A Few Words About A few words about...™ Force of Evil -- in Blu-ray

Robert Harris

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Olive releases are "like a box of chocolates." You never know what you're going to get.

Abraham Polonsky's 1949 noir Force of Evil, his first directorial effort, as writing the screenplay for Robert Rossen's Body and Soul (also available from Olive), is a film to be taken seriously.

Low budget, yet beautifully photographed in black & white by George Barnes, and with a wonderful cast, this is one of those films that stands the test of time. With location work in Manhattan, and closing scenes directly beneath the supports of the George Washington Bridge, using the famous lighthouse in the background, this is essential noir.

Olive's Blu-ray is a quality rendering of the film, with superb detail, blacks, and shadow detail. My only gripe is the window-boxed main title. Well, not exactly. I also don't believe we need to sit through the cute little animated Olive logo twice, once preceding the main screen, and again as a presentation credit. Once would do nicely.

Image - 4

Audio - 3.5

Recommended.

RAH
 

Doug Otte

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Thanks, Mr. Harris. I watched this one last night, and enjoyed it. It was a strong social message picture from the progressive folks in Hollywood at the time. Scorcese's introduction (in SD), the only extra on the disc, was also nice.
I don't think I'd ever seen this one before. I also watched Body and Soul a few weeks ago, and enjoyed the film more than Force of Evil.
They're both good examples of the pictures that Mr. Garfinkle and his colleagues were making back then.
 
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shoeshineboy

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If Olive releases are like a box of chocolates, what analogy would Warners ARchives be? Links of sausage from a deli that's cooling system had broken down?
 

ahollis

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Originally Posted by shoeshineboy /t/323604/a-few-words-about-force-of-evil-in-blu-ray#post_3975006
If Olive releases are like a box of chocolates, what analogy would Warners ARchives be? Links of sausage from a deli that's cooling system had broken down?
OUCH!
 

Robert Harris

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Originally Posted by shoeshineboy /t/323604/a-few-words-about-force-of-evil-in-blu-ray#post_3975006
If Olive releases are like a box of chocolates, what analogy would Warners ARchives be? Links of sausage from a deli that's cooling system had broken down?
Actually, it depends upon which Archive titles one is viewing. All are decent, some from TV masters with no clean-up, others newly mastered from new IPs or fine grains, with some clean-up.

Very different purposes here. And if one considers only the newer re-mastered releases, which are the ones that would equate to Olive, the track record is very good, at a lower price point.

RAH
 

Robert Crawford

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I agree that Force of Evil was one of Olive's better releases on BRD. And by far, it's the best, I've ever viewed this movie on any video format.








Crawdaddy
 
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shoeshineboy

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Strictly non-blu ray, the price is comparable, not even taking into consideration the different medium (it'll take a few years of use and evidence before I'm easily sold on WA DVD-r) ... You've got one co. with huge inventory of product and has a number of sketchy, troubled burns (they have improved, both quality and service) and a small Co. with no inventory but a passion for the business. I'll take the chocolates over the warmed up sausages, thanks.
 

GlennH

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Warners, at least for certain more popular titles, should be able to do what Olive is doing. No reason why a new release of The Hanging Tree shouldn't be offered on Blu-ray. Or, to stick with the Garfield noir theme, The Breaking Point.
 
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Reggie W

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So, I just watched this the other night, in terms of what Mr. Harris says above he is spot on. The image is very good, the audio full of crackles and pops but not to the level that it distracts or detracts from the film. It is essential as he states, for the reasons he gives and I would add another nice performance from John Garfield.

I do have a question though about this disc. I had never really paid attention to the "special feature" on this blu-ray as when I insert it in my player the only things on the menu are PLAY and CHAPTERS to select from.

So, I just pressed play when I watched it assuming there are no special features it is a bare bones type of affair. However, I noticed the other night that there is a special feature listed on the back, an introduction from Martin Scorsese which I would have liked to watch...problem is it is nowhere to be found on my blu-ray.

