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Our Man Flint Blu-ray Review



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#1 of 24 Matt Hough

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Posted January 09 2013 - 09:09 AM

After James Bond became a worldwide phenomenon, everybody and his uncle in the entertainment business wanted to jump on the bandwagon. On television and in the movies, Bond spoofs and homages were everywhere, some wildly successful (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart) and some not (The Double Life of Henry Phyfe). Daniel Mann’s Our Man Flint is likely one of the most fondly remembered of the film parodies, and it’s stood the test of time better than some others due to some clever writing, its affectionate rather than acerbic jabs at the spy genre, a lush studio production, and a charismatic leading man.







Our Man Flint (Blu-ray)
Directed by Daniel Mann

Studio: Twilight Time (Fox)
Year: 1965
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1   1080p   AVC codec
Running Time: 108 minutes
Rating: NR
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 English
Subtitles:  SDH


Region: 0
MSRP: $ 29.95



Release Date: January 15, 2013

Review Date: January 9, 2013




The Film

3.5/5


With the world’s weather conditions now under the control of a trio of mad scientists (Benson Fong, Rhys Williams, Peter Brocco) working for international organization of evil Galaxy with its two feuding operatives Gila (Gila Golan) and Malcolm Rodney (Edward Mulhare), the government’s top espionage agency ZOWIE (Zonal Organization World Intelligence Exchange) enlists top spy Derek Flint (James Coburn) to sort things out. Despite the agency’s head man Cramden (Lee J. Cobb) being less than enthusiastic about working with the independent thinking Flint, the expert fighter, fencer, and lover makes great strides toward finding the whereabouts of Galaxy’s headquarters, an extinct volcanic island stronghold which he must penetrate.


The Hal Fimberg-Ben Starr screenplay makes sure that while James Bond’s espionage authority is minimized so that Derek Flint can appear the greater agent, the zings against Ian Fleming’s superspy aren’t nasty or acerbic (Bond’s famous Walther PPK and tricked-out briefcase as well as mentions of SPECTRE and even an agent coded 0008 whom Flint throws around with the greatest of ease are all done with respect). Of course, Daniel Mann is a smart enough director to know that this studio-bound production can in no way match the production values of the Bond movies, so he and the production team go to town with what they have to offer: a zippy mid-1960s look and sound that are uniquely its own (saddled with some cheesy special effects that betray their origins). The sets are enormous and very colorful and are populated with an array of beauties (Flint himself has four live-in companions who seem to have no problem sharing him) while the gadgets and gizmos are less numerous but serve utilitarian purposes. The film’s first half is sprightly and fun as Flint journeys to Marseille and Rome though Mann’s pacing flags a bit once Flint gets to the island hideaway where Flint escapes numerous times but seems to have no trouble maneuvering through the complex without a disguise while he collects his kidnapped companions and plans his sabotage of the stronghold. It’s as if the producers decided to wrap things up quickly to get the film ready for release without thinking through a really first-rate finale.


James Coburn gets the full star treatment here and is convincing with both the action stuff and in the more personal moments. Lee J. Cobb gets to bellow and bray to his heart’s content as ZOWIE’s head man who must work with Flint against his better judgment even though he has a grudging respect for him. Edward Mulhare does a slick job as the slimy, aristocratic villain intent on bringing Flint’s reign as a superspy to an end. Director Daniel Mann chose Gila Golan for the pivotal role of the movie’s femme fatale over Raquel Welch with the intention of building her into a great star, but her lack of acting experience is painfully obvious, and while she’s undoubtedly alluring, she is stiff and mechanical in all the dialogue scenes. It’s always nice to see character actors like Benson Fong, Rhys Williams, and Peter Brocco get meatier chances to perform than they were usually afforded, and each gets the job done admirably.



Video Quality

4.5/5


The film’s Cinemascope aspect ratio of 2.35:1 is faithfully rendered in this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. For the most part, the images are very sharp and extremely colorful (reds are especially well delivered). Flesh tones are mostly realistic and appealing. While black levels are a shade or two less than optimum and there are a few shots especially in the film’s final third that seem a bit soft and less distinct than what has come before, the overall impression of the transfer is most impressive. The soft and scratched vault footage used from time to time can't be held against the transfer. The film has been divided into 12 chapters.



Audio Quality

4.5/5


The DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 sound mix will really impress you with its clarity and forcefulness. For a mono mix of this era, the dynamic range is very striking and the dialogue, music by the expert Jerry Goldsmith, and sound effects occupy the same track with great alacrity. No age-related artifacts like hiss, crackle, pops, or flutter mar the purity of the sound reproduction.



Special Features

5/5


The audio commentary is provided by film writers/historians Lee Pfeiffer and Eddy Friedfeld and is a loose and lively affair with the two friends sharing views on the film and stories about its making and many other sidebars peripheral to the movie.


