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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
The Mercenary aka "Il mercenario" aka "A Professional Gun Il mercenario" [Blu-ray]
(Sergio Corbucci, 1968)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Produzioni Europee Associate (PEA)
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 28,043,981,167 bytes
Feature Size: 24,221,663,232 bytes
Video Bitrate: 26.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: November 7th, 2017
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
•Audio Commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox
• Mercenario in Pictures: Animated Image Gallery (6:12)
• Promoting Mercenario: Animated Image Gallery (10:21)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (1:53)
Description:He Sells Death to the Highest Bidder! Sergei The Polish Kowalski (Franco Nero, Django, Hitch-Hike), a mercenary who's only out for himself and a few dollars, joins up with a Mexican peasant-turned-revolutionary, Paco Roman (Tony Musante, The Bird With the Crystal Plummage) to rob a silver mine in Texas. No longer content to toil for the rich and powerful, Roman plans to bring a new order to Mexico by force with his small ragtag gang. While Roman and Kowalski are outnumbered facing the Mexican army, they also have to contend with Curly (Jack Palance, Ten Seconds to Hell), a vengeful killer out for blood. Top-notch direction by Sergio Corbucci (Navajo Joe) and score by the great Ennio Morricone (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) helped make The Mercenary one the best spaghetti westerns ever made. Co-starring the beautiful Giovanna Ralli (Cold Eyes of Fear).
This spaghetti western finds a despotic mine owner (Eduardo Fajardo) the target for revenge by the idealistic patriot Eufemio (Tony Musante). He hires Bill Douglas (Franco Nero) to incite a revolution that will oust the government and the greedy miner. Douglas agrees as long as his creature comforts are insured during the crossing of the unforgiving desert. Ricciolo (Jack Palance) is the mercenary working for the side of the mineowner. Ennio Morricone provides the music for this violent and humorous film.
During the Mexican Revolution, Nero, the mercenary Sergei Cowalski, is hired to transport silver to a mine in Texas, only to find that Musante and his co-workers have taken control. Switching sides, the hired gun finds himself teaching the rebel leader how to put his revolutionary ideas into practise, but his idealistic fervour is tested when the men's firepower gathers them a personal fortune. Plenty of baroque touches in this spaghetti Western, including Palance as Curly, a white-suited gay gunman.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The Kino Lorber Blu-ray of The Mercenary sneaks into dual-layered territory. The 2.35:1 widescreen has earthy tones and exports a typical dusty-western image. It's 1080P and the source is clean, and I noticed no noise - and there are instances of appealing depth and bright deep colors (Franco Nero's blue eyes). This Blu-ray seemed quite competent in exporting a pleasing HD, and consistent, presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Kino Lorber use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 1555 kbps (16-bit) in the largely DUB'bed English language. There are typical western effects in the film - guns and haorses.The score by the iconic Ennio Morricone (La Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) and sounds very suitable to the genre. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
There is an audio commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox - a surprising choice until he exports his knowledge - he is always good to listen to and knows his topic. There are also two animated galleries and an original theatrical trailer.
October 24th, 2017