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    Kenny Roger's The Gambler


    Nov 03 2013 03:16 PM | mattCR in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    It was 1980. Kenny Roger's album 'The Gambler' had gone platinum after it's release in 1978, and the title track became a crossover hit for the artist. While the song was recorded by several other artists (including Johnny Cash) Kenny's version, album and unique storytelling method to it that really sold the album and inspired the 1980 TV movie.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Shout! Factory
    • Distributed By: Shout! Factory
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    • Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA
    • Subtitles:
    • Rating: Not Rated
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 35 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD
    • Case Type:
    • Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
    • Region:
    • Release Date: 11/05/2013
    • MSRP: $22.47

    The Production Rating: 3/5

    When you have an entire film based around a county western song, it's hard to really expand it much farther then that. Kenny Rogers starts as Brady Hawkes, the consummate Gambler who finds himself on a cross country quest to find a long lost son after receiving a letter. Along the way, Hawkes runs into Billy Montana (Bruce Boxleitner), a prostitute hard on her luck and an evil train barron. Short of characters twirling mustaches and yelling 'but you must pay the rent!' this film typifies everything about straight forward storytelling.

    Posted Image

    In 1980, this TV film was nominated for two emmy awards; today it feels a bit like what ABCFamily would put on the air if they had SciFi Saturday Movie budget. That said, the film has a lot of great camp family value and people who are fans of Kenny Rodgers will appreciate seeing him as he looked then, instead of thinking about the weird post-plastic surgery Kenny Rodgers today.

    Posted Image

    Video Rating: 3/5 3D Rating: NA

    This appears to be an almost completely untouched copy of the film, full of small glitches, burn marks in the print, seeming hairs that cross the lenses and scratches that are in full notice. This is obviously not a restored work, but it is also one of the best presentations this film has had.

    Posted Image

    Audio Rating: 2.5/5

    This title is marketed as having a Dolby Digital 2.0 track (back cover/etc.) however, the audio track as presented is a DTS 1.536mb 2.0 Track with MA flagging. While the bitrate doesn't match MA requirements, the flagging may still trip your receiver to the MA flag. I've never been quite clear if there is another way or a different option within DTS to provide this; but for now, the best I can offer is bitrate and values.

    The audio presentation is decent. You can understand everything that is said, and it is almost entirely focused within the center channel. There are no DPL type effects, and the stereo effects are minimal.

    Special Features: 0/5

    There are no special features at all on this disc.

    Overall Rating: 3/5

    There are going to be a lot of people who have fond memories of this title as an early 80s film. Fans of Kenny Rogers will also find it a good way to re-experience the music and the time period. Still, this title offers a movie only version of the film. The combo set of DVD+BD helps increase the value for some, but there isn't much here unless you're a real fan of the original work.

    Reviewed by: MattCR
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