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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Revenge > Spaghetti Western > Action > Videogames > Thriller > Murder > Gangster > Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967/Blue Underground Blu-ray)/The FP (2011/Image Blu-ray)/Seeking Justice (2011/Anchor Bay Blu-ray w/DVD)

Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967/Blue Underground Blu-ray)/The FP (2011/Image Blu-ray)/Seeking Justice (2011/Anchor Bay Blu-ray w/DVD)


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



Here is a Spaghetti Western you may have missed and two newer action releases that are stuck in the 1980s…



Giulio Questi’s Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967) is not a sequel to the 1966 Franco Nero hit we reviewed at this link:




It is one of the few non-comical Leone-inspired Spaghetti Westerns that had other titles without the Django name, but tries to go into other directions as a Western and a film.  It has characters obsessed with greed and violence, with gold being an especially motivating lust factor in all kinds of ways.  The protagonist played well here by star Tomas Milian (The Yards, Young, Violent, Dangerous) is effective enough and carries the film well as he barely comes back from being killed off to get back at those who thought they had killed him off.


Though we have seen some things featured here before, the approach is different and the makers take time for suspense and quiet exposition that includes sexuality (heterosexual and some male homo erotica that is not showy and makes narrative sense) adding up to a film that distinguishes itself from the Leone films and other Django films.  Ray Lovelock makes his acting debut here and the mostly unknown cast is pretty good, believable and effective throughout.  Franco Arccalli edited and co-wrote some of Leone’s films, so that explains another reason it works.  If you like these films, go out of your way for this one.


Extras include a Posters & Stills Gallery, Theatrical Trailer and Django, Tell!, an interview featurette with Director Questi.



The Trost Brothers (listed as “Bros”) go back to the 1980s with the amusingly bad The FP (2011), which is a 1980s styled videogame/revenge film as a competition that brings us to the deadly underground world of giant arcade dance videogaming takes on a Punk/New Wave look and takes place in the title locale: Franklin Park.  It may seem like it is in another state, but it is only a little way away from Los Angeles, but is not discussed much.


Despite the style, it is supposed to take place in the future, but it seems so much like the past and like a bad Sylvester Stallone Rocky formula, specifically the arm wrestling wreck Over The Top.  At least Stallone (or his brother Frank) do not contribute a vocal song to this project.  The unknown cast has limited chemistry and give mixed performances, but it is consistent and better than the dreadful Paranormal Activity, whose producers picked this one up.  Too bad it too does not work.


Extras include a feature length audio commentary track by the Trosts, a theatrical Trailer, two Making of featurettes and a 16 page booklet inside the Blu-ray case including contributions by Rob Zombie and the Mark Neveldine/Mark Taylor directing duo who recently ruined the Ghost Rider franchise with a horrible sequel.



Roger Donaldson’s Seeking Justice (2011) follows two of his best films, the underrated The Bank Job (2008) and even more underrated World’s Fastest Indian (2005/both reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) with Nicolas Cage as a married man being targeted by a mysterious stranger (Guy Pierce) when his wife (January Jones) is brutally raped, but why?  The unknown man says they’ll kill the rapist if (in a tired gangster cliché) will do something for him (them) “in the future” and he eventually goes for it, sort of.


They want him to kill an alleged pedophile, which he almost does, but accidentally, yet he is accused of being a murderer and is pursued after.  Unfortunately, the script is weak and even the fine cast cannot save it, especially when it keeps adding twists every time they cannot think of an original place to taker the story and that is too often.  The result is one of those thrillers that showed up starting in the 1980s that were increasingly dumbed down to manipulate the audience and make them feel a false sense of superiority, sometimes to a cynical extent.


The result is a project that starts out with promise and gets into trouble early, never recovers and just gets worse and worse and worse.  Too bad, because we deserved better and Donaldson must have been trying to do something very commercial looking for a big hit, but this will not even reach the audience of his last two better films.  A Behind The Scenes featurette is short and the only extra.



The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on all three Blu-rays have their issues, with the new productions being HD shoots and looking softer than they should, even including style choices.  Justice was shot on the Panavision Genesis HD camera and it was never a great camera and is looking date as compared to the likes of the Arri Alexa by this time.  Django was shot in 2-perferation 35mm Techniscope and was originally issued in now-very-valuable dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor prints that this disc sometimes emulates in its color range.  However, other footage can be aged and dated, but grain is not as bad as one might expect.  It is also the best looking of the three overall and narrowly.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD of Justice is really soft and hard to watch.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is on FP and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 on Justice are the best-sounding films here, but both have inconsistent soundfields and are not as dynamic as either should be.  I expected more from Justice, with both having sound sometimes too much towards the front speakers or more sound than I would have liked in the center channel.  The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Justice DVD is weaker still, but the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Italian and English lossless mixes on Django are a little aged sounding with some background noise and both have post-production dialogue typical of Italian films of the time.

The Italian rack has more dialogue than the English version, maybe more than usual and the music by Ivan Vandor is better than one might notice.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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