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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Thriller > Kