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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Company Business [Blu-ray]


(Nicholas Meyer, 1991)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Pathé Entertainment

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:38:18.893

Disc Size: 21,694,846,762 bytes

Feature Size: 19,974,088,704 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.91 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 13th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1694 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1694 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)






• "Our Country 'Tis of We" - Featurette (6:35)
Gene Hackman Sound Bites (1:55)
Mikhail Baryshnikov Sound Bites (2:27)
Nicholas Meyer Sound Bites (1:32)
Steven Charles Jaffe Sound Bites (1:43)
Selected B-Rolls (4:06)
Company Business Trailer (2:03) / The Package Trailer (2:18)





Description: It's not the company you keep... it's the company that keeps you! The Cold War may be over, but things are about to heat up again! Screen legend Gene Hackman (The Package, Prime Cut) teams up with Mikhail Baryshnikov (White Nights) in this fast paced, thrill a minute ride that hurtles through Europe, culminating in a death defying confrontation a top the Eiffel Tower! When an ex-CIA agent (Hackman) is called out of retirement to escort a Soviet spy (Baryshnikov) to Berlin for a prisoner trade with the Russians, it seems like business as usual. But when the former adversaries realize they've been double crossed by their own governments, they must work together to uncover and destroy the double operatives within both the CIA and the KGB to win this intricate and deadly game. Written and directed by Nicholas Meyer (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution) and featuring wonderful performances by the two leads, Kurtwood Smith (Robocop) and Terry O Quinn (The Stepfather).



The Film:

The demise of the Cold War rendered this flat and obsolete spy thriller, written and directed by Nicholas Meyer, mute upon its release in 1991. Gene Hackman plays Sam Boyd, a retired CIA agent, now making ends meet by engaging in industrial espionage. But Sam is recalled to duty and ordered to deliver a captured Russian spy, Pyiotr Grushenko (Mikhail Baryshnikov), to East Berlin for a prisoner exchange. Along with Pyiotr, Sam is also transporting $2 million in Columbian drug money to East Berlin. But due to a series of set-ups, Sam and Pyiotr finds themselves working together to keep from getting killed. Sam tries to get help from the CIA, but it turns out that the CIA (along with the KGB) wants them both dead.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE


"You're both dinosaurs," a comparatively neutral observer tells the two bewildered former cold war spies in Nicholas Meyer's new espionage melodrama, "Company Business." They are Sam Boyd (Gene Hackman), an American, and Pyotr Grushenko (Mikhail Baryshnikov), a Russian, who have joined forces to flee the coordinated wrath of the Central Intelligence Agency and the K.G.B.

The neutral observer fails to notice that if the two men are dinosaurs, then their adventure must be antediluvian.

Though "Company Business," which opened here yesterday, is slickly acted and photographed, it has the monotonous one-two-three, one-two-three tempo of a waltz that begins in Fort Worth and lumbers on to Washington, Berlin and Paris.

Excerpt from the NY Times 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 Company Business looks good but perhaps a shade faded with many sequences showing a predominance of earthy browns. Contrast is only so-so. There is a bit of perk to the red and blues but not much depth in the 1.85:1 frame. The visuals are fairly consistent and it gives a decent presentation in 1080P.  I doubt we will ever see it look much better for digital viewing. This Blu-ray is unmanipulated and exports no noise.




















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1694 kbps in the original English language. There are plenty of effects in the film - explosions, gunfire, trains etc. The score is by Michael Kamen (Mona Lisa, Event Horizon, Road House) which does a good job augmenting the action and tension. It all sounds fine although dialogue can be a little scattered. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Kino provide an original, 6-minute, featurette entitled "Our Country 'Tis of We" (a latter line from the film) plus short sound bites from Hackman, Baryshnikov, director Meyer, and producer Steven Charles Jaffe. There is some inconsequential B-Roll footage and two trailers - one for the film.



I liked Company Business more than the critics. I'll watch Gene Hackman in just about anything. His character is tired and more smart than tough - and he plays it well. I like the Euro settings - his chemistry with Baryshnikov is a little trying but it comes off in the end with some panache. I think its a decent espionage thriller. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray supports the film in 1080P and it did give me the opportunity to see the film. I was entertained enough to recommend to fans of the genre or Hackman. 

Gary Tooze

September 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.

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Gary W. Tooze






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