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Directed by John Frankenheimer
USA 1986

 

Harry Mitchell, an L.A. manufacturer with a fancy car, a nice house, and a wife running for city council, has his life overturned when three hooded blackmailers appear with a video tape of Harry and his young mistress. He's been set up, and they want $100,000. To protect his wife's political ambitions, Harry won't go to the police; instead, he shines them on and then doesn't pay. They up their demands, so he goes on the offensive, tracking them down and trying to turn one against the other. Their sociopathic leader, Alan, responds with violence toward the mistress and menace toward Harry's wife. Will Harry let up and pay off Alan or can he find some other solution?

***

This is the one Elmore Leonard fans were waiting for, the one that lost least on the swings and roundabouts of translation to the screen. It has, damagingly, exchanged the precise economic placing of Detroit for impersonal LA, fiddled a bit with the plot, but courageously sticks by the unheroic tone of the book. Married Harry's passing fling with a young 'model' places him in the hands of a trio of extortionists. They show him the evidence on video, and when he refuses to pay up, execute his mistress with his gun, and play him the subsequent snuff movie. Harry's survival depends upon his ability to play the unstable trio off against each other. Excellent performances. Best of all is the casting of Williams as Bobby Shy - as shamblingly conspicuous as the brother from another planet, golliwog hair and a too-tight raincoat that clings like a hobo's fart, this is a guy who wants a good leaving alone.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Poster

Theatrical Release: November 7th, 1986

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Comparison:

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

  

   

Kino Lorber have produced a single-layered bare-bones Blu-ray of 52 Pick-up:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Arrow- Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:50:08  1:50:16.901 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.22 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,326,595,741 bytes

Feature: 33,804,039,744 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) DUBs: Spanish - mono, French - mono 

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date: June 12th, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow
 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,326,595,741 bytes

Feature: 33,804,039,744 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 34.94 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentary by critics Glenn Kenny and Doug Brod recorded exclusively for this release
• Hardcore Cameos, a guide to the many cameo appearances by pornographic actors in 52 Pick-Up (12:10)
• Theatrical trailer (1:44)
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
• First pressing only: Collector's booklet containing new writing on the film by the Badlands Collective

Blu-ray Release Date:
October 17th, 2016
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters:8

 

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - October 16': Wow - this remains a great thriller with adept performances. Arrow' new 1080P advances over the greenish SD and looks much better in-motion. We get marginally more information in the top of the frame - smoother and colors carry some depth not present on the DVD. It's a dual-layered transfer with a max'ed out bitrate and carries the film's heaviness and textures beautifully.

Arrow go linear PCM (16-bit). The effects and score by Gary Chang (Miami Blues) seem to benefit even more than the video via the lossless transfer which exudes a tense and suspenseful aura - adding to the film experience. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles on the region 'B' Blu-ray.

Arrow don't overload the supplements but add to excellent one - we get a new audio commentary by critics Glenn Kenny and Doug Brod, recorded exclusively for this release and it's filled with information about Golan-Globus and details of the production, the story, Frankenheimer and so much. What some may find amusing is their Hardcore Cameos - dozen minute video piece - it's a guide to identifying the many cameo appearances by pornographic actors (and some of their spouses) in 52 Pick-Up. There are plenty and may tweak some memories (or at least the names might.) There is also a theatrical trailer and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist and for the first pressing - you will receive a collector's booklet containing new writing on the film by the 'Badlands Collective'.

I think I got the most out of 52 Pick-up by watching it in 1080P (and the uncompressed audio). In some respects thrown-together but it still has riveting action, cars (E-Type Jag) and macho brilliance. No comment on the BD cover but this Blu-ray is still recommended!

***

ON THE DVD: The film, far from being Frankenheimer's best, does have the director's style and a solid thriller. Seeing Scheider and Ann-Margret seems, alone, worth it.

MGM gives us an anamorphic, progressive, dual-layered transfer that seems to just pass the test, if still a far distance from the honor roll. The image quality is thin but fairly clean - colors are a bit dull but detail is not bad.  Overall it is quite watchable. The original stereo audio was clear if unremarkable and there are optional English or Spanish subtitles.

Bare bones in the extras department and not even a trailer, but it is possible that the film doesn't really support any. To be fair it was mildly entertaining and I think the DVD is priced about right. 

Gary W. Tooze

 

 


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Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

 


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Subtitle Sample

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Screen Captures

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray captures


 Box Covers

  

   

Kino Lorber have produced a single-layered bare-bones Blu-ray of 52 Pick-up:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Arrow- Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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