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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Border [Blu-ray]

 

(Tony Richardson, 1982)

 

 

 

Indicator (Powerhouse) initial slate of Blu-rays
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Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Efer Productions

Video: Indicator (Powerhouse)

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:48:21.119 

Disc Size: 33,164,993,136 bytes

Feature Size: 31,805,494,272 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.01 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: January 22nd, 2018

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps /
24-bit

Commentary:
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Guardian Lecture:
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Audio Commentary with critic and film historian Nick Pinkerton
The Guardian / BFI tribute to Tony Richardson (1991, 57:20): archival audio recording of an interview at London's National Film Theatre
Original theatrical trailer (1:47)
Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by author Scott Harrison, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film
UK premiere on Blu-ray
Limited Edition of 5,000 copies

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Jack Nicholson (The Last Detail, Wolf) gives one of his finest and most subtle performances as a hard-working but deeply disillusioned Mexican border-guard in this tough thriller from renowned British filmmaker Tony Richardson (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, A Taste of Honey).

***

Charlie Smith (Jack Nicholson) barely scrapes by on his low salary, but his hectoring wife, Marcy (Valerie Perrine), is anxious to move up in the world, so he takes a new position as a border patrol agent alongside the hair-trigger Cat (Harvey Keitel). Soon, Charlie is a reluctant party to Cat's smuggling and other petty criminal actions, but when the corrupt agent sets his avaricious sights on a poor illegal immigrant (Elpidia Carrillo) and her newborn baby, Charlie's moral code returns.

 

 

The Film:

Nicholson plays a U.S. border patrolman so exhausted and demoralized that he jumps at the chance to do a good deed finding and returning the baby of a young Mexican woman (Elpidia Carrillo). He butts heads with ditsy wife Valerie Perrine and corrupt coworker Harvey Keitel, and gets furious with both of them yet, since Nicholson doesn't overact, his anger is that much more effective.

Excerpt from Rob Gonsalves eFilmCritic located HERE

After 11 years of marriage, Charlie Smith (Jack Nicholson) is fed up with living in a dreary trailer with his pretty, bubble-brained, Texas-born wife, Marcy (Valerie Perrine), and with his job as a member of the United States Border Patrol stationed in Los Angeles. During the day, Charlie makes token arrests of docile, mostly frightened, illegal Mexican immigrants, who supply L.A.'s small businesses with below-minimum-wage labor, and then goes home to drink beer and listen to Marcy, who dreams of living in splendor in her very own duplex.

Largely at Marcy's urging, Charlie transfers to El Paso, where Marcy gets her duplex - ''Look at it! It's just like the picture said!'' - and where life as a border guard is a good deal more active and perilous than the duty in Los Angeles. At night, the Rio Grande, which forms the U.S.-Mexican border at El Paso, teems with poor, desperate, illiterate Mexicans seeking entrance into the land of milk, honey, bigotry and exploitation.

Excerpt The NY Times located HERE

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

The Border arrives on Blu-ray from Indicator out of the UK. The image quality is very impressive with consistently strong visuals and a pleasing layer of grain. This is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate. It is neither glossy nor soft and shows earthy browns and colors show depth. I noticed a few speckles in the beginning and a few light surface scratches past the credits the presentation as very clean. There is consistent grain in the 2.35:1 frame. It looks very strong without transfer issues. This Blu-ray has Indicator's usual highly competent HD transfer.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The audio is transferred via a linear PCM authentically mono at 1152 kbps (24-bit). There is modest depth in the rare effects - gunplay etc. The film's music is notable for the score by Ry Cooder (The End of Violence, Southern Comfort, Paris Texas, Streets of Fire, The Long Riders) and There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked disc.

 

 

Extras :

Indicator include an audio commentary with critic and film historian Nick Pinkerton a freelance journalist and film programmer. He imparts a lot of detailed information on the performances and the production. I liked it although it was a shade dry at times. We also get, running to the film for almost an hour, The Guardian / BFI tribute to Tony Richardson from 1992. It is an archival audio recording of a panel event chaired by sight and sound editor Phillip Dodd, featuring Lindsay Anderson, Kevin Brownlow, Jocelyn Herbert, Vanessa Redgrave, Karel Reisz and Natasha Richardson. Recorded at London's National Film Theatre in 1992, the panel spoke after an advance screening of Richardson's final film, Blue Sky, which was completed shortly before his death in November 1991 (but not released until 1994) This presentation exhibits a range of technical problems including volume fluctuations. There is an original theatrical trailer, an image gallery: on-set and promotional photography and the package has a limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by author Scott Harrison, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film. It is limited to 5,000 copies.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Border is fascinating film with Jack and Keitel, and briefly Warren Oates - in one of his last feature films - giving grand performances. I was intrigued throughout this crime-drama with neo-noir leanings. I found it a highly interesting early 80's artefact. The Indicator Blu-ray presentation is perfect in both audio and video and the package contains plenty of valuable extras starting with the commentary, The Guardian / BFI tribute to Tony Richardson and booklet. This has plenty of value. The Blu-ray is strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

January 25th, 2018

 

 




 

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