|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Spikes Gang [Blu-ray]
(Richard Fleischer, 1974)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: The Mirisch Corporation
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 20,862,371,553 bytes
Feature Size: 20,387,125,248 byte
Video Bitrate: 24.88 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 3rd, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1688 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1688 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Description:Screen icon Lee Marvin (Monte Walsh, Prime Cut) gives a spellbinding performance as Harry Spikes, a wounded outlaw on the run who appears as a romantic figure to three impressionable youths, played by Ron Howard (TV's Happy Days), Gary Grimes (The Culpepper Cattle Company) and Charles Martin Smith (American Graffiti). Nursed back to health by the boys, the crooked Spikes enlists them as his partners... then callously betrays them after they rob a few banks and mayhem ensues. Legendary husband and wife writing team of Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. (Hud, The Reivers) wrote the screenplay based on the novel The Bank Robbers by Giles Tippette. The great Richard Fleischer (Violent Saturday) directed this great western featuring stunning cinematography by Brian West (Wake in Fright) and a stellar cast that includes Noah Beery Jr. (TV's The Rockford Files) and Robert Beatty (2001: A Space Odyssey).
In this western, an outlaw is wounded in battle and manages to escape to the home of two helpful runaways who help him recuperate. During this time, the outlaw regales them with thrilling tales of his adventurous exploits. His stories inspire the lads to form a gang of their own; the outlaw is more than happy to help and become their leader. They rob a few banks and have great fun until the outlaw becomes a turncoat and begins hunting them for a generous bounty. But one of the boys decides to get revenge and rootin' tootin' mayhem ensues.
An engaging Western, based on Giles Tippette's novel The Bank Robber but designed more or less as a sequel to Robert Benton's Bad Company, with Marvin as a wounded gunman helped by three boys, and later (after they run away from home in search of the excitement and easy living conjured by his reminiscences) tutoring them on the downward path. Familiar territory (ageing outlaw hemmed in by shrinking frontiers and cruel options), but beautifully acted, sharply scripted, and often very funny en route to the bitter final lessons in disillusionment. One of Fleischer's best movies from the '70s.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 Spikes Gang looks very strong in 1080P. Black levels are deep and colors rich. Detail is very strong and there is some minor texture to the visuals. Depth is frequently apparent and there is no noise in the darker scenes. The source is clean, and this image quality is impressive. This Blu-ray provides a solid, and surprisingly good, 1080P presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1688 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are plenty of genre-related effects in the film from horses to gunfire and they come through carrying some modest depth. The score is by Fred Karlin (The Sterile Cuckoo, Westworld, Futureworld) and adds some flavor to the action and atmosphere. It all sounds fine with clear consistent dialogue. There are optional English subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
October 28th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
ALL OUR NEW FORMAT DVD REVIEWS