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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Indian Runner [Blu-ray]

 

(Sean Penn, 1991)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Kino Lorber

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 2:06:30.749 

Disc Size: 36,955,365,526 bytes

Feature Size: 30,815,293,440 bytes

Video Bitrate: 26.96 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 24th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2011 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2011 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1556 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1556 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

Spirit Animal - 'Making of' with interviews of director Sean Penn and stars Viggo Mortensen and David Morse (26:12)
Trailer (2:30) and 4 other trailers

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: This writing and directorial debut from award-winning actor Sean Penn (Into the Wild) is a raw, intense drama filled with emotion and truth. An all-star cast featuring David Morse (The Green Mile), Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises), Charles Bronson (Mr. Majestyk), Valeria Golino (Rain Man), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Sandy Dennis (That Cold Day in the Park) and Dennis Hopper (River's Edge) gives The Indian Runner a fundamental honesty and real substance. As deputy sheriff in a small town, Joe (Morse) leads a pretty simple life with his loving family. However, his idyllic existence abruptly changes when his troubled brother Frank (Mortensen) arrives unannounced at Joe's door. Much to the chagrin of his wife (Golino), Joe wants to help Frank make a better life for himself. But Joe soon discovers that this is a formidable task. And so Frank continues his destructive behavior, Joe decides he's had enough, and they square off in a final showdown that pits blood against blood.

 

 

The Film:

The Indian Runner, Sean Penn's debut film as director (he also wrote the script, based on the Bruce Springsteen song "Highway Patrolman") is a brooding tale of two brothers -- one peaceful and sedate, the other violent and aggressive -- whose natures, left unchecked since they were children, are set to the boiling point as they head toward middle-age. David Morse is the quiet brother, Joe Roberts, who is a deputy sheriff in a small town. His older brother Frank (Viggo Mortensen) shows up on Joe's doorsteps, after a recent run-in with the police. Frank tells Joe that he is coming back home to stay and that he has given up his criminal life. His wife Maria (Valeria Golino) is skeptical, but Joe tells her that he is prepared to help Frank get his life back together. Frank has almost convinced himself that his future holds real promise and he's ready to start a new life with his pregnant girlfriend Dorothy (Patricia Arquette). But, once again, Frank's violent temper explodes, and everyone's plans for Frank's future crumble into rubble.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

David Morse has an amazing strength and presence in this role, actually any role, and he brings a disheartened but willing small town sturdiness to Joe. Viggo Mortensen has the more electric role playing Frank, a man who is purely unpredictable. He acts before he thinks and says things that are too hard to hear. The contrast between the two is critical, but the actors also find common threads in small moments, hints that they are connected by time and memory and family bonds. The relationship brings to mind the brother/sister relationship from a later film, You Can Count on Me. I only mention it, because both films have complicated sibling relationships at their center, and both brother characters remind me a bit of my own. The differences between the two, I guess, is that while both brothers can be misguided but well-meaning, this brother, Frank, can be dangerous.

This drama is pretty dark, but I found myself smiling at small moments, little bits of light which creep in, sparkling from a scant surprise or brief interaction. The dark, though, keeps returning in a fairly unrelenting way. This isn't a movie that you sit through happily munching your popcorn and red vines.

Look for Dennis Hopper in a small but important role, as well as a quick scene with Benicio del Toro. Also, listen for a great soundtrack full of rich and well-placed music.

Excerpt from eFilmCritic located HERE

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

The dual-layered Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Indian Runner looks beautifully textured and consistent in 1080P. The visuals are nicely balanced - rich colors, solid detail and an impressive appearance in-motion. The source is clean, and I noticed no noise. This Blu-ray advances upon the SD transfers and provides a rewarding viewing. Very pleasing.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Kino Lorber give us the option of a DTS-HD Master 5.1surround bump or a DTS-HD Master stereo track (both 16-bit, and both in the, original, English language). There are effects but fewer than you might except. The rock'in score, augmented by Jefferson Airplane, The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, is credited to Jack Nitzsche (Hardcore, The Crossing Guard, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Personal Best, 9 1/2 Weeks) and benefits from the lossless and has a significant impact on the presentation experience.  The dialogue had a vérité edge but was always audible and there are optional English subtitles offered. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

Spirit Animal is a 26-minute 'Making of' piece with revealing interviews including director Sean Penn and stars Viggo Mortensen and David Morse. I was quite interested in the evolution of the film from Penn's standpoint and how the actors became involved. This was valuable. There is also a trailer for the film and 4 other trailers included.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
The Indian Runner is a great film - another worthy effort from Penn as director. I'm always impressed by his work - Into the Wild, The Pledge, The Crossing Guard. They are all masterepieces in my opinion. The Kino Lorber
Blu-ray offers plenty of value - a rewarding a/v transfer of an excellent film. A commentary would have been a sweet addition, though but I was thoroughly entertained re-watching the film in HD. Recommended!  NOTE: At the writing of this review it is 22% OFF at Amazon.

Gary Tooze

October 23rd, 2017

 




 

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