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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The January Man [Blu-ray]


(Pat O'Connor, 1989)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:37:16.330

Disc Size: 20,527,737,704 bytes

Feature Size: 19,718,737,920 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 11th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1600 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1600 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English, None



• Making of Featurette (6:24)

Trailer (1:28)





Description: Eleven Women, Eleven Months! And Only One Man Can Stop Him! Acting greats Kevin Kline (The Ice Storm), Susan Sarandon (Bull Durham), Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Color of Money), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets), Danny Aiello (Do the Right Thing), Rod Steiger (In the Heat of the Night) and Alan Rickman (Close My Eyes) star in this intense thriller about a serial killer on the loose in Manhattan. Directed by Pat O'Connor (A Month in the Country) and written by John Patrick Shanley (Doubt), The January Man is an edge-of-your-seat suspense ride that'll prey on your thoughts as well as your fears. Ex-cop Mick Starkey (Kline) is the only man in New York brilliant enough to find a vicious serial killer. But returning to his job is as complicated an undertaking as nabbing the culprit. Forced to work alongside the brother who fired him, Nick also has to come to terms with the ex-girlfriend who married his brother, and the mayor's young daughter who's fallen in love with him. But with time running out and everyone counting on him, Nick sets aside his personal turmoil to root out the sadistic killer.



The Film:

This offbeat police thriller with heavy doses of humor was written by John Patrick Shanley, the former playwright who wrote Cher's hit romantic comedy Moonstruck. Kevin Kline stars as Nick Starkey, a brilliant former New York City police detective who has been exiled to the fire department because of his unorthodox ways. He's called back to service by his police commissioner brother Frank (Harvey Keitel) in the hopes that he can find a bizarre serial killer who's been murdering one woman a month. Nick's condition to agreeing to help is that he gets to cook dinner for Frank and his snooty wife Christine (Susan Sarandon), a former girlfriend of his. Ultimately, Nick uses his Zen-like intuition and some high-tech computer hardware (with prominent product placement plugs) to find the killer, pausing to have an affair with the mayor's beautiful daughter Bernadette (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.) In the improbable conclusion, Nick figures out the exact day the killer will strike and the exact apartment! January Man is too tongue-in-cheek to be taken seriously as a thriller. In addition to Keitel and Sarandon the stellar supporting cast includes Rod Steiger as the mayor and Danny Aiello as a tough police captain who rails against Nick's "beatnik" ways.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE


In New York, eleven murders have taken place in as many months, and the serial killer is about to strike again. So bellicose mayor Steiger reluctantly reinstates maverick sleuth Nick Starkey (Kline), and despite the reservations of the police commissioner (Keitel), who also happens to be Nick's estranged brother, Nick is put on the case. In idiosyncratic fashion, Nick miraculously identifies the apartment that is the killer's next port of which point plot and dramatic tension plummet. Black humour becomes knockabout comedy. Sarandon, as Keitel's wife and sometime lover of his brother, and Mastrantonio as the mayor's daughter who falls for Nick, give good enigmatic performances, but are mislaid in the ensuing tumult. John Patrick Shanley's screenplay, touching on themes of betrayal and corruption, honesty and trust, promises and teases but suffers from coitus interruptus.

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 The January Man looks consistent and clean in a 1080P transfer. There is some softness to the visuals that seems representative of the 80s. Colors and black levels show some depth. It looks decent enough. The source is clean and I found no noise. This Blu-ray gave me a, presumably authentic, but mediocre, viewing in regards to the HD video quality. Nothing bad, or great, to say.


















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1600 kbps (16-bit) and for the genre is pretty passive in terms of violence or aggressive effects. The score is by Marvin Hamlisch (The Swimmer, Behind the Candelabra, The Informant) plus a bit of Puccini 's "Madame Butterfly". It all sounds fine with clear consistent dialogue. There are optional English subtitles offered (see sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only a vintage featurette running 6-minutes and a poor quality, trailer.



I liked The January Man when it came out, when I saw it years later - and now on Blu-ray. I don't get the middling response (many critics hated it) - it's well directed by Pat O'Conner (A Month in the Country) and has some impressive star power. Kline is great and it's a darn good serial-killer thriller.  The Kino Lorber Blu-ray gave me the opportunity to see the film in 1080P and, like I said, I still like this film! So there you go. I was entertained and recommend! 

Gary Tooze

August 3rd, 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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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