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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Trouble Man [Blu-ray]

 

(Ivan Dixon, 1972)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: JDFB Productions

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:39:22.957

Disc Size: 22,930,118,017 bytes

Feature Size: 20,316,770,304 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.93 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 18th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1557 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1557 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• Audio Commentary by Film Historians Nathaniel Thompson and Howard S. Berger
Trailers (Trouble Man - 2:30, Truck Turner - 5:13, Across 110th Street - 2:58, Cotton Comes to Harlem - 2:11, Report to the Commissioner - 2:21)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Mr. T is a One Man Army! Cold as ice, hard as steel, and dressed to thrill, a private investigator known only as "Mr. T" (Robert Hooks, Hurry Sundown) is hired by two thugs to find out who's stealing form their gambling operation. Armed with deadly martial arts mastery and an arsenal of weapons, Mr. T battles his way through a dangerous maze of violence, turf wars and even murder - while still finding time for the ladies, movies don t get any cooler than Trouble Man! Featuring wonderful direction by Ivan Dixon (The Spook Who Sat by the Door), original score and songs by music legend Marvin Gaye and a kick-ass cast that includes Paul Winfield (Gordon's War), Ralph Waite (The Waltons), Paula Kelly (Soylent Green), Jeannie Bell (TNT Jackson), Gordon Jump (WKRP in Cincinnati), Felton Perry (Magnum Force) and Julius Harris (Live and Let Die).

 

 

The Film:

T (Robert Hooks) is a slick detective who's done very well for himself, but still runs his operation from the same mean streets he grew up on in South Central Los Angeles. His latest case comes from local hoods Chalky (Paul Winfield) and Pete (Ralph Waite), who claim that someone's been robbing their dice games at gunpoint. As T searches for the perpetrator, he realizes the job is a setup. Chalky and Pete have pinned a murder on him, and both cops and criminals think T is to blame.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

 

Because of the way "Trouble Man" sanctifies Mr. T and his successes—the loving care with which the camera explores his closets full of shirts, ties, shoes and $300 suits—the film passes through the needs of black fantasy-feeding and comes out on the other side, as a four-square, all-American movie that urges the preservation of the rotten system that makes all the loot possible.

In the most mindless fashion, this commercial film neutralizes not revolution but all sorts of other less cataclysmic social changes. Witness Mr. T and his woman, Cleo (Paula Kelly), who is supposedly a nightclub singer but so loves Mr. T that she refuses out-of-town engagements and spends all day lolling about her flat waiting for him to call. No matter that her hair is cut Afro, nor that the objets d'art surrounding her are African, She's still a house slave.

Excerpt from The NY Times located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Trouble Man looks decent and consistent in 1080P. It has a thickness and support of grain that is appealing. Colors aren't vibrant but also are not artificially boosted. They look bright and true. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise - not even in the few night sequences. There are instances of depth. This Blu-ray gave me a very watchable, and pleasurable, viewing in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. I can't imagine that it looked much different theatrically - almost 45 years ago.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1557 kbps in the original English language. There are effects in the film - but the audio will be more remembered for the score by Marvin Gaye, although his music is in 100's of films - this was his rare credit for composing, specifically, for a film. It was released as his twelfth studio album by on December 8, 1972, on Motown-subsidiary label Tamla Records. Gaye would compose five different versions of the title track, including an alternate vocal version, which was used primarily for the film's intro. It flows well but is kept fairly low-key to the onscreen action maintaining a 'soul' resonance. It sounds pretty sweet in the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

NOTE: The album was referenced positively in the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with Falcon (Anthony Mackie) saying to Captain America (Chris Evans) "everything you missed jammed into one album." There is also a clip of Trouble Man (single) playing on an iPhone in one hospital scene. Excerpt from Wikipedia HERE

 

Extras :

Kino add another commentary - this one with film historians Nathaniel Thompson and Howard S. Berger who provide a great discussion on Trouble Man, the cast and the films, of the same genre, surrounding it mentioning films like Blacula and referencing Live and Let Die. I thought there were many relevant and interesting points made that few would be aware of regarding this production. There are also trailers for Trouble Man, Truck Turner, Across 110th Street, Cotton Comes to Harlem and Report to the Commissioner.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I had never seen Trouble Man but this 'T' character is ultra-cool and has some complex layers! Kind of a black James Bond in his jack-of-all-trades capacities and the manner he juggles and beds women. The value of the Kino Lorber
Blu-ray is again augmented by the informative commentary. I'd love to see a whole series of these efforts - wonderfully capturing the early 70's vibe and this limited genre. Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 45% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 10th, 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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