These bonus features are presented in 480i:


The theatrical trailer runs 6 ½ minutes.


“Spy Style” is a 6 ¾-minute vignette with critic Chris Gore and others discussing the film’s style and substance describing how the Austin Powers movies used much in the film as a template for their look and sound.


“Spy-er-ama” features historian Lee Pfeiffer, screenwriter Ben Starr, and others briefly discussing the memorable aspects of this movie and its sequel In Like Flint. It runs 9 ¼ minutes.


“The Perfect Bouillabaisse” offers a recipe for the famous soup in this 1 ½-minute clip.


“A Gentleman’s Game” is a brief 4 ¼-minute biography of star James Coburn.


Two screen tests are offered: the one with James Coburn and Gila Golan playing a scene from a play and not from the script of Our Man Flint runs 4 ¾ minutes. The one with James Coburn and Raquel Welch runs 2 minutes.


The following material is offered in 1080p resolution:


“Derek Flint: A Spy Is Born” is a 24 ¾-minute featurette narrated by Michael Monahan and others delving into the production’s history: the sad shape of Fox at the time, the early script with a different focus, and then focusing on the valuable participation in the project of producer Saul David, writer Ben Starr, and stars James Coburn, Gila Golan, and Lee J. Cobb.


“Directing Flint: Daniel Mann” is an 11 ¼-minute tribute piece to director Daniel Mann. Narrated in part by son Michael Mann, he paints a vivid picture of a man intensely interested in actors and acting and expounds on his father’s fiery spirit and fierce independence.


Flint Vs. Kael” summarizes the less than supportive relationship critic Pauline Kael had with 20th Century Fox and the trouble she got into suggesting that critics who had praised the movie were kindly disposed to it due to an expense-paid junket to Jamaica they had taken part in. This little piece of history is related in a 6 ¼-minute piece.


There are three storyboard-to-film mock-ups that run 3 ¾, 4 ½, and 1 ¼ minutes respectively.


The isolated score track features a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 encode of Jerry Goldsmith’s engaging music for the movie.


The enclosed 6-page booklet contains many colorful stills, the poster art on the back cover, and film historian Julie Kirgo’s appreciation of the movie.



In Conclusion

4/5 (not an average)


Our Man Flint is still lots of fun even decades after its initial success. The Twilight Time Blu-ray looks and sounds marvelous and is chock full of interesting and informative bonus features. Only 3,000 copies of the Blu-ray will be available, so those interested in experiencing this fondly remembered spy homage should hop to www.screenarchives.com to see if copies are still available. They're also available via Facebook at www.facebook.com/twilighttimemovies. Highly recommended!




Matt Hough

Charlotte, NC



#2 of 24 Richard Gallagher

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Posted January 09 2013 - 09:59 AM

This one was shipped early. I ordered it last week and my copy arrived today. I'm looking forward to watching this enjoyable film again.


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#3 of 24 Peter Neski

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Posted January 09 2013 - 10:02 AM

gee what a rotten cover!!

#4 of 24 darkrock17

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Posted January 09 2013 - 10:44 AM

Aren't all those special features on the Ultimate Flint Collection?

#5 of 24 Escapay

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Posted January 09 2013 - 12:12 PM

Aren't all those special features on the Ultimate Flint Collection?

I think the HD featurettes are new, none of them are among the listed bonus features for the 2006 collection. I'm guessing that they were made by Fox for their own Blu-Ray release before they decided instead to licence the title (and its supplements) to Twilight Time.

#6 of 24 Adam Gregorich

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Posted January 09 2013 - 01:18 PM

Thumbs up to Twilight Time for this release.  Its great to see the special features.  I can finally retire my DVD copy.  Now just bring on the second Flint movie and Fathom!



#7 of 24 darkrock17

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Posted January 09 2013 - 01:36 PM

I think the HD featurettes are new, none of them are among the listed bonus features for the 2006 collection. I'm guessing that they were made by Fox for their own Blu-Ray release before they decided instead to licence the title (and its supplements) to Twilight Time.

Why didn't Fox hold onto Flint? Twilight Time is a very good company to release titles on Blu-ray but, the price tag is a bi too steep. $32.00 for a Blu-ray is just a tad much IMO. I wish Twilight Time would go down on price on some their early titles or better yet let Sony re-release them on a less expensive price tag.

#8 of 24 atcolomb

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Posted January 09 2013 - 01:51 PM

Twlight Time should have put the two films together in one box set just like the Ultimate Flint Collection dvd set. Too bad James Coburn only did two of them since i think he was the best of the Bond spoofs to do them.

#9 of 24 David Norman

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Posted January 09 2013 - 01:53 PM

Thumbs up to Twilight Time for this release.  Its great to see the special features.  I can finally retire my DVD copy.  Now just bring on the second Flint movie and Fathom!

