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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Heist > Thriller > Greek > Ransom Baby (1973/Mya/E1 DVD)/The Town: Ultimate Collector’s Edition (2010/Warner Blu-ray Set w/DVD & Ultraviolet Copy)

Ransom Baby (1973/Mya/E1 DVD)/The Town: Ultimate Collector’s Edition (2010/Warner Blu-ray Set w/DVD & Ultraviolet Copy)


Picture: C-/B & C+     Sound: C/B & B-     Extras: C-/C+     Films: C/C+



The heist film peaked in the 1970s and by then, it also became the heist/revenge film.  Occasionally, people trey to do it again, but it is a cycle you can only do so often, as these films with 37 years apart in their first theatrical release one that is hard to pull off.



Paul Filippou’s Ransom Baby (1973) is a Greek heist picture that has some amusing moments due to its dated technology trying to look hip, chic and so 1970s, plus it has its share of nudity, but this tale of an police inspector’s baby kidnapped as part of a plot involving robbing a bank of a small fortune is just too much like other such films and TV shows with the same plot for that matter.  The actors are less familiar and locations not bad, but it just does not have anything much to recommend about it and its conclusion is only so good.  Still, it is a genre curio and at least some DVD version is now available.  The only extra is a very brief set of posters and ads for the film.


The 1.33 X 1 image is rough and miscredited on the package as anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1.  It comes from an older tape source with audio and video dropouts that make it seem like old reel-to-reel tape which has awful color and is very flat throughout.  The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also down a few generations.  The only extra is a very brief set of posters and ads for the film.



Warner has decided to issue a new, expanded version of Ben Affleck’s recent action film success with The Town: Ultimate Collector’s Edition from 2010.  We previously covered the initial Blu-ray release of the film at this link:




This new set of two Blu-rays and one DVD includes more scenes, slightly different editing and an alternate ending.  However, more is not necessarily better and the other ending is no better.  What this does show us is how much Affleck was struggling to make this film work, but never found how to totally pull it off.  Ripping off Kubrick’s The Killing (see the Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) is a big problem he never overcomes, then he hopes his actors and (wisely) making Boston a character here will offset his problems, but that does not work.  Of course, it is sad to see Pete Postlewaite’s final performance and Jeremy Renner (now heading for more commercial projects including the hit fourth Mission: Impossible film since this came out) makers this film a curio and Warner intends to capitalize on that.


Unfortunately, this set does not improve the film any more that when Warner let Oliver Stone do the same with his even more problematic Alexander (also reviewed on this site) but its is a good thing to issue any film in expanded form so we can see what went wrong or if it could have been better.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix are the same as the previous Blu-ray, though I was not as impressed with the sound as my fellow writer, but playback is about on par with what I saw in its 35mm theatrical presentation and the new footage looks just fine.  An anamorphically enhanced DVD version included has a much weaker, softer image, but the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 included has some of the soundfield of the Blu-ray, yet is no match for the richness of the DTS-MA there.


Extras in this great slipcase packaging include a DigiPak with all three discs, a nicely illustrated hardcover 48-page mini-booklet on the film including informative text and a faux miniature nilla envelope with a message from Affleck about this expanded release, mock police files and large poster showing details about the robbery, while the Blu-ray adds a new documentary on the film called The Town: A Director’s Journey, Ben’s Boston from the previous set has Affleck talking viewers through the process of making the film and audio commentaries by Affleck now on all versions of the film.  Finally, we also have Ultraviolet Digital Copy to see the film on PCs, et al.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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