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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Defiance [Blu-ray]


(John Flynn, 1980)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Necta

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:42:59.047

Disc Size: 23,411,244,210 bytes

Feature Size: 22,492,889,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.86 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 8th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1689 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1689 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






• Trailers for Defiance (2:28) and Vigilante Force (2:49)





Description: Action veteran John Flynn (Rolling Thunder) directed this tough-as-nails thriller about a merchant seaman (Jan-Michael Vincent, The Mechanic) taking on a gang of thugs. Merchant mariner Tommy (Vincent) is stuck in New York's tough Lower East Side, waiting for his next ship to sail. He mostly keeps to himself, though he takes a liking to a pretty local woman named Marsha (Theresa Saldana, Raging Bull) and befriends a kid (Fernando Lopez, Frankie and Johnny) and an old veteran (Art Carney, Harry and Tonto). But he also finds the neighborhood plagued by a rough, violent gang called the Souls, led by Angel (Rudy Ramos, The Driver). Tommy stands up to the gang, and his behavior encourages others in the neighborhood to fight back against their tormentors. The supporting cast includes Danny Aiello (Do the Right Thing), Frank Pesce (Vigilante Force) and Tony Sirico (The Sopranos).




The Film:

Although it is far from a perfectly contrived drama, Defiance has its moments of high emotions and rising fear. Tommy (Jan Michael Vincent) takes up temporary housing in a New York neighborhood plagued by a violent gang, the Souls. Tommy is waiting for his next assignment as a seaman and though he tries to avoid the gang and his neighbors, it does not work. Soon he is single-handedly battling the Souls and not only changing their attitudes, but the attitudes of his previously intimidated neighbors as well. They quickly back him up as the one person who can make the neighborhood safe again.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE


A nasty and simplistic urban-Western parable for Reagan's America. Stranger-in-town Vincent takes it from a marauding Puerto Rican street gang 'til he can't take no more, then comes on like a righteous Cruise missile to trash the bad guys on a wave of populist reaction. Objectionable.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Defiance has some softness but it is consistent. We see this frequently in early 80's films with use of less-than-stellar cinematographic stock.  There is some heaviness and thickness to the visuals and colors are bright and true. It is certainly not stellar but provides a decent, and most likely authentic, 1080P presentation. Even close-ups are not dynamically crisp. The source is clean,, with no speckles or damage. This Blu-ray gave me a watchable, but unremarkable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.





















Audio :

Audio is in the form of a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1689 kbps. It is authentically flat but exports punch in the many aggression sequences. The supportive score is by Dominic Frontiere (Barquero, Brannigan, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, The Invaders TV series, The Stuntman) and captures an 80's electric vibe - crisp and clean. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only a 4:3 trailer for Defiance and a widescreen trailer for Vigilante Force.



Defiance is an imperfect vengeance yarn - certainly superior to Vigilante Force, IMO. It's better than I expected - decent performance support - conflict, tension and a reasonably satisfying conclusion. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray
is a decent replication of the film in 1080P. I can't really endorse - it might fit-the-bill on a night if you are in the mood for a one-dimensional 'payback' drama. It's not horrible, but I did find it fairly forgettable. 

Gary Tooze

September 1st, 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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