In Like Flint should be up for preorder January 18.
 

 


#10 of 24 David Norman

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Posted January 09 2013 - 01:55 PM

let Sony re-release them on a less expensive price tag.

Usually TT has a 3 year exclusive so Sony may release them, but it's going to be a while
 

 


#11 of 24 Paul Rossen

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Posted January 09 2013 - 02:30 PM

Usually TT has a 3 year exclusive so Sony may release them, but it's going to be a while

The Flint movies are from FOX and have nothing to do with Sony.

#12 of 24 David Norman

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Posted January 09 2013 - 03:25 PM

The Flint movies are from FOX and have nothing to do with Sony.

You're right of course -- I was just going off the post I quoted, without doublechecking, but the 3 year window is still TT SOP as far as I'm aware.
 

 


#13 of 24 Billy Batson

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Posted January 09 2013 - 10:25 PM

Yep, rubbish covers, they really should be in bright 60's groovy colours (esp. In Like Flint). I take it the 2.0 for the isolated music track means it's in stereo, & I'm wondering if there's more of it than was on the Varese CD, that only had about 27 minutes.

#14 of 24 Nick*Z

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Posted January 10 2013 - 05:25 AM

I'll digress from the status quo herein to comment on the short featurette on Pauline Kael. I've never cared for critic Pauline Kael, who generally had an arsenal of bricks ready to be thrown at some of Hollywood's most enduring stars, including one of my fav's - Norma Shearer - who she insultingly referred to as "never much of an actress" with a "lazy eye". I've read a good many of Kael's reviews over my lifetime. She seems to have become the victim of believing her own PR later on. Her early stuff is quite frank but honest and uncomplicated by personal attacks. But somewhere along the way she decided she had bigger ones than Winchell and more brass than a whole marching band and that, quite frankly, ruined her for me. She became shrewish in her critiques and definitely took instant likes or dislikes to various movies and/or players, after which nothing either could do could land the aforementioned into her good graces. Having been a critic for some years I'm always wary about being 'critical' instead of offering 'critiques' about movies and artists. Even if I don't like one or the other I try to break down my aversion for the reader by explaining why something or someone doesn't work to sell their wares as art. But Kael seems to have quite simply hated certain people in the industry - either with or without provocation - and that really cheapened her impact as a movie critic overall. PS - and in case anyone was wondering, In Like Flint belongs on everyone's TOP shelf. Another miraculous offering from Twilight Time.

#15 of 24 JoHud

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Posted January 10 2013 - 07:14 AM

I was initially going to skip this, but the inclusion of new bonus features has gotten me interested again. I might retire the old box set after all.

#16 of 24 Hollywoodaholic

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Posted January 10 2013 - 08:34 AM

I note it doesn't have the lost TV Pilot "Derek Flint: Dead On Target" that the box set had, but I haven't watched that yet and heard it's pretty bad. The HD material interests me.

#17 of 24 TheVid

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Posted January 10 2013 - 11:37 AM

[quote name="Nick*Z" url="/t/326689/our-man-flint-blu-ray-review#post_4023167"]I'll digress from the status quo herein to comment on the short featurette on Pauline Kael. I've never cared for critic Pauline Kael, who generally had an arsenal of bricks ready to be thrown at some of Hollywood's most enduring stars, including one of my fav's - Norma Shearer - who she insultingly referred to as "never much of an actress" with a "lazy eye". I've read a good many of Kael's reviews over my lifetime. She seems to have become the victim of believing her own PR later on. Her early stuff is quite frank but honest and uncomplicated by personal attacks. But somewhere along the way she decided she had bigger ones than Winchell and more brass than a whole marching band and that, quite frankly, ruined her for me. She became shrewish in her critiques and definitely took instant likes or dislikes to various movies and/or players, after which nothing either could do could land the aforementioned into her good graces. Having been a critic for some years I'm always wary about being 'critical' instead of offering 'critiques' about movies and artists. Even if I don't like one or the other I try to break down my aversion for the reader by explaining why something or someone doesn't work to sell their wares as art. But Kael seems to have quite simply hated certain people in the industry - either with or without provocation - and that really cheapened her impact as a movie critic overall. I tend to be a fan of Kael, but agree with a lot of what you say about her tendency to become "critical" and bit more of an industry insider than I'd have liked. Still, even when Kael was problematic, she still was one of the very greatest critics and a major talent as a writer. She really is fun to read. What bothers me about current critics is their social-media proclivity of making their reviews too much about themselves instead of their subject. I just hate when I learn anything about the reviewer in the review, and it's something I see a lot of in the internet age. These kinds of critics are hacks in my book. I got my FLINT blu-ray today and am I quite excited about it, but I really do think Twilight Time could have done their customers a favor this time around and offered up a package that includes IN LIKE FLINT also. If it's true that they are offering IN LIKE FLINT separately as one of their next releases, it's a bit of greed for fans to deal with. They should let Screen Archives give IN LIKE FLINT fans a price break if they purchased OUR MAN FLINT. That would be greatly appreciated.

