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Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Professionals (1 Viewer)

Richard Gallagher

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Robert Crawford

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This is one of my top ten favorite films of all-time. IMO, I think it's the best written western film ever made. From the first time I watched it during its initial theatrical run until today this film brings complete joy to me unlike any other cinema experience. Thanks for the great review as I patiently await my copy to reach me.





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Jim_K

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Glad this got high marks, I'm (rather oddly) looking forward to buying this for the umpteenth time.
 

Robert Crawford

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I'll have my BRD of this tomorrow and will post my thoughts then, but I'm surprise not more are talking about this release. This is the type of film that would look beautiful in 1080p yet nobody is talking about it. People want more classic films on BRD and have been screaming for high quality action films so I'm taken aback by the lack of discussion around this title. No wonder the studios think that perhaps this consumer segment is not ready for such films on Blu-ray disc. Serves us right for getting such great films like "So I Married An Axe Murderer" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer" on BRD.
 

Walter Kittel

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Thanks for the nice review, Rich.

This release is one of my more anticipated titles. Wasn't sure what I was going to do tonight, but I may have to stop at Fry's and pick up a copy for viewing this evening.

Robert, regarding the other two titles - personally I wouldn't group So I Married An Axe Murderer which is a fun title (and something I will be picking up on Bd) with that other film; but everyone has their opinions.

- Walter.
 

Robert Crawford

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Every film has its supporters, but I'm just not one of them in regard to either of those two films.
 

Paul_Scott

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Along with the Sand Pebbles, which I was able to get last week, this is the title I've been most anxious to get all year. In fact, since it was originally announced early on then (thankfully) pulled, it's been one of the titles I've most wanted on the format-period!
Like Robert, this is one of my all time favorite movies. It clicks on every level. It's also the movie that made me seek out more work of Lancaster and Brooks, for which I'm grateful as some of their other films I now count among my favorites as well.

I was counting on bundling this in to a DD sale order today, but for some odd reason neither DD nor DVD Planet even have a listing for the Blu-ray version anymore.
I don't know when I'll be able to get this now.

For those who do have it or will get it soon I would be curious about how manipulated the black levels look- can you still tell that the shadows covering Cardinales breasts (in the US version) are rotoscoped? This has always been apparent on every incarnation of the film I've seen till now, but lately I've noticed that many Sony Bds seem to skew towards crushing the blacks. On Baron Munchausen, for instance, I thought this may have been intentional as a way to mask the grain that was visible on the sd. It does mask the grain, but unfortunately it leaves very little discernable shadow detail and just comes across as trying to be something it isn't.
 

Michael Warner

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I'm a huge fan of the film and am eager to upgrade my DVD but I've grown so accustomed to waiting for price drops on Blu-ray that I don't even pay attention to release schedules anymore. This certainly isn't a hugely overpriced disc but the ridiculous pricing for most BD has so altered my mindset that a "new" title only registers when it hits the Fry's sales circular.
 

Walter Kittel

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Just finished watching the Bd release. What fun it was to see this again.

I've always maintained that one of the great things about owning a front projector has been the ability to approach theatrical presentations of older films that I have only been able to view via home video. DVD enabled this to occur to a large degree, and the High Definition formats have improved the experience substantially.

Watching The Professionals on Bd this evening was just a terrific experience. There is a scene early in the film (around the 26 minute mark) where Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster are setting side by side and having a conversation. The Bd release really brings out the detail in their faces and makes you feel like you are almost setting across from them, participating in the conversation.

The often repeated phrase "They don't make'em like that anymore" is very appropriate when applied to this wonderful film.

Paul, I don't know specifically which scene you are referring to but I am assuming it is the shot inside her living quarters when Marvin and Lancaster break in. The area around her breasts is darkened, but the scene is so quick that I didn't notice anything too strange about the scene other than I couldn't see her breasts. :)

Highly, highly recommended release. Couldn't locate it a Fry's so I had to pick it up at Best Buy for about $5.00 more than Fry's; but worth every cent for the pleasure of seeing this again in High Definition.

Edit: Oh yeah, I watched the trailer for Starship Troopers 3: Marauder. Man, did that look cheesy. Might be a good guilty pleasure though; but I kind of doubt that will be the case.

- Walter.
 

Paul_Scott

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Walter, the scene I was referencing occurs later when they are on the run. They are settled for the night and Cardinales character tries to seduce Lancasters. The scene is dark, lit only by campfire light IIRC, but I've always been able to make out the animated shadows as she tries to tempt him by taking off her top.
 

Robert Crawford

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I spent a good part of my afternoon watching this BRD and I want to tell you that Blu-ray as a video format is meant for films such as "The Professionals". I can't believe how much pleasure I enjoyed revisiting one of my favorite films of all-time in 1080p. I want to commend Sony and Grover Crisp for doing such an excellent job capturing Conrad Hall's Oscar nominated cinematography. Furthermore, the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack makes Maurice Jarre's terrific film score sound better than I ever heard it before.

This is what this hobby is all about!




Crawdaddy
 

Walter Kittel

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Could not agree more, Robert. I had a great experience viewing this last night.

The landscapes were wonderfully presented and I'm reminded of Hall's work on Cool Hand Luke in terms of visually communicating the environment to the audience. BTW, it had been some time since I watched this film and I had forgotten just how many great lines of dialog this film contained. ( Particularly enjoyed Lee Marvin's closing line to Grant. :) )

Paul, Cardinale was obscured in the scene you describe. I can't say that the shadows called attention to themselves; but I suspect you will probably notice the same effect on the Bd release.

- Walter.
 

Robert Crawford

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There are so many great exchanges of dialogue between the actors in this film. There is that great exchange at the end of the film. However, the exchanges between Lancaster and Marvin are equally great along with one between Lancaster and Palance. Though, I must admit my favorite is between Lancaster and Cardinale when she is tending to Robert Ryan. Cracks me up everytime.
 

Michael Warner

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I said earlier that I would wait for this to pop up in the Fry's circular and lo and behold there it is today for $19.99. Can't say no at that price.
 

Bleddyn Williams

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Another option for instant gratification is if you're a Borders Rewards member, this week there is a 30% off coupon. I picked this up from them for $20.29.
 

Vegas 1

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Thanks for the review Richard, looks like I will be replacing my SDDVD, hopefully more films of this time period will look just as good on BR.
 

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