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Figures in a Landscape [Blu-ray]
(Joseph Losey, 1970)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Cinema Center 100 Productions
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,763,690,783 bytes
Feature Size: 22,625,765,376 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.50 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 12th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1698 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1698 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 /
48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Description:The bird has come for its prey! Newly re-mastered in HD! Screen legends Robert Shaw (From Russia With Love) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) co-star as desperate fugitives in an unnamed foreign land, wanted for unknown crimes by a nameless, faceless enemy. Against a raw, unforgiving backdrop of parched desert and frozen mountains, MacConnachie (Shaw) and Ansell (McDowell) run for their lives, but even as they cross a seemingly endless expanse of open territory, the walls of their cage begins to close in as a relentless helicopter pilot stalks them in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Legendary blacklisted filmmaker Joseph Losey (Stranger on the Prowl) directed this thrilling adventure yarn with nonstop suspense and exhilarating action photography that is a jolt of pure adrenaline.
Based on a novel by Barry England, Joseph Losey's Figures in a Landscape stars Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell as two escaped prisoners in an unidentified totalitarian country. MacConnachie (Shaw) and Ansell (McDowell) spend most of their time on the run from an omnipresent police helicopter. Along the way, the two men are helped by "the people," who are as contemptuous of the powers that be as MacConnachie and Ansell. Pamela Brown co-stars as an enigmatic widow.
"Figures in a Landscape" is Losey's first film since his
two-picture sabbatical as director-in-residence for the Richard Burtons
Ceremony"), during which time it seemed as if his work was
evolving into that of a stylish but gloomy interior decorator. With this
film, it is apparent that Losey is back in charge of his own career,
which is to say he is conceding nothing to the demands of big stars and
big properties. He is, instead, pursuing his own metaphysical concerns,
which, as in two of his best recent films, "The
Servant" and "Accident," are so ambitious that one can
admire the concerns even without responding to them.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Losey's Figures in a Landscape looks decent and consistent in 1080P. The mountain-scapes and helicopter vantage point produces some excellent visuals and colors seem true with some richness (greens). Contrast is quite strong but detail a little wanting. The film's almost exclusive outdoor sequences can tend to look quite impressive. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise - not even in the few night sequences. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in regards to the picture quality.
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 1698 kbps in the original English language. There are effects in the film - mostly the pursuing helicopter and fire. They sounds quite deep and ominous at times. Richard Rodney Bennett's (Far From the Madding Crowd, The Witches, Equus, Billy Liar, The Man Who Could Cheat Death) score sounds a lot like the original Planet of the Apes to me (and some of the terrain reminds of that film as well) with violent chords and a piercing high end that sounds very penetrating via the lossless. The dialogue was sometimes harder to distinguish - which would probably on-par with the production. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
January 5th, 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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