If you press play it just rolls right into the Olive logo and the feature. If I select chapters on the menu there is no chapter with the Scorsese intro. There is no SPECIAL FEATURE option on the menu.

So, to anybody that has this blu from Olive how do you access the Scorsese intro?

To me it appears it is not on the disc.
 
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Doug Otte

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So, I just watched this the other night, in terms of what Mr. Harris says above he is spot on. The image is very good, the audio full of crackles and pops but not to the level that it distracts or detracts from the film. It is essential as he states, for the reasons he gives and I would add another nice performance from John Garfield.

I do have a question though about this disc. I had never really paid attention to the "special feature" on this blu-ray as when I insert it in my player the only things on the menu are PLAY and CHAPTERS to select from.

So, I just pressed play when I watched it assuming there are no special features it is a bare bones type of affair. However, I noticed the other night that there is a special feature listed on the back, an introduction from Martin Scorsese which I would have liked to watch...problem is it is nowhere to be found on my blu-ray.

If you press play it just rolls right into the Olive logo and the feature. If I select chapters on the menu there is no chapter with the Scorsese intro. There is no SPECIAL FEATURE option on the menu.

So, to anybody that has this blu from Olive how do you access the Scorsese intro?

To me it appears it is not on the disc.
Hmmm. I haven't watched it since it was first released. I don't remember, but when I get a chance I'll check my disc and report back.
 
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Reggie W

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So, here is Scorsese doing an intro for Force of Evil and I assume this is the intro that was supposed to appear on my Olive blu-ray...

 
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Doug Otte

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I tried my disc, Reggie, and it's there. If you wait for the menu to load without touching any button, the menu has 3 options: PLAY, CHAPTERS, and SPECIAL FEATURE. I think you're pressing play either when the tray is open, or before the disc has loaded.

Try letting it load without pressing a button and let us know what happens.
 
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Reggie W

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I tried my disc, Reggie, and it's there. If you wait for the menu to load without touching any button, the menu has 3 options: PLAY, CHAPTERS, and SPECIAL FEATURE. I think you're pressing play either when the tray is open, or before the disc has loaded.

Try letting it load without pressing a button and let us know what happens.
Interesting, thanks Doug and Robert. No, I load the disc, the menu comes up and just two options PLAY and CHAPTERS. Oddly, on my disc there is no SPECIAL FEATURE option on the menu. Not a huge deal for me as it seems if I wanted to watch the Scorsese intro again it is on YouTube but I certainly find it strange that is not on my disc.
 

Reggie W

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So, I just threw it in to one of the players and took a quick pic of the menu so you guys don't think I am nuts. The menu comes up with just those two options. I can play the film or select chapters that's it.

5AF706CB-7AEC-41EA-AC81-FD6F7EE6665C.jpeg
 

Scott Merryfield

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The Scorsese intro is on my disc, as well. The selection "Special Feature" is to the right of the chapters selection on the main menu. Selecting that immediately plays the introduction. That's very weird, Reggie. Can you try a different player?
 
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Reggie W

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Yes, I will try a different player and see what happens. If it comes up when I try it in a different player I wonder if the issue would have something to do with fact that the intro is in 480i whereas the feature is in 1080P...I mean is it possible that would even matter?
 

B-ROLL

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Yes, I will try a different player and see what happens. If it comes up when I try it in a different player I wonder if the issue would have something to do with fact that the intro is in 480i whereas the feature is in 1080P...I mean is it possible that would even matter?
The menu would be the same, your player might not play the special feature when selected or only have audio, But 480i shouldn't be a issue as its the old NTSC TV standard
 
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Reggie W

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So, tried different player and same result. It really appears to me that some of the discs may have been manufactured without the special feature on them. I can put any other disc in either set-up and if there are special features on the disc, even if it is a foreign disc from another region the features come up. It is specific to this disc.

There just are only two options from the menu of this disc.

Also, it is interesting how this comes up because it is not as if the option is there on the menu and I can't get it to play...there just is no option for the special feature period.
 
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