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Three Films By Ken Loach Blu-ray

Riff-Raff UK (1991)                                  Raining Stones (1993)                       Ladybird Ladybird (1994)

Ken Loach is arguably Britain's most lauded director of the last 30 years. This collection presents three films emblematic of the acclaimed filmmaker's talent for engaging with social injustice and contemporary politics in stories by turn funny, heart-breaking and harrowing.

In Riff Raff Glaswegian jailbird Stevie (Robert Carlyle) heads to London to find work but discovers a world of corruption and degradation.

Inner-city poverty is brought to the fore in Raining Stones, as unemployed Bob's (Bruce Jones) desperate attempts to afford a communion dress for his daughter results in a succession of disasters.

Inspired by real events, Ladybird Ladybird is an emotional and harrowing story of a woman's fight to keep her children and relationship intact in the face of bureaucratic interference.

BFI  - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

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BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

 

Distribution

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Subtitles

English, None

Features

Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Edition Details:


• Ken Loach: The Guardian Lecture at the National Film Theatre with Derek Malcolm (1992, 73:22)
• Face to Face: Jeremy Isaccs talks to Ken Loach (Geraldine Dowd, 1991, 40:07): the former Head of Channel Four discusses the filmmaker's life and career
• Carry on Ken (Toby Reisz, 2006, 48:53): an in-depth documentary appraising the director
• Original trailers for all three films (2:31, 2:07, 2:15)
• Stills Galleries
• Fully illustrated booklet with new writing by David Archibald, original reviews and full film credits

Blu-ray Release Date: September 25th, 2017

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Firstly, the three films are on three separate dual-layered Blu-ray discs. They are all 1080P with mid-20s bitrates and look beautifully grainy and film-like. The last films is described as "Includes a newly remastered presentation of Ladybird Ladybird approved by the director".

Most know Ken Loach from Kes, but that masterpiece and Hidden Agenda are the only films of his that we've reviewed on Blu-ray... till now. Although we have reviewed DVDs of his working including Black Jack, Looks and Smiles, Land of Freedom, Cathy Come Home, and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. He is brilliant.

Video: These are all competent transfers - excellent textures and maintaining the integrity of the original presentations without digital manipulation. The image presentations are directly relational to the production budgets and the transfer support it well with a clean image in the correct aspect ratios (Riff-Raff in 1.37:1 and Raining Stones and Ladybird Ladybird both in 1.66:1). Riff-Raff was shot in 16mm (printed in 35mm) and looks the most grainy but colors are rich and deep. The other two were shot in 35mm and look similar. I have no complaints whatsoever with the transferred image quality which is extremely consistent.

BFI use authentic linear PCM, mono, tracks (16-bit) for all three films. Dialogue is clear, consistent and audible. No aggressive effects in any of the films but there is a bit of violence in Raining Stones. Both Riff-Raff and Raining Stones have a  score by Stewart Copeland (Hidden Agenda Rumble Fish, Wall Street, Talk Radio.) Ladybird Ladybird's score is by George Fenton (The Crucible, The Fisher King, Planet Earth, Life) with amateurish Karaoke songs performed like 'Up Where We Belong'. There is Karaoke as well in Riff-Raff which has Always On My Mind, With A Little Help From My Friends and a few others. They 3 features have optional English subtitles (see samples below) and all three Blu-ray discs are region 'B'-locked.

There are supplements spread across the three Blu-rays. From 1992 we get over an hour Ken Loach: The Guardian Lecture at the National Film Theatre with Derek Malcolm. Face to Face is from 1991 and has 40-minutes of Jeremy Isaacs talking to Ken Loach with Geraldine Dowd the former Head of Channel Four discusses the filmmaker's life and career. Carry on Ken is 50-minute from 2006 - Toby Reisz's an in-depth documentary appraising the director. Lastly, there are original trailers for all three films, stills galleries and the package contains a fully illustrated booklet with new writing by David Archibald, original reviews and full film credits.

I think I was most moved by Raining Stones followed by Ladybird Ladybird  and are both amazingly warm dramas with Riff-Raff providing a good chuckle at the expense of the human condition. It speaks volumes to Loach's power as a director that these were made consecutively... and bodes well for more of his work on similar Blu-ray boxsets. Let's hope. He's a true treasure of British cinema. BFI, your work here is very much appreciated. This package has our highest recommendation.

Gary W. Tooze

 

 


Extras


 


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

 

 

Loach lightens up for this documentary-style comedy about the scams, laughs, dangers and camaraderie of work on a London building site. Newcomer Carlyle plays Stevie, a Scottish ex-con teenager who gets a job tearing the guts out of a closed-down hospital. His workmates are a mixed bunch: Irishmen, West Indians and Scousers with a healthy disrespect for their idle ganger, a talent for ducking and diving, and a keen eye for the main chance. The company's cavalier disrespect for basic safety standards eventually brings tensions on the site to a head. Bill Jesse's pointedly funny script skillfully evokes the texture of working life; Loach's handling of Stevie's tentative romance with would-be singer Susan (McCourt), on the other hand, wavers between the touchingly simple and curiously off-key. There are times, too, when the lively spontaneity of the improvised scenes slips into inaudible chaos. Sadly, Bill Jesse died without seeing the finished film, but this is as good an epitaph as he could have hoped for.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Bitrate:

  BFI

Runtime:

1:35:59.916

Disc Size:

41,129,554,869 bytes

Feature Size:

22,447,631,424 bytes

Video Bitrate:

22.99 Mbps

Chapters:

12

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Despite the unemployment, petty crime and crack that afflict their Lancashire housing estate, Bob (Jones) and wife Anne (Brown) remain staunch Catholics. Bob does odd jobs to put food on the table, but also because he's determined to buy their daughter her communion dress, rather than accept a loan from the priest. He's soon in hock to loan-sharks. Though the subject of Loach's film is as dark as ever, the movie is funnier than Riff-Raff, thanks to another delicious performance from Ricky Tomlinson as Bob's pal Tommy. The gags range from deadpan Northern banter to slapstick and scatology, but they don't overshadow the political acuity of Jim Allen's script , or the narrative's inexorable progress into the stuff of everyday nightmare. This is no rant, but a warm, unsentimental tribute to the working-class spirit. Superbly acted, as always, and a hugely enjoyable example of the cinema of commitment..

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:30:38.125

Disc Size:

34,119,837,120 bytes

Feature Size:

21,200,184,384 bytes

Video Bitrate:

28.00 Mbps

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Matters start promisingly: in a pub, Maggie (Rock) belts out a ballad and transfixes Jorge (Vega), a Paraguayan exile settled in London. He's gentle and supportive, just as well, given her foul-mouthed temper and troubled life. A mother of four living in a refuge, she's persistently hounded as an unfit parent by social workers who threaten to remove her children, because of her tendency to involve herself with violent, drunken louts. Truth to tell, she's a walking disaster area, though Jorge's love and understanding finally break through her defences, encouraging her to move in with him and start their own family. But modern Britain's an unjust place: can their fragile happiness last? Ken Loach sledgehammers his points. As social critique, the film provokes pity and anger, not thought: understandable, since it's never quite clear exactly what Loach is attacking. The methods of the social services? The bureaucracy of Tory Britain? Life itself?

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

Bitrate:

Runtime:

1:43:03.166

Disc Size:

34,785,212,595 bytes

Feature Size:

23,884,697,664 bytes

Video Bitrate:

27.73 Mbps

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

 

 
 
 
 

Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray


 



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