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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Friday Foster [Blu-ray]

 

(Arthur Marks, 1975)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:29:56.474 

Disc Size: 22,751,615,287 bytes

Feature Size: 22,645,309,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 9th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1851 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1851 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Based on the syndicated newspaper comic strip of the same name, Grier stars as intrepid photojournalist Friday Foster. No sooner has she been warned by her boss that her personal involvement in the stories she’s shooting will not end happily, Friday witnesses the attempted assassination of a prominent African-American figure and the murder of a friend.

Why is Friday the target on the hit list? What does she know? Teaming with private detective Colt Hawkins (Yaphet Kotto, Alien, Blue Collar), the search for answers will lead them to a startling and action-packed finale.

Directed by Arthur Marks (Class of ’74, Detroit 9000), based on his story, Friday Foster features supporting performances by Godfrey Cambridge (Watermelon Man, Cotton Comes To Harlem), Eartha Kitt (Boomerang, The Emperor’s New Groove), Carl Weathers (Rocky, Predator), Scatman Crothers (The Shining), Ted Lange (TV’s The Love Boat), Jim Backus (TV’s Gilligan’s Island, Mister Magoo).

 

 

The Film:

A woman looking for adventure finds romance, excitement and danger in her viewfinder in this action-packed comedy-drama. Friday Foster (Pam Grier) is a beautiful and ambitious young photographer who is working as an assistant at Glance Magazine, edited by the hard-boiled Monk Riley (Julius Harris). When Riley can't get in touch with his first-call photographer, he calls Foster with a very important New Year's Eve assignment -- reclusive billionaire Blake Tarr (Thalmus Rasulala), often called "the black Howard Hughes," is expected to be coming to Los Angeles, and Riley wants pictures of Tarr's arrival. But Foster gets more than she bargained for when Tarr is ambushed by a gang of assassins disguised as security guards. The next day, Foster is helping to shoot a fashion show introducing new creations from flamboyant designer Madame Rena (Eartha Kitt) when Clorils Boston (Rosalind Miles), a model who has known Friday since childhood, is stabled to death. Colt Hawkins (Yaphet Kotto), a private detective who is on the scene, offers to help Friday track down Clorils' killer after she notices that the same mysterious man (Carl Weathers) was present at both crimes. Foster and Hawkins discover the two killings are connected by a plot hatched by an underground group called "Black Widow" to kill off powerful and influential African-Americans. But who is behind the conspiracy, and can they be stopped in time? Also starring Godfrey Cambridge, Paul Benjamin, Scatman Crothers and Ted Lange, Friday Foster was based on the comic strip by Jim Lawrence and Jorge Longeron; running from 1970 to 1974, it was the first syndicated strip with an African-American woman as the leading character.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Standard Pam Grier action extravaganza (1975), glutted with sex and death. Someone notes near the beginning that Grier has "more balls than brains," and ample evidence is provided as she tracks down a sinister organization called "Black Widow" that's plotting the mass murder of America's black leaders. The film's pretensions are so small that it's almost charming in its self-abnegation.

Excerpt from Dave Kehr at the Chicago Reader located HERE

 

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

Friday Foster looks surprisingly strong on Blu-ray from Olive Films. This is only single-layered but has a high bitrate for the 1.5 hour film on a bare-bones disc. Detail is quite strong and colors bold and impressive. I imagine the source was in good shape. There are many instances of depth and contrast looks above-average. The Blu-ray certainly improved the presentation over an SD rendering and I didn't notice speckles or any minor inferiorities. Quite strong.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Olive use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track at 1851 kbps and it sounds quite strong at times with the more aggressive effects. Luchi De Jesus who has done some varied TV work (CHiPs, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Get Christie Love! etc.) did the score - typical the 70's and the genre - kind of electro and funky. There are no subtitles and my Oppo 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, pretty much, all of their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Not hardcore Blaxploitation - but cute crime drama with some homage to the comic strip. Pam has never looked classier, sexier or better and plenty of recognizable faces. It's a modest film but I was kinda into it. The Olive Blu-ray gives a superior video presentation and its a film that will keep your attention with some cheesecake nudity of our heroine. To each his own. 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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