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Red Rock West [Blu-ray]
(John Dahl, 1993)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Video: Concorde Video
Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,023,919,790 bytes
Feature Size: 21,537,312,768 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 16th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1784 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1784 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio German 1568 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz /
1568 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps /
•None (trailers for other films)
Description: John Dahl directed and co-wrote (along with his brother Rick Dahl) this quirky and energetic film noir that, after a well-received screening at the Toronto Film Festival, was consigned to oblivion before resurfacing on cable television. When the owner of a San Francisco movie theater, who was a big fan of the film, arranged for a theatrical release, the film clicked and toured the country as an art house hit. The film concerns eternal loser Michael (Nicolas Cage), down to his last five dollars and looking for work. He finds himself at a bar in the town of Red Rock. The bartender, Wayne (J.T. Walsh) eyes him suspiciously and asks him, "You must be Lyle, from Dallas." Michael, eager to earn some cash, agrees. It seems Wayne has a job for Michael, but what Michael doesn't realize until too late is that the job is to kill Wayne's wife for $10,000. Michael heads out to Wayne's farm with the cash to warn Wayne's wife, Suzanne (Lara Flynn Boyle). Suzanne responds by offering to double Michael's fee if he will kill her husband instead. Michael takes the money and tries to leave town, but when a thunderstorm comes up, he runs over a man who was trying to flag him down. The sheriff arrives on the scene to attend to matters -- who turns out to be Wayne. Wayne proceeds to drive Michael out of town for an execution, but Michael manages to elude him. Flagging down a driver on the road who is driving back into Red Rock, they return to the bar, where the driver offers to buy Michael a drink. As Michael accepts the offer of a drink, he realizes that he is drinking with the real "Lyle from Dallas" (Dennis Hopper) who is awaiting Wayne's return.
"Red Rock West" would probably have been on a lot of film
critics' best-of lists last year -- if any of them had seen it. For some
reason, though, no one could figure out a way to market this deliciously
noirish film by director John Dahl, who wrote it with his brother Rick.
It played overseas and has just come out on video, but after being
rescued theatrically by a San Francisco art house, "Red Rock West"
gets a belated showcase at the Key. It may now find the audience it
The synopsis doesn’t do justice to the multiple twists and turns in
Dahl’s superb blending of the noir and Western genres. But to give away
too much would be to ruin the pleasure for first-time viewers of a film
where you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next – or whether
any of the main characters is quite who they seem.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Red Rock West, another cracking John Dahl neo-noir (see our reviews of The Last Seduction, Unforgettable, Kill Me Again) - and this may be his best - is on Blu-ray from Concorde Video out of Germany. The transfer looks good. It's only single-layered with a reasonable bitrate but the resulting image quality is strong with good contrast, detail and depth. The Blu-ray colors seem authentic and I was very pleased with my viewing. Excellent news.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1784 kbps (16-bit) and an optional German DUB. There are some aggressive effects with gunshots and fighting sequences. They carry some depth and the score is by William Olvis (Dahls' Kill Me Again, and aside from Red Rock West has participated almost exclusively in TV work.) It supports the film dark moods quite well and sounds clean and moody in the lossless. Dialogue is consistent and audible. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
None except some unrelated trailer.
April 20th, 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 3500 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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