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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Timothy E, May 21, 2011.
The wife and I watched this tonight. This is one of the best-looking Blu-rays I've ever seen. The magnificent vistas looked almost 3D. This has always been just an average Wayne movie to me; but I felt like I was in a theater in 1961 watching this Blu-ray; and the Elmer Bernstein score sounded great. I have not watched the special features yet, but will tomorrow. Really a marvelous product.
Thanks for the fine review as I watched this disc today and thought it looked great. Crawdaddy
I have to say that it isn't one of my favourite Wayne films - hamstrung possibly by Curtiz's health problems - but it looks, and sounds, a peach. A job well done by Fox; bravo. Tim mentions the abundance of HD clips in the 'Wayne at Fox' documentary (and it's great to see Fox offering supplements in 1080p), The Undefeated looks to be even crisper than The Comancheros, but, man alive, if anyone here thought the 'Grandeur' The Big Trail looked spectacular on DVD, the HD clips reveal that a BD would be positively jaw-dropping. Equally, it was quite sad to see upscale clips of The Alamo, knowing that Robert Harris is battling to save the film (and a BD release seems further away than ever). I hope this sold well for Fox, I really do; I want more...
Not my favorite Wayne film either but it's fun and much better than either Rio Lobo or Big Jake, IMO. Speaking of the HD clips in the doc, check out the ones for The Longest Day. Holy cow it looks like a black & white Pixar movie and that is no exaggeration! Is that what the bluray looks like? If so I can't believe anyone would have the gall to defend that...waaaaaay beyond the pale. As far as The Big Trail goes, the sooner they put that out on BD the better.
Saw "The Comancheros" a few days ago. The film wasn´t good at all. I think that John Wayne made many better movies-such as "The Searchers", El Dorado, Rio Bravo, The Shootist, True Grit, Red River etc.... Hopefully the studios will release other John Wayne movies as well on Blu-ray. Like Scott Calvert, I saw the documentary "The Duke at Fox" as well and can also say that the clips from his other movies(The Undeafeated, North from Alaska etc...) looked excellent in 1080p.
I meant "North to Alaska"!
Wayne made a film in his later years (I think) in which a young mexican actor had a featured part. I watched this movie on TV and couldn't finish it because the young actor was absolutely horrible. This isn't that film, is it? I don't think so, because I think I'd remember Ina Balin if I had seen her. BTW Amazon currently has this for $12. Edit: I think the film I'm thinking of is Rio Lobo.
I liked him in that movie. He was kind of goofy, but I thought it worked. Then again, I am really fond of Rio Lobo (I like it much more than El Dorado but less than Rio Bravo). Rio Lobo is one of the films I saw at the drive-in with my father in the 1970s. Interestingly, in the 6th season of Columbo, the actor you refer to (Jorge Rivero) showed up as the guy who washes Ricardo Montalban's car. The episode (I think it was called "A Matter of Honor") was something of a reunion for Latin actors who had appeared in John Wayne moviews. In addition to Montalban and Rivero, it also featured Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (from Chisum I think and the son of the Wayne's costar in Three Godfathers) and A. Martinez (from The Cowboys). I wonder if that reunion aspect might have been intentional on someone's part.
You say po-tay-to and I say pah-tah-to One man's goofy is another's yechh! Your info does confirm the movie he was in. Is Pedro Armendáriz Jr. any relation to Pedro Armendáriz who was Kerim Bey in From Russia with Love?
I have the Soul Media Danish BDs of THE CONQUEROR, NORTH TO ALASKA and THE BARBARIAN AND THE GEISHA. They look really good in my estimation (and I am notoriously picky). The prints may have some technicolor shifting here and there and occasional soft shots, but the grain is natural and contrast surprisingly good. After all, the elements are what they are and I've never seen these look better. Just recently a BD of THE BIG TRAIL was released in France. I'm still waiting on that one, as I fear it may suffer from "French forced subtitle syndrome" like the recent EXODUS. Glad to report that the Soul Media BDs give you a no subs choice right at the get go. Fox is obviously letting these out in hi def to some markets. Wonder if we will see them soon in the USA. Oh, and Pedro Armendáriz plays a mean Jamuga to John Wayne's Temujin in THE CONQUEROR, which is a hoot and quite beautiful in BD. The Victor Young score for this one is magnificent.
Thanks for the info on the Danish BDs of those John Wayne films. Do you need a special player to play them in the USA, or are they region free? Also, could you tell me if all the soundtracks on those 3 blurays are in stereo? I agree with you about Victor Young's score of THE CONQUEROR...simply beautiful. Goodtimes first released the film onto DVD with stereo tracks intact. However, when Universal released it in a box set with other John Wayne films, they used a mono soundtrack (which is why I never discarded my Goodtimes version).
That's his son.
The Universal DVD version of THE CONQUEROR in the "John Wayne An American Icon" set mislabelled it as mono on the box but it is actually stereo.
THE CONQUEROR BD is in stereo and does sound great. The other two I've only looked at bits of, but the sound is rich and full so I would say they are. These are Region B BD's, so you will need an all region player. I also picked up ALEXANDER THE GREAT and DAVID AND BATHSHEBA, the latter I know Doug had some disappointment with. It seemed to me that the film had a certain visual softness in sections because of the print they had to use, in the same way as the recent Kino STAR IS BORN used the best they could find, but the grain was good and the colors rich. The ALEXANDER is stunning but does have a tad of anamorphic thinning of material at either side. Still, it is better than I have ever seen it before. To my taste, they are pretty damn good. I'm used to being burned occasionally with the stuff I get overseas, most recently a hideous blurry video master DVD of THE TUTTLES OF TAHITI from Spain which is unwatchable. So, I do like Soul Media all in all, and will be watching eagerly for what they put out next.
Thank you for all the information concerning the region B John Wayne blus. I looked around the web, trying to find a region free player, and they appear to be not too popular here in the states. And the ones I did find look to be rather expensive (at least for the better end models). There was talk a couple of years ago, about a cheap model Insigna player, that allowed you to choose the region, when the player started up, but I guess that was not legal, as they quickly updated the firmware to not allow that feature. I'll keep looking, and hopefully I will eventually find a player. As I say, I'd love to see those 3 John Wayne movies in High Def.
Jim, I have a Pioneer BDP-33FD region free BD player that I use for a downstairs theater setup and it works really well. I see them on ebay for around $300. They are built well and are part of the Pioneer Elite line. My favorite all region player is the OPPO 83 region free, which is the older model. The new OPPO 93's are pricey and offer 3D, which I don't really need. The picture quality from the OPPO is superb and it does a great job of upconverting standard DVDs. But, the Pioneer is a bit more reasonable and does do a great job.
Wonderful score! Nice to see Stuart Whitman in this one. His story of how he got the part--he pleaded with Wayne for it--is fun. As others have said, fine pq and aq, and nice extras in this quality pkg from Fox.
FYI the 50th Anniversary Blu-ray in book packaging is currently on sale for $11.99 at Amazon!