(1997) + Marked For Death (1990/Fox
C+ Sound: B/B- Extras: C-/D Films: C+/D
issued rather basic editions of two back catalog titles of more recent times,
one a mixed film, the other a big dud despite doing box office business. We combine them so you can think about one
and avoid the other.
international success of his remarkable Once
Were Warriors (1994), Lee Tamahori tried to break into Hollywood with Mulholland Falls (a 1996 exercise that
wanted to be Chinatown and did not
come close) and before losing his character as a filmmaker, made The Edge (1997) which is an interesting
(if sometimes predictable) tale of nature vs. man/man vs. man/uppity rich man
vs. gutsy guy (a photographer yet, saying that he has an artistic side or a
weakness perhaps?) tale we have seen before.
Anthony Hopkins was the rich guy and an Alec Baldwin still looking like he was
ready for anything physical in his mind-commercial prime is his challenger when
they get stranded with some friends (or is that enemies) in the middle of
nowhere where a microcosm of class warfare breaks out, sort of. When you have a bear stealing the film from
two big actors, something has gone wrong, so the failures can be amusing to watch. Written by David Mamet, it is uneven, but has
some interesting moments so you may want to catch it and see for yourself if
you missed it all this time.
Marked For Death was Steven Seagal’s third film
and it remains one of his dumbest, most reactionary and most obnoxious as he is
a cop who fights a drug lord after said Colombian kingpin kills his
partner. It is a formulaic yawn, very
badly written and though a hit at the time, was never that good, is tired, has
dated very badly and reminds us what a dull, humorless oaf he was. Skip this one.
2.35 X 1 MPEG-2 @ 18 MBPS digital High Definition image on Edge is a disappointment, despite being shot in real anamorphic
35mm Panavision by Director of Photography Donald McAlpine (Breaker Morant) and has detail limits
that suggest it is from an older HD master.
The 1080p 2.35 X 1 AVC @ 26 MBPS digital High Definition image on Death looks worse and was shot in the
lesser Super 35mm format by Director of Photography Ric Waite (Walter Hill’s 48 HRS). The colors are weak and compositions not very
memorable. Both have DTS-HD Master Audio
(MA) lossless 5.1 mixes and Edge was
a real 5.1 digital theatrical sound mix, but Death was a Dolby a-type analog theatrical release and boy, does it
include trailers on The Edge
including one for the film while Death has nothing on it. How appropriate is that?
- Nicholas Sheffo