|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Hired to Kill [Blu-ray]
(Nico Mastorakis, Peter Rader, 1990)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Omega Entertainment
Video: Arrow Video
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 38,441,902,170 bytes
Feature Size: 27,988,119,552 bytes
Video Bitrate: 32.97 Mbps
Case: Transparent Blu-ray case
Release date: May 16th-17th, 2016
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
English (SDH), none
•Audio Commentary with editor Barry Zetlin
• Hired to Direct a brand new interview with director Nico Mastorakis on the making of Hired to Kill (27:26)
• Undercover Mercenary a brand new interview with star Brian Thompson (17:34)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:50)
• Stills Gallery
• Original Freedom or Death Screenplay (BD/DVD-ROM Content)
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
• Fully-illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver
Description: Starring legendary actors Oliver Reed (Gladiator,
The Brood), Academy Award Winner George Kennedy (The
Cool Hand Luke, The Naked Gun series) and
Academy Award Winner Jose Ferrer (Cyrano
Lawrence of Arabia), Hired to Kill is an
essential slice of '''90s action fare featuring guns, girls
and a plethora of budget-busting explosions for good
Brian Thompson, the bad guy from tons of movies, is Frank Ryan – the hero! He’s a mercenary, and the best there is. One day a shady government guy, Thomas (George Kennedy) contacts him with a new mission: to free (or kill) an imprisoned rebel leader, just to create a revolution in the little republic of Cypra. The president of this banana republic is Michael Bartos (the one and only Oliver Reed), a guy with a big moustache and an even bigger appétit for women! Which fits great into the plan, because Frank Ryan is going under-cover as a gay fashion designer and his team is five female mercenaries – ready to kill… and look sexy in that disgusting early nineties way!Excerpt from Ninja Dixon located HERE
Thompson if you can’t already guess plays the Lee Marvin role. George
Kennedy shows up long enough to give Thompson an
Enter the Dragon style slideshow that sets up the plot. He wants
Thompson to rescue Jose Ferrer and overthrow dictator Oliver Reed. In
order to sneak into the country, Thompson has to pose as a gay fashion
designer (!) and his all-female assault team pretends to be his models.
Of course, these gals aren’t exactly Victoria’s Secret caliber dames, so
not only does Thompson have to train them in the art of combat; he has
to teach them to walk the runway too.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond to the best of our knowledge.
NOTE: As Michael Brooke informed us on Facebook in regards toDay of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' Hired To Kill is the same situation.
Hired To Kill gets a dual-layered transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow supported with a high bitrate. It is described as a "Brand new 2K restoration of the film, approved by writer-director Nico Mastorakis" The 1080P reproduces some pleasing depth in the 1.85:1 frame but generally it looks a shade softer than I might have expected. It's very clean and I don't doubt a solid representation of the original. This Blu-ray provides a decent presentation but certainly no demo.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Arrow use a linear PCM 2.0 channel stereo track at 1536 kbps (16-bit) of the option of a lossy Dolby 5.1 surround. I stuck with the default (stereo) and it exported some depth in the film's more aggressive sequences. The score is by Jerry Grant and a bit awkward at times - but I liked it and thought it suited this 'spoitation actioner. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' + 'B'.
Arrow provide an audio commentary with editor Barry Zetlin and a couple of new featurettes - Hired to Direct is a brand new 28-minute interview with director Nico Mastorakis on the making of Hired to Kill. Undercover Mercenary is a new 17.5 minute interview with star Brian Thompson recalling the production and its relevance in his career. There is also an original theatrical trailer, a stills gallery. You can access the original Freedom or Death screenplay via BD/DVD-ROM content as a PDF and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and includes a fully-illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing by critic James Oliver.
May 13th, 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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