#18 of 24 TheVid

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Posted January 10 2013 - 11:43 AM

[quote name="Nick*Z" url="/t/326689/our-man-flint-blu-ray-review#post_4023167"]I'll digress from the status quo herein to comment on the short featurette on Pauline Kael. I've never cared for critic Pauline Kael, who generally had an arsenal of bricks ready to be thrown at some of Hollywood's most enduring stars, including one of my fav's - Norma Shearer - who she insultingly referred to as "never much of an actress" with a "lazy eye". I've read a good many of Kael's reviews over my lifetime. She seems to have become the victim of believing her own PR later on. Her early stuff is quite frank but honest and uncomplicated by personal attacks. But somewhere along the way she decided she had bigger ones than Winchell and more brass than a whole marching band and that, quite frankly, ruined her for me. She became shrewish in her critiques and definitely took instant likes or dislikes to various movies and/or players, after which nothing either could do could land the aforementioned into her good graces. Having been a critic for some years I'm always wary about being 'critical' instead of offering 'critiques' about movies and artists. Even if I don't like one or the other I try to break down my aversion for the reader by explaining why something or someone doesn't work to sell their wares as art. But Kael seems to have quite simply hated certain people in the industry - either with or without provocation - and that really cheapened her impact as a movie critic overall. I tend to be a fan of Kael, but agree with a lot of what you say about her tendency to become "critical" and bit more of an industry insider than I'd have liked. Still, even when Kael was problematic, she still was one of the very greatest critics and a major talent as a writer. She really is fun to read. What bothers me about current critics is their social-media proclivity of making their reviews too much about themselves instead of their subject. I just hate when I learn anything about the reviewer in the review, and it's something I see a lot of in the internet age. These kinds of critics are hacks in my book. I got my FLINT blu-ray today and am I quite excited about it, but I really do think Twilight Time could have done their customers a favor this time around and offered up a package that includes IN LIKE FLINT also. If it's true that they are offering IN LIKE FLINT separately as one of their next releases, it's a bit of greed for fans to deal with. They should let Screen Archives give IN LIKE FLINT fans a price break if they purchased OUR MAN FLINT. That would be greatly appreciated.

#19 of 24 David Norman

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Posted January 10 2013 - 02:33 PM

If it's true that they are offering IN LIKE FLINT separately as one of their next releases, it's a bit of greed for fans to deal with. They should let Screen Archives give IN LIKE FLINT fans a price break if they purchased OUR MAN FLINT. That would be greatly appreciated.[/U]

Not sure of the why not a box and why not a price break, but I am 99% sure of the February release of "In Like Flint" and pretty sure of the preorder date of Jan 18th. TT Release Schedule for the next 3 months including a nice 3 item February and the much anticipated March releases that may set new land speed records for immediate sell-outs. April 9th THE SONG OF BERNADETTE (1943) BLU-RAY - April 9th MAJOR DUNDEE (1965) BLU-RAY (2-disc set) - April 9th March 12 THE FURY (1978) BLU-RAY - March 12th CHRISTINE (1983) BLU-RAY - March 12th February 12th: Pony Soldier Blu-ray (1952) - Feb 12th In Like Flint Blu-ray (1967) - Feb 12th Nicholas And Alexandra Blu-ray (1971) - Feb 12th
 

 


#20 of 24 Sky Captain

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Posted January 10 2013 - 06:44 PM

I'll digress from the status quo herein to comment on the short featurette on Pauline Kael. I've never cared for critic Pauline Kael, who generally had an arsenal of bricks ready to be thrown at some of Hollywood's most enduring stars, including one of my fav's - Norma Shearer - who she insultingly referred to as "never much of an actress" with a "lazy eye". I've read a good many of Kael's reviews over my lifetime. She seems to have become the victim of believing her own PR later on. Her early stuff is quite frank but honest and uncomplicated by personal attacks. But somewhere along the way she decided she had bigger ones than Winchell and more brass than a whole marching band and that, quite frankly, ruined her for me. She became shrewish in her critiques and definitely took instant likes or dislikes to various movies and/or players, after which nothing either could do could land the aforementioned into her good graces. Having been a critic for some years I'm always wary about being 'critical' instead of offering 'critiques' about movies and artists. Even if I don't like one or the other I try to break down my aversion for the reader by explaining why something or someone doesn't work to sell their wares as art. But Kael seems to have quite simply hated certain people in the industry - either with or without provocation - and that really cheapened her impact as a movie critic overall.

THIS, especially for what you said about Kael. Every time I think of her, I'm always reminded of this SCTV skit about her: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDdfD8nHbok





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