the style on Blu-ray from Raro Films. It's advertised as fully restored from the 35mm print. Colors look very rich and the overall feel is heavy. the transfer is a shade picture-boxed with a thin black border on the right and left edges. It's not much. The image quality shows some a shade of glossy waxiness but the others from this genre do as well and I doubt there was overused digitization. Any softness seems likely inherent in the print.  This is only single-layered but has a supportive bitrate utilizing the, less-used, VC-1 encode. Close-ups are tight and detail impressive with a few examples of depth. Skin tones seem true. It is in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Overall, the Blu-ray provides a predictably pleasing presentation strongly reflecting the original appearance.
















Audio :

Audio is in a linear PCM 2.0 channel in both original Italian, and a typically awkward English DUB option both at 1536 kbps. It sounds reasonable, if not exceptional but gunplay and gal-slaps pack a wallop (almost reminding me of kung fu films). The lively score is by Carlo Rustichelli's (The Whip and the Body, Seduced and Abandoned, Divorce - Italian Style, 1974's Ten Little Indians) and reflects the film's early 70's production but seems overused at times. It sounds heavy with infusions of dark jazzy Saxophone. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.



Extras :

Supplements include an honest 5-minute introduction by Mike Malloy (Producer of Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the '70s) while holding a Walther PPK, and the package contains an illustrated booklet by with essay by Malloy.



Gang War in Milan may be the best I have seen of this genre, although I feel like a neophyte only having indulged in a fewer than a dozen. It certainly grows on you with a very in-you-face style, plenty of close-ups and machismo stares - plus it is heavy on the violence. These films can be strangely fulfilling. The Blu-ray represents is another impressive effort from Raro Films. I'm sure this is 'it' for digital and for those who enjoy this cycle of 70's Italian crime-dramas - we absolutely recommend! 

Gary Tooze

May 7th, 2014


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.

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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
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Gary W. Tooze






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