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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Murphy's Law [Blu-ray]

 

(J. Lee Thompson, 1986)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Golan-Globus Productions

Video: Twilight Time

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:40:30.524 

Disc Size: 29,609,197,735 bytes

Feature Size: 28,843,155,456 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Chapters: 24

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: October, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1949 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1949 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1918 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1918 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
isolated Score:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2038 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2038 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

Audio Commentary with Actress Kathleen Wilhoite and Film Historian Nick Redman
Isolated Score Track
Original Theatrical Trailer (1:30)

Liner notes by Julie Kirgo

Limited to 3,000 Copies!

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Years ago, police detective Jack Murphy (Charles Bronson) put murderer Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgress) behind bars. But, when Freeman is released, she wreaks havoc upon Murphy's life. Freeman kills his ex-wife and other police officers, framing Murphy for her crimes. After he's arrested, the police handcuff Murphy to a thief, Arabella McGee (Kathleen Wilhoite). Still attached to Arabella, Murphy breaks out of jail, and the duo work together to find the real killer.

 

 

The Film:

The sixth collaboration between legendary star Charles Bronson and director J. Lee Thompson, Murphy’s Law (1986) features Bronson as a hardboiled LAPD cop framed for murder by Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgress), a vicious ex-con he originally put in prison. Going on the run – handcuffed to a foul-mouthed petty thief (Kathleen Wilhoite) – he attempts to track down Freeman even as she keeps killing his associates.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Murphy's Law, if you recall, states that if anything can go wrong it will. For Bronson's Murphy, however, far more goes right than wrong. When reminded of that law, in fact, he snarls back his own variation: Don't fuck with Jack Murphy. It's a warning to be well heeded. Murphy's a tough LA cop, victim of a frame-up. So he goes on the run from his own colleagues, accompanied by a wily, recalcitrant gamine (Wilhoite) who happens to be handcuffed to his wrist, and who hot-wires cars and spews out more foul phrases than you may ever have heard at one time. Might and right ultimately prevail, of course, but not before nigh on a dozen reasonably inventive killings, the bulk of them utterly gratuitous.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

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

Murphy's Law comes to Twilight Time Blu-ray in a dual-layered, 1080P transfer with their usual high bitrate. The visuals are reasonable but not overwhelming. The mid 80's film stock used doesn't hold up especially well - but the image is thick and consistent with texture. It's flat and a little soft without much depth.  I see no evidence of manipulation or noise. This Blu-ray gives as good a presentation, in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, as this Bronson also-ran film is likely to get.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1949 kbps (24-bit) sounds clean with a few richer moments in pushing the film's more aggressive requirements for the limited effects and depth. There are guns, a helicopter, a crossbow etc.. The score by Marc Donahue and Valentine McCallum and it seems unremarkable and easily supported by the uncompressed. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles (sample above) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.

 

Extras :

Value is seen in the audio commentary with actress Kathleen Wilhoite (Arabella McGee in the film) and film historian Nick Redman where they discuss Bronson, Golan-Globus and things she recalled about the production. There is their usual isolated score track option, an original theatrical trailer and some liner notes by Julie Kirgo. This Blu-ray is limited to 3,000 Copies.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Murphy's Law is blasť Bronson -formulaic with only a few unforeseen twists. It suffers from poor writing and illogical plot points but it does offer some thrills and action - and, of course, we have Bronson being Bronson - which can count for a lot. The Twilight Time Blu-ray provides a decent-enough a/v transfer for the film and value with the commentary, isolated score and liner notes. It's too unbalanced a film to recommend with any enthusiasm but the star's fanbase way wish to indulge for his, ever-present, machismo. 

Gary Tooze

October 25th, 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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