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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Revenge > Drama > Murder > Crime > Drugs > Corruption > Serial Killer > Zombies > Cheyenne (1947/aka The Wyoming Kid/Warner Archive DVD)/Colombian Connection (2012/Inception DVD)/Escapee (2011/Anchor Bay Blu-ray)/Heaven With A Gun (1969/Warner Archive DVD)/State Of Emergency (2012/

Cheyenne (1947/aka The Wyoming Kid/Warner Archive DVD)/Colombian Connection (2012/Inception DVD)/Escapee (2011/Anchor Bay Blu-ray)/Heaven With A Gun (1969/Warner Archive DVD)/State Of Emergency (2012/Image DVD)


Picture: C/Escapee: C+     Sound: C+/C/C+/C+/C+     Extras: C-/C-/C-/C-/D     Main Programs: C/C-/C-/C+/D



PLEASE NOTE: Cheyenne and Heaven With A Gun are only available from Warner Bros. from through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



In our latest mix of genre works, I wanted to include some Westerns to show how even this pretty old and somewhat dead genre could still be good with ambitious production and ideas despite its limits and as compared to what we are getting now.  This is made more ironic by tiny bits of the Western showing up in action films and thrillers in the oddest places.



Raoul Walsh was known as a gutsy director, but Cheyenne (1947) is a mix of edge and formula as Dennis Morgan plays a fleeing gambler who the law recruits to get a bigger fish, but Jane Wyman gets in the way and is the wife of the man he is trying to get to secure his freedom.  Also notable for a script by Alan LeMay of The Searchers fame (reviewed elsewhere on this site), it is an interesting curio that deserves to be in print and I was glad to see it again, but I forgot I saw it to begin with and I see why.


A trailer is the only extra, but fans will be happy with this official copy.



Julian Higgins’ Colombian Connection (2012) has two cops debating the morality of stealing and selling evidence, et al, when one of them (Tom Sizemore) turns on the other (Robert Thorne) circa 1976 in a story partly based on a true story by their own admission.  Unfortunately, despite a promising start, this goes formulaic after the first half hour, runs out of ideas, Sizemore is not here often and it does not always play like it is form its time period.


A few moments worked, making this all the more disappointing, but it will likely be a curio for those who have not heard of it.  Now that you have, know your not missing too much.


A trailer is the only extra.



Campion Murphy’s Escapee (2011) is another serial killer release and though we are seeing less of these, the  ones we are seeing stay bad.  Dominic Purcell is not too good as the killer interested in young women, we get hardly any suspense, nothing we have not seen before and a lame ending.  Performances are mixed at best and I don’t know why this was made or who decided to fund this, but it is a bore and I did not like the way women were handled for that matter, so see it at your own risk.


There are no extras.



Lee H. Katzin’s Heaven With A Gun (1969) is our other Western on the list and is our one good film.  Produced by the notoriously cheap King Brothers (Gorgo, reviewed elsewhere on this site and Noir classic Gun Crazy) who were doing things with MGM at this point and making their final film here.  This mighty have their biggest budget by default as Glenn Ford trying to open a church in the middle of a war in town, but he turns out to be the best shot around and inevitable gets involved in the fiasco in progress.


He wants to use his faith to change things, but when the violence and crime become too much, he comes out shooting.  Carolyn Jones, David Carradine, Barbara Hershey and Noah Berry are among the goof cast and though the script and story have their limits (this is a Revenge Western at a time when the Professional Western was in full swing), it is worth a look if you are interested.  A trailer is the only extra.



Finally is the latest George Romero recycling, Turner Clay’s tired State Of Emergency (2012) which has another authority-breaking crisis, endlessly unoriginal scenes, bad acting, women being treated badly, more lame zombies, an awful screenplay and everything we have seen before.  Unless you are genre fan who will watch anything, skip this one as it is the worst on the list.  Extras include thankfully Deleted Scenes and two dull featurettes.



The 1.33 X 1 black and white image on Cheyenne has some good moments, but the transfer is overall soft throughout, yet the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on State and anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Columbian and State are also all softer throughout despite being in color.  Gun is the DVD color champ here with the MetroColor coming through at times, if not all the time.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Escapee is weak and almost on a DVD level, but it is enough to outperform the rest, though on a pure cinematography level, Gun is shot in real 35mm anamorphic Panavision and is still more watchable despite its softer look.


Escapee is listed oddly as having “Dolby Surround 5.1” on the back of the case which would suggest lossy Dolby Digital or possibly better Dolby TrueHD, but it is actually in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless sound.  Unfortunately, the recording and mixing is so weak and even substandard that it might as well be lossy and the front speakers has too much of the sound in it including dialogue.  As a result, the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Columbian and State can compete, as well as the surprisingly solid lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Gun.  However, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Cheyenne shows its age with background noise and limited range, so it is the only poorer performer here, even with a Max Steiner score.



To order Cheyenne and Heaven With A Gun, go to this link for those and many more great web-exclusive releases at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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