(1968/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Flareup
(1969/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)
B/C+ Sound: B-/C Extras: B/C- Films: B-/C+
limited edition Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at
Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered
while supplies last, while Flareup
is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive
series. All can be ordered from the links below.
(1960), thrillers and filmmaking were changed forever and as more
innovations hit filmmaking during the decade, innovations culminated
in groundbreaking work in all genres, including non-Horror thrillers.
The following two films show the different directions A-level movies
from major studios in Hollywood chose.
(1968) shows the side where things became more and more serious and
tried for realism, sometimes grim in ways no one had ever seen
before. We previously reviewed the film on DVD at this link:
Fox has allowed Twilight Time to issue a Limited Edition Blu-ray,
possibly because the film I still
controversial, in part because the homosexual content was considered
shocking and groundbreaking at the time. Yet, Gay Civil Rights hit
months after the film did decent box office and some elements in it
were already considered old hat and stereotypical (I can hear Lily
Tomlin say 'now they were killers' in the way Hollywood showed gay
men too often until Friedkin's Cruising
in 1980), though we get some good portrayals here. Needless to say
gay men did not make this film and it shows.
of that, it is more than just a mere police procedural, but a mystery
that seems to take us somewhere that we don't know what to expect
next and sex is only part of it. The conclusion is a bit much and
goes on too long, but the sheer ambition of this remains impressive
no matter how it ends and I wish more films, especially in its genre,
would be this bold. Sinatra was trying to push beyond Lady
succeeding well enough. No matter it limits, The
is worth your time, but be expecting R-rated themes.
versus the DVD doubles the Original Theatrical Trailers for the film
from 1 to 2, then adds another illustrated booklet on the film
including informative text and yet another smart Julie Kirgo essay,
while the Blu-ray adds an amusing, informed, feature
length audio commentary track by film scholars Nick Redman, David Del
Valle & Lem Dobbs and a lossless Isolated Music Score
presentation of another great score by Jerry Goldsmith.
You can read more about the Tony
double feature Twilight Time has since released at this link...
(1969) might seem like a silly film at first, but this thriller with
the all-time cinematic sex bomb Raquel Welch as a go-go dancer who is
stalked by a killer after she witnesses him committing a murder is
more interesting, suspenseful and unintentionally funny than you
might expect. Welch had been in Sinatra's Lady
and her choice to try thrillers and hist films was a very smart move,
taking risks sometimes that worked (The
Last Of Sheila)
and some that did not (like Myra
but she understood her star power and runs with it here.
is appealing without trying and though her acting deserves some
criticism, how would a woman of her socio-economic class and means,
how much different would she act? Luke Askew is very good as the
killer trying to get her and James Stacy shows up as a love interest.
There are also many beautiful women in the film (like the woman in
the title sequence that shows up dancing to a variant of the title
song later), but that Raquel can still stand out with all that
competition is amazing. I also liked the way it dealt with issues of
the day (a gay woman hits on her after a dancing performance and the
way she lets her down is not a put down, but very smart and classy,
which is why Raquel fans love Raquel) and it is in that spirit the
film's script tries its best to be realistic.
course, this still cannot stop from being campy, unintentionally
hilarious at times and has a climax that is a howler, but so much
here works and is interesting, it remains one of my favorite Welch
films and one that deserves better than it gets. See it!
Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.
1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Detective
has much to live up to as the older DVD we covered looked good and
this transfer improves in almost every way: color, definition, depth,
warmth and consistency. However, some
shots have a flat Video Black to them and in more than a few scenes,
the shots are so dark that background details are gone. Strange, but
that's what we get and it is a bit of an issue for an otherwise fine
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Flareup
is at least as colorful as it is not as darkly themed a thriller, but
like the Deluxe Color on Detective,
the MetroColor here has some limits. The print used is in decent
shape and makes one wish for a Blu-ray.
DVD offered a lossy Dolby Digital 4.0 mix, but the new DVD is a more
outright improvement with a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0
Stereo mix and flatter DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless
mix. Going from 4 to 2 tracks may seem like a step backwards, but
the stereo tracks just seem warmer, richer and better overall.
lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Flareup
is unfortunately weaker than I would have liked, so you should be
careful of high volume playback and volume switching.
limited edition Blu-ray among other great exclusives (now including
double feature) while supplies last at these links:
to order the Flareup
Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for it and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: