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Directed by Keith Gordon, Kathryn Bigelow, Peter Hewitt and Phil Joanou
USA 1993

 

From executive producer Oliver Stone (Talk Radio, Born on the Fourth of July) comes this sexy and surreal five-part mini-series based in a neo-noir Los Angeles of the future. Harry Wyckoff (James Belushi, Salvador, Retroactive) is about to become a player in a dark and terrifying battle where everything is at stake and no one is who they seem. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Keith Gordon (A Midnight Clear), Peter Hewitt (Bill & Teds Bogus Journey) and Phil Joanou (State of Grace), Wild Palms is a haunting sci-fi saga of greed, treason and virtual reality. Beautifully shot by Phedon Papamichael (Ford v Ferrari), with a rousing score by Ryuichi Sakamoto (The Revenant) and an all-star cast that includes Dana Delany (Exit to Eden), Robert Loggia (Lost Highway), Kim Cattrall (Unforgettable), Angie Dickinson (Dressed to Kill), Ernie Hudson (The Crow), Bebe Neuwirth (Malice), Nick Mancuso (Black Christmas), David Warner (Morgan!), Ben Savage (TVs Boy Meets World), Bob Gunton (The Shawshank Redemption), Robert Morse (The Loved One), Brad Dourif (Hidden Agenda), Charles Rocket (Miracles) and Charles Hallahan (The Thing).

***

Just after the turn of the 21st century in L.A., Harry (Belushi) works for a television station that uses a revolutionary technology, virtual reality projected for at-home viewers with 3-D holographic programs. A sinister group known as the Fathers, headed by Senator Kreutzer (Loggia), has a scheme to use it for mind-control.

Posters

Television Premiere: May 16th, 1993

Episode Titles

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Review: Kino (2 Blu-ray) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime Pilot: 1:33:00.658 / Average Episode: 0:49:09.947 X 4       
Video

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,079,312,688 bytes

Pilot: 26,976,589,824 bytes

Average Episode: 14,232,870,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Pilot  Blu-ray:

Bitrate Sample Episode Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1554 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1554 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Commentaries:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,079,312,688 bytes

Pilot: 26,976,589,824 bytes

Average Episode: 14,232,870,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.92 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW Audio Commentary by Star James Belushi & Executive Producer/Writer/Creator Bruce Wagner (Pilot Episode: Everything Must Go)
Audio Commentary by Star Dana Delany & Executive Producer/Writer/Creator Bruce Wagner (Episode: Rising Sons)
Two NEW Audio Commentaries by Director Keith Gordon (Episodes: The Floating World & Hungry Ghosts)
NEW Audio Commentary by Director Phil Joanou (Episode: Hello, I Must Be Going)


Blu-ray Release Date:
June 30th, 2020
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 9 / 6 X 4

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Kino Blu-ray (June 2020): Kino have transferred the Oliver Stone produced 5-part TV mini-series Wild Palms to a dual Blu-ray package. It is cited as being from a "Brand New 2K Master". The 1.5 hour pilot and second episode are on the first Blu-ray with three episodes being on the second. Both are dual-layered. The filmed portions look excellent via two dual-layered discs with max'ed out bitrates, but part of this looks like it may have been filmed on video - specifically the text credits sequences (after the title it reverts to crisp 1080P) or, strangely, when there are some (2 or 3) burned-in subtitles for foreign-language (Japanese). I have never seen this before. Luckily, it is only a fraction of the presentation but the discrepancy is easily noticed when it does occur (see four samples below). With plenty of outdoor lighting, the original TV broadcast 1.33:1 image is very impressive in 1080P with consistent grain and visible make-up in extreme close-ups. Looked great on my system. 

NOTE: We have added 66 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Kino use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track (16-bit) in the original English language (some Japanese.) There aren't a massive amount of effects - some sci-fi related (holographic projections etc.) but the audio may be notable for the film's score by Ryuichi Sakamoto (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor, Wings of Honneamise, Love is the Devil, High Heels), sounding rich with consistent dialogue in the lossless. Kino offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Kino Blu-ray offers consist of commentaries for each of the 5 episodes - four of them being 'new'. I only sampled each one and did not have time to listen to completion. The first, pilot episode: Everything Must Go, has star James Belushi & executive producer / writer / creator Bruce Wagner. Bruce cites the series as an 'idiosyncratic epic' and Jim Belushi states right off the bat that this series had 2 of the 3 actors in his career that actually stunned him with their thespian prowess; Robert Loggia, Dana Delany and (not in Wild Palms) Michael Caine. In the episode: Rising Sons, we get a commentary by star Dana Delany with Bruce Wagner and admit that they co-incidentally live right beside each other. There are two commentaries by director Keith Gordon - on The Floating World and Hungry Ghosts. Lastly, is a new audio commentary by director Phil Joanou on Hello, I Must Be Going. and he extols Angie Dickinson describing her as iconic and the star of the series.

Wild Palms is... wild - a futuristic, mystery, tech-thriller with a super cast. The pilot kinda grabbed me and it evolves into a thought-provoking conspiracy in the vein of John Carpenter's They Live marrying the extravagance of Phillip K. Dick. The plot includes implanted chips and a weird cult. It kinda meanders with holograms and some romance but I was keen enough to watch it to completion. It has a niche following that remember it being broadcast and have wanted to revisit. These fans will be pleased that Kino have brought it to this dual Blu-ray package with the 5 commentaries. It's unconventional to say the least and the cast and stellar video improve the experience. Some may be interested to see Kathryn Bigelow's involvement and it has been placed in our TV Neo-Noir section.

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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