Savage: The Man Of Bronze
(1975/Warner Archive DVD)/The
Double Man (1967/Warner
Archive DVD)/Luther 3
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C-/D/C- Main Programs: C+
DVDs are only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
are some new action thriller drama releases for you to consider...
Anderson's Doc Savage: The Man Of
Bronze (1975) is the
first and to this posting, only adaptation of the Kenneth Robeson
(aka Lester Dent) action pulp novel series in live action and we have
never had an animated version. Then-recent TV Tarzan
Ron Ely was cast in the title role and fantasy producer (and
sometimes director) George Pal would produce. Warner put up the
budget, the production design and sets would be extensive, it would
be set in its past period and hopes were high this would be a series.
it was a dud (which may have shocked some) gong for some camp, though
the ad campaign made it seem more like a 1960s Batman episode
than it actually was. Its influence would eventually show up in the
Superman films, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and The Adventures
Of Buckaroo Banzai, but so few people have seen it since and it
it did not even become a cult item of any sort. Fans have bought up
this on-line only edition, but even with its attention to detail,
having all of his friends The Amazing Five well cast and written up
in the script, the film is still uneven to this day.
is uncanny how much Ely looks like the character and at this point,
when so few people who did bodybuilding were seen on a normal basis,
his body may have seem more exaggerated than we would see it as
today. However, it was exactly as the character had been often
illustrated to be. With a planned remake expected sometime soon, it
would be a great time to see it now on its own before that happens,
but will the remake be able to capture when Pal, Anderson and company
did pull off here? We'll see.
was due to reunite with Pal on Logan's Run, but when MGM
finally made the film, Anderson did it with a different producer,
this became Pal's last big production sadly and when it was released
in 1976 (see the Blu-ray review elsewhere on this site), it was the
hit even thought Savage would be.
Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extras, but we thought it
would be fun to add that the then on-the-rise Mego Toy company had
signed a license to do action figures build around the movie, but
this all fell through as the film bombed and Mego either cancelled
when they saw it or because they did not. No prototypes have been
found yet, but an 8 or 9-inch action figure line was planned and
hardly any paperwork can be found on this. However, Doc has a car
and Mego decided to still manufacture it, but it became a car for
their Sonny & Cher line!
J. Schaffner's The Double Man (1967) has Yul Brynner as a top
government agent going to the Alps to find out if his son's death was
an accident or some kind of assassination. We know in advance that
he is being set up, but not for what as a vengeful head soldier
(Ronald Radd of Callan) confers with a fellow soldier (Anton
Diffring) who is in on the plot. The film wants to be like a Bond
film (soon to be outdone by On Her Majesty's Secret Service
(reviewed elsewhere on this site) two years later) yet also a more
serious Cole War thriller. By splitting the difference down the
middle, it is a mixed success.
the locales are nice, the fight scenes not bad, writing not bad and
cast a big plus also including Clive Revill, Britt Ekland, Moira
Lister and Lloyd Nolan, plus the film began Director Schaffner on a
roll that included Planet Of The Apes, Patton and The
Boys From Brazil. There are enough good moments in the 105
minutes that anyone serious about action films should see this one at
least once. I was happy to revisit it.
are no extras, unfortunately.
we have the more serious BBC crime drama Luther 3 (2013) the
Idris Elba hit that I though was not bad to begin with and many have
raved about. We get four episodes this time out and as I felt from
the last season, the TV grind was starting to catch up with the show
and this time out, it has pushed it into a police procedural corner
that even the leads solid talents cannot get it out of.
teleplays are still smart, but I was hoping for some kind of
breakthrough and we don't get that here. Now, I just wonder if the
show will just work itself into rendering itself boring. Having his
own fellow officers in conflict with him does not always work either.
Now you can see for yourself, but I would recommend you start at the
only extra is a Making Of featurette, but you can read about the
previous seasons starting with the second and working back from this
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Savage and Double
were originally issued In dye-transfer, three-strip 35mm Technicolor
prints in the U.K., but only Double got the treatment in the
U.S. since the format had been discontinued in The States by 1974.
You can see the good color in both transfers more than a few times as
lensed by the films respective (and respectable) Directors of
Photography (Fred J. Koenekamp (Patton, Billy Jack, the
original Amityville Horror) on Savage and Denys J. Coop
(Billy Liar, Asylum, Vault Of Horror) on Double.
Both DVD have detail issues and minor print flaws, but both do also
eventually deserve Blu-ray releases and with Savage selling so
well and about to be remade, it might just get one.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Luther is a new HD shoot
and has its share of styling down issues and some motion blur, but
can compete with the feature films.
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Savage and Double and
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Luther are also evenly matched,
though I wish the films we in stereo and the TV show in 5.1.
order the Savage
DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive