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A Boy and His Dog aka "Apocalypse 2024" [Blu-ray]
(L.Q. Jones, 1975)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Shout! Factory
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 34,705,302,140 bytes
Feature Size: 22,330,970,112 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 6th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1896 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1896 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
• Commentary By Director LQ Jones, Director Of Photography John
Arthur Morrill And Critic Charles Champlin
• Trailer (1:04)
Radio Spots (4:58)
Description: World War IV has ravaged Earth, and its
survivors must battle for food, shelter and companionship in
a post-atomic wasteland. This classic sci-fi tale follows
the exploits of a young man, Vic (Don Johnson), and his
telepathic dog, Blood, as they struggle through the barren
wilderness. In the midst of their meager existence, foraging
for scraps of food and battling ruthless gangs, Vic and
Blood encounter a young woman who lures them into a surreal
city deep beneath the earth’s surface.
Vic (Don Johnson) is a libidinous 18-year-old traversing the post-apocalyptic desert of 2024, in the company of his telepathic dog, Blood. When the pair encounter an underground community, the leader's daughter, Quilla Holmes (Susanne Benton), seduces Vic into their fold, separating him from Blood, who's left to survive on his own. But once Vic discovers he's been lured there solely for mechanized procreation, he realizes he's doomed unless he can escape and rejoin Blood.
Based on the novella by Harlan Ellison, A Boy and His Dog is set in a post-apocalyptic future where canned goods are used as currency and where entertainment often consists of old porn reels. Vic (Don Johnson) is a violent, illiterate scavenger, principally interested in getting laid. He communicates telepathically with his deceptively cute-looking dog Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire); Vic finds food for Blood, while Blood sniffs out girls for Vic. One of these girls is the sexy Quilla June (Susanne Benton), who, unbeknownst to Vic is a spy for an underground society, headed by a Mr. Craddock (Jason Robards Jr.). This subterranean civilization needs a human "sperm bank" to stay alive, and the oversexed Vic fills the bill. Produced by character actor Alvy Moore (Mr. Kimball of TV's Green Acres), A Boy and His Dog was written and directed by another veteran actor, L.Q. Jones.Excerpt from B+N located HERE
Based on Harlan Ellison's novella, this covers familiar territory - vigorously and imaginatively - as feuding clans of scavengers prowl the desolate American landscape left by a nuclear holocaust. What lifts things right out of the rut is the cynical commentary provided by the hero's dog, communicating telepathically (in voice-off admirably spoken by Tim McIntire) and kicking the daylights out of all those boy-and-his-dog yarns (canine values win out, for example, when with barely a qualm the hero consigns his girl to serve as dogfood). The second half, venturing underground to find Middle America miraculously preserved but rapidly dying, is less good. Jones' debut as a director nevertheless has a distinctive tang, as affably unprincipled as the series of villains he played for Sam Peckinpah.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
A Boy and His Dog on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory - is a substantial upgrade from the 2001 + 2003 DVD editions although it has some noticeable compression and banding issues (see last capture) and can appear thin with excess grain. These issue probably won't deter the niche fans of the film seeing as they existed with the significantly poorer DVDs for so long. This is dual-layered with a solid bitrate. It has a blue-leaning but detail and contrast are adept with instances of depth. There is no intrusive noise visible in the film's darker sequences and the film's original 2.35:1 widecreen aspect ratio looks pleasing in-motion.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
A standard lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1896 kbps (24-bit) supports the films effects which come across with decent depth. Tim McIntire is noted more as an actor - for parts in films like The Sterile Cuckoo - but he also composed for 5 films including A Boy and His Dog and Jeremiah Johnson. Sadly, he passed away at the very young at 42 from complications of drug addiction and alcoholism. He is also the dog 'Blood's voice in the film. His score carries the film effectively with some future-esque chords that imbue the apocalyptic milieu. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
We get a valuable commentary with director LQ Jones, and DoP John Arthur Morrill prompted with questions from critic Charles Champlin. Jones is honest on detailing the films weaker areas, often referencing the low budget, and extolling his appreciation for the original story. It's very entertaining. There is also a 51-minute conversation with Harlan Ellison And LQ Jones - the film’s writer and director who rehash the production with some negativity to the studio system that constrained it but I enjoyed the representation of the combined personality of Vic (sex-obsessed) and Blood (intellectual) as a legitimate and perceptive analysis. Again, this was also excellent and worth indulging. We also get the usual trailer, radio spots and the package includes a second disc DVD.
September 5th, 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 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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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