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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Take the Money and Run [Blu-ray]

 

(Woody Allen, 1969)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Jack Rollins & Charles H. Joffe Productions

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:25:14.818

Disc Size: 19,318,203,828 bytes

Feature Size: 18,613,321,728 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.94 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 10th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1555 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1555 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English, None

 

Extras:

• Reversible Blu-ray Art
• Five Trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Hollywood legend Woody Allen (Sleeper, Bananas, Love and Death) made his brilliant debut as writer, star and director in this delightful satire full of hilarious gags. Virgil Starkwell (Allen), a struggling musician, turns to larceny as a career. Unfailingly optimistic, he is nevertheless a complete criminal failure - although his prison breakouts are often successful. And with the support of his loving wife Louise (Janet Margolin, Last Embrace), he may yet pull off a successful bank heist... if he can just manage to write out a legible stickup note. Allen at his hilarious best never fails to steal the audience's heart in this inspired comedy that's nothing less than triumphant nuttiness. The wonderful supporting cast features Lonny Chapman (I Walk the Line) and Louise Lasser (Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask).

 

 

The Film:

When Woody Allen's fans refer to his "earlier, funnier" pictures, they often cite his directorial debut as a shining example. Co-written by Allen and Mickey Rose, this side-splitting takeoff of crime documentaries stars Allen as Virgil Starkwell, a sweetly inept career criminal. The film's most celebrated sequence involves Virgil's inability to write coherent holdup notes ("I have a gub"), but others include Virgil's losing battle with a recalcitrant coke machine and his misguided effort to emulate John Dillinger by carving a gun out of a bar of soap (his weapon disintegrates in a heavy rain). As was often the case in Allen's early films, not all the gags work, but for the most part, Take the Money and Run is a delight, enhanced by the on-target supporting performances of Janet Margolin, Marcel Hillaire, and (uncredited) Louise Lasser, as well as the energetic musical score of Marvin Hamlisch.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

In addition to its direct take on the documentary style, Take the Money and Run contains a number of direct and indirect references to aspects of pop culture, from I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) to The Defiant Ones (1958). Allen expanded that movie's two escaped convicts shackled together to five. He also made a joke on its examination of racism by having Virgil and his four fellow fugitives, one of whom is black, pose as the cousins of an old woman they've taken hostage.

The scenes of Virgil attempting to work in the prison laundry recall Chaplin's satire of man against mechanization in Modern Times (1936). And during a job interview, Woody does a direct parody of the 1950s TV game show What's My Line?.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

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

The single-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of Take the Money and Run looks decent and consistent in 1080P. The HD exceeds the modest look of the film that I was expecting. There are some bright colors and depth - notable detail in the few close-ups. There is inherent softness and very little grain. It sometimes looked vertically compressed but I'd have to compare it to another source to be sure - perhaps Arrow, who've released many Woody Allen films on Blu-ray, will take a crack at it. The source is clean, but this, obviously, isn't something you would use as a an example to show how dynamic the format is. As a positive it looked acceptable in-motion and this Blu-ray gave me a very watchable viewing.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1555 kbps (16-bit) in the original English language. There are slap-stick-related effects in the film - and we have a light score by Marvin Hamlisch's (Bananas, The Swimmer, Behind the Candelabra, The Informant) and some may identify Quincy Jones' Soul Bossa Nova. Not particularly remarkable but consistent and dialogue was clear. There are optional English subtitles (see sample) and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Only five trailers.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Take the Money and Run is full of sight-gags, awkward situations and even subtle deeper, humor. The concept of the oblivious criminal mind was brilliantly satirized by Allen in Small Time Crooks. The mockumentary format, with voice over narrative, allows another avenue of quick cuts and fast-paced jokes. It's appealing on many levels including the film homage references such as They Live By Night, Cool Hand Luke and so many more. The bare-bones Kino Lorber
Blu-ray seems the best way to see late 60's inventive crime-comedy in 1080P and it's value is reflected in the discounted price. I was thoroughly entertained by my viewing. It's a film you can return to without a reason - it will bring healthy smiles at any time. A perfect addition to the digital library. Absolutely recommended! 

NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 37% OFF, PRE-ORDER, at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

September 12th, 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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