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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Dolemite [Blu-ray]

 

(D'Urville Martin, 1975)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Comedian Intl Enterprise Productions (C.I.E.)

Video: Vinegar Syndrome

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:29:49.717 

Disc Size: 49,826,307,964 bytes

Feature Size: 25,739,948,736 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.88 Mbps

Chapters: 5

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: April 26th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1101 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1101 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

• Historical commentary track by Rudy Ray Moore's biographer, Mark Jason Murray

• Alternate 1.33:1 "boom mic" version (17,024,389,248 bytes / 22.48 Mbps)

• "I, Dolemite" making-of documentary (24:01)
"Lady Reed Uncut" featurette (23:14)
"Locations: Then & Now" featurette (1:47)
Original theatrical trailer for both Dolemite (2:55) & The Human Tornado (2:45)
Original cover artwork by Jay Shaw
Reversible cover artwork

Second disc DVD

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: With the help of his friend Queen Bee (Lady Reed) and their band of Kung Fu fighting vixens, Dolemite takes on every "rat soup eatin' motherf#%*er" in South Central.

Acclaimed comedian Rudy Ray Moore's outrageously funny and action packed blaxploitation classic makes its worldwide Blu-ray debut, fully restored in 2k from a recently discovered 35mm negative and loaded with extras, including a new making-of documentary by Elijah Drenner and a historical commentary track from Moore's biographer Mark Murray, featuring interviews with Moore as well as co-stars Jerry Jones, Lady Reed, John Kerry, cinematographer Nick Von Sternberg and more!

 

 

The Film:

Stand-up comedy legend Rudy Ray Moore's foul-mouthed rap routines took many of the elements of blaxploitation films -- pimps, gangsters, and sex -- to their hilarious limits. It was only natural that he should take his stage persona to the big screen as Dolemite, the "baddest" cool cat in town. Dolemite is a wrongly accused clubowner who is set up by arch-rival Willie Green (D'Urville Martin, who directed) and sent to jail. A madam named Queen Bee (Lady Reed) gets him released on the condition that he helps the cops find Green, and Dolemite is picked up from prison by a slew of multi-ethnic beauties who bring his "pimp-threads" so he can operate. There are many colorful street scenes and funny characters, including "The Hamburger Pimp" and the usual corrupt officials. Dolemite has sex, raps some funny comedy routines (including the underground classic "Signifyin' Monkey") and uses an all-girl kung-fu army to bring down the bad guys. A fast-paced, delirious crime-comedy, Dolemite is supremely entertaining despite its less than stellar production values.

Excerpt from Barnes & Noble located HERE

 

Any movie which makes me take notice of the language is an eye opener to start with. When it involves a very large jiving man who commands an army of hookers trained in martial arts I get excited. Hence we have this piece of work. Dolemite was set up by Mitchell and White (Who take their orders from the Mayor, who has a business relationship with Willie Green.) on drug and theft charges. When the prison warden notices crime is still skyrocketing he makes Dolemite a deal, clean up the streets and you're a free man. ("Hey boss, we imprisoned this guy, but the crime rate is going up. Obviously he wasn't the problem, guess we should let him out...") What follows is chaos, crazy fight scenes, gratuitous sex, and some amazingly funny dialog.

Excerpt from BadMovies.Org located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Dolemite comes to Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome looking quite strong if the print exhibits some minor inconsistencies (contrast). Generally I'd the say the quality is impressive considering the film's low budget and age. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate and is surely as good as the film will ever look on digital. There are a few light surface scratches. They include a 1.33:1 "Boom mic', along with the intended 1.85:1 - and the 'full-frame' version is technically less robust. This 1080P Blu-ray image is very competently transferred and occasionally shows depth. Fans will be pleased.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Vinegar Syndrome (1.33:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Vinegar Syndrome (1.85:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Vinegar Syndrome (1.33:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Vinegar Syndrome (1.85:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) Vinegar Syndrome (1.33:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Vinegar Syndrome (1.85:1) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cue-Blip

 

 

Audio :

The film's audio is transferred in a DTS-HD Master 1.0 channel mono track at 1101 kbps. It's predictably flat and the film has minimal effects. The funky score is by Arthur Wright (The Human Tornado also on his resume) and I believe there was a CD available of some of the film's music, including the score, and pieces with Revelation Funk, Ben Taylor, Mary Love etc. It does pack some depth (24-bit) and, again, probably sounds as good as the film ever will. There are optional English (SDH) subtitle for the German narration. My Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Vinegar Syndrome include a historical commentary track by Rudy Ray Moore's biographer, Mark Jason Murray and the option of watching the film in an alternate 1.33:1 "boom mic" version, in 1080P, with a less robust transfer than the intended 1.85:1 rendition. There is a documentary entitled "I, Dolemite" with some making-of aspects of the film and it runs shy of 25-minutes. As well as get a new "Lady Reed Uncut" featurette with an interview detailing some of the aspects of her notoriety as well as the film production. A short "Locations: Then & Now" featurette shows places in the film and present day and there are trailers for both Dolemite and The Human Tornado. The original cover art is by Jay Shaw and includes reversibility in the transparent keep case. A second disc, DVD, is inlcuded.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Dolemite is more raw than some of the Pam Grier-centric Blaxploitation films we've covered (Black Mama, White Mama, Sheba, Baby, Foxy Brown, Coffy, Blacula etc. eventually mocked in films like Black Dynamite) - but it carries some of the same charm. The Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray is a wonderful way to embrace this genre and despite the film's production limitations it has value - fun, occasionally witty and the rawness has it's own charisma. It's 'cool' in a very down-and-dirty way. the supplements also help us give this a definite recommendation to those keen on venturing into Dolemite's world! I'm looking forward to The Human Tornado

Gary Tooze

April 27th, 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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