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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Ambush Bay [Blu-ray]


(Ron Winston, 1966)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Courageous Films

Video: Kino Lorber



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

Runtime: 1:49:24.558 

Disc Size: 24,153,761,557 bytes

Feature Size: 21,318,045,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.84 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 16th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1669 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1669 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)



English, None



Trailers (Ambush Bay - 2:44, The Secret Invasion - 3:11, Beachhead - 2:08, The Train - 4:36)





Description: General MacArthur doesn't know it, but he's headed for an ambush. Hugh O'Brian (Ten Little Indians), Mickey Rooney (The Secret Invasion) and James Mitchum (Trackdown) star in this top-notch WWII nail-biter that'll keep you on the edge of your seat with consistent excitement right until the explosive end. A marine patrol secretly lands on the Japanese-occupied island of Siarago. Their mission: to locate a Japanese-American girl with vital information concerning General MacArthur's pending Philippine invasion. What they uncover instead is a Japanese plot to detonate underwater mines as the US fleet enters the bay. Cut off from outside communication, these brave marines must find a way to prevent what could be the worst naval tragedy from ever happening.


In this WW II drama, a unit of Marines have 96 hours to make it through the dense Philippine jungle and locate a Japanese-American girl who has information needed to plan the invasion of the Japanese-occupied island.



The Film:

During World War II, a nine-man platoon of U.S. marines is sent on a secret mission to a Japanese-held island in the Philippines. Their sole imperative, within a ninety-six hour time frame, is to make contact with a female spy named Miyazaki who has intimate knowledge of the enemy's defenses, information that may affect General MacArthur's planned invasion of the islands.

An assemble-the-team combat adventure that predates The Dirty Dozen by a year, Ambush Bay (1966) unfolds as a flashback narrative told from the viewpoint of Private First Class James Grenier (James Mitchum), the platoon's radio operator and the only inexperienced member of the group. Japanese snipers, deadly booby traps and suicidal acts of heroism drastically reduce their number until only two men are left to complete the mission which includes detonating the submerged mines around the island.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE


Except for a phony heroic postscript, "Ambush Bay" is a very good little picture. Here is a war movie that in some form or other everybody has seen at least once. It's the one about the tough American sergeant prodding his patrol through a Japanese-infested jungle, their brief encounter with a pretty and helpful spy and that final sabotage triumph by the few patrol survivors. Mission accomplished doubly.

This very familiarity exposes "
Ambush Bay" for exactly what it isa trim, muscular, pint-sized package as sensible as it is modest, that makes a little count for a lot. With a cast headed by Hugh O'Brian and Mickey Rooney, the United Artists release opened yesterday at the Astor, Trans-Lux East and Murray Hill.

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 Ambush Bay looks thick and film-like in 1080P. The lush Philippines jungle colors are vibrant with some richness (greens). Contrast is quite strong but detail a little wanting with the films heavily textured appearance. The film's almost exclusive outdoor sequences can tend to support the visuals well. The early, very dark, scenes didn't exhibit any noise. The source is reasonably clean and it looks quite acceptable in-motion. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable HD viewing in regards to the picture quality.


















Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1669 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are war effects in the film - shooting, explosions etc. and some depth in the score by Richard LaSalle (The Night the Bridge Fell Down, Twice-Told Tales, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Wonder Woman). It all sounds fine with clear consistent dialogue and some snappy effects. There are optional subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only trailers for Ambush Bay, The Secret Invasion, Beachhead, and The Train.



I had never seen Ambush Bay but I wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised by what a competent adventure flic it is. Lots of action, character development and you can't help thick of his Dad, Robert, when you see James Mitchum. The Kino Lorber Blu-ray
seems the best way to enjoy this war-thriller in your home theatre. Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 45% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

February 1st, 2016


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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