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Breakout aka "Der Mann ohne Nerven" [Blu-ray]
(Tom Gries, 1975)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Video: Koch Media
Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 23,344,077,492 bytes
Feature Size: 22,136,014,848 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.06 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 17th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1011 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1011 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio German 903 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 903 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
English, German, none
• theatrical trailer (1:26)
Description: Harris Wagner (Huston) frames Jay Wagner (Duvall). In order to keep him silent, Jay is incarcerated in a Mexican prison. Jay's wife Ann (Jill Ireland) is unhappy at this turn of events and hires a Texas bush pilot in Brownsville, Texas, Nick Colton (Bronson) and his partner Hawk (Quaid), to fly into the prison and rescue her husband. The first attempts don't work, so Colton quickly learns how to pilot a helicopter. While Hawk and accomplice Myrna (North) feign a rape to distract the prison guards, Colton pilots a helicopter into the prison complex, Wagner boards the helicopter, and they escape. The group (Colton, Hawk, Myrna, Wagner) return to Texas in a four-passenger light aircraft. Alerted to the escape, Harris Wagner orders his agent Cable (Mantee) to Texas to intercept the group. Cable, driving a CitroŽn SM with Washington, D.C. license plates, locates Ann Wagner and follows her Chevrolet Impala convertible, knowing she will lead him to Jay Wagner. Cable uses false identification to lure Jay Wagner away from the group when they land. Cable nearly succeeds in kidnapping Wagner, but Colton becomes suspicious and pursues them. The film ends with a runway incursion as Cable and Colton fight among departing airplanes at Brownsville Airport.
This Charles Bronson vehicle isn't one of the star's more demanding roles, but it's fairly entertaining nonetheless. Breakout is basically a B-movie with A-movie resources: the plot is old fashioned adventure stuff tarted up with a nice budget and some name acting talent like Robert Duvall and John Huston. The script is a bit wobbly -- the finale leaves some loose ends dangling and the film's caricatured treatment of its Mexican villains isn't likely to endear itself to the politically correct -- but it makes up for these flaws with plenty of action and some amusing characters. Bronson gives an energetic, surprisingly comedic performance as the film's hard luck hero and Randy Quaid and Sheree North add a welcome touch of color as his low-rent partners in crime. Duvall and Huston are rather wasted in their limited roles, but their presence lends some added class to the proceedings. Capping it all off is sturdy direction from Tom Gries -- he manages to gloss over the story's simplistic nature by attacking it with vigor and style, especially during the taut prison-break finale. His efforts are furthered nicely by rich, widescreen photography from Lucien Ballard and a rousing, Spanish-tinged score by Jerry Goldsmith. All in all, Breakout probably won't win Charles Bronson any new fans, but his existing fanbase will find it to be a fun if modest diversion.
Loosely based on a 1971 incident in the US, but also later the inspiration for a similar incident in Australia, this 1975 flick from director Tom Gries is well-cast and particularly well-shot. However the supremely awful Jill Ireland sticking out like a sore thumb and rather boring villains are problematic. They hold the film back from being even more than it is, though only a tad. Yes, that includes John Huston, whose character gets forgotten about at the end. We needed at least one more scene with his character, but perhaps he had a plane to catch or something. He’s repeating his “Chinatown” performance from the previous year here, but with only slightly more than half the effort and effectiveness.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Breakout appears impressive on Blu-ray from Koch Media out of Germany. The image quality looks exceptionally strong from an, obviously, solid source. It's on a single-layered disc with a supportive bitrate and the contrast and colors are at the higher-end with plenty of depth exported and fine detail in the film's close-ups. There is a fine amount of grain, and a very few speckles. This Blu-ray produces a very pleasing image. High marks for the video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio comes in a, modestly robust, DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1011 kbps (16-bit) and a similar German DUB option. Effects exist (helicopters, planes, guns etc.) but the biggest attribute of the sound may be in exporting the score by the great Jerry Goldsmith (The Mephisto Waltz, Seconds, Hoosiers, The Blue Max, Breakheart Pass, The Omen) which accentuates the film's action and tension - sounding buoyant in the lossless. There are removable English (German DUBtitles) or German subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is region FREE, playable worldwide.
Only a theatrical trailer and a gallery of images that include posters and the pressbook.
April 25th, 2017
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 3500 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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