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post #271 of 274 Old 07-09-2014, 08:13 PM
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The Quiet Earth, 1985
This title came up in the Name That Movie thread, so I acquired the German BD release just for grins.

A vast improvement over any previous US release, although it appears to have been transferred from an old DVD master, which in turn was likely taken from an older well-used film source. Full of glitches, but many scenes look quite good. 16:9 AR. A pleasure to watch after having previously only seen it in letterbox 4:3.

The story is impossible to explain, except for the post-apocalyptic world which may or may not be reality, alternate universe or whatever.

Edit to add: This release is advertised and labeled as Region-B, but it is region free.

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post #272 of 274 Old 07-28-2014, 06:33 AM
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Southern Comfort (1981), directed by Walter Hill.

Meet a unit of Louisiana National Guard on maneuvers. Through accident and stupidity they find themselves in a survival situation, battling unfriendly swamp Cajuns. None of the soldiers are suited to the task, lacking skill or temperament or both, and are picked off one by one.

The director didn't want to talk about it, but this is obviously "Vietnam in the bayou".

I hadn't seen this for a long time but it has always been a nostalgic favorite. Walter Hill tends to deliver entertainment value, but I see more of its flaws now.

We have a strong beginning with introductions, particularly noting the two clever "operators" in the unit: Keith Carradine -- relaxed and accepting the bad craziness, and Powers Boothe -- transplanted Texas tough guy, outraged at the insanity.

The ending is also very good, with serious tension, paranoia and excessive explosive violence in a swamplands party with it's great music, friendly locals and explicit hog slaughtering.

The long muddled middle is more of a problem:

  • Apart from the two leads, the characters are all caricatures: either wannabe warriors or lazy good old boys -- verging on moronic -- who don't mind occasional murder and looting.
  • "Coach" goes spectacularly crazy with scarcely any warning.
  • The escape plot is exciting, but when the invisible enemy drops huge trees all around them: forget it, we've entered fantasy land.

Still, it's a great, gritty, rewatchable action picture.

Very cool dobro score by Ry Cooder. Many lovely long-focus shots of the bayou toward the beginning. Great 1980s cast.

Shout Factory Blu-ray. The color palette is a subdued army drab, probably matching the original film. I don't remember if I saw this in the theater.

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post #273 of 274 Old 07-28-2014, 08:09 AM
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Re: Southern Comfort (1981), directed by Walter Hill.

Have always had a warm place in my heart for Walter Hill because he directed the very first episode of Deadwood.
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post #274 of 274 Old 07-28-2014, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post
The director didn't want to talk about it, but this is obviously "Vietnam in the bayou".
Also obviously a Deliverance knock-off.

Haven't seen this in years, but I enjoyed it about the same as you did.

Josh Z
Writer/Editor, High-Def Digest (Blog updated daily!)
Curator, Laserdisc Forever

My opinions are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers.

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