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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

A Boy and His Dog aka "Apocalypse 2024" [Blu-ray]

 

(L.Q. Jones, 1975)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: LQ/JAF

Video: Shout! Factory

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:30:35.930 

Disc Size: 34,705,302,140 bytes

Feature Size: 22,330,970,112 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.99 Mbps

Chapters: 11

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 6th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

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)
Commentary:

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

 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary By Director LQ Jones, Director Of Photography John Arthur Morrill And Critic Charles Champlin
In Conversation: Harlan Ellison And LQ Jones (51:03)

Trailer (1:04)

Radio Spots (4:58)

DVD

 

Bitrate:

 

 

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.

Based on the award-winning novella by acclaimed science-fiction author Harlan Ellison, A Boy and His Dog is a dark, twisted and sometimes comical trip through a post-apocalyptic reality in the not-too-distant future.

***

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.

 

 

The Film:

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.

Excerpt from TimeOt located HERE

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artifacts (banding)

 

 

 

 

Audio :

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.

 

Extras :

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.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
A Boy and His Dog is absolutely worthy of the keenness of its fanbase. It's a quirky, funny, adventure and like its protagonist - a little sex-obsessed. Certainly an essential for aficionados of its genre.  The Shout! Factory Blu-ray produces a, much needed upgrade, presentation - and even with imperfect video quality makes for a coveted release - especially taking into account the supplements and commentary. 

Gary Tooze

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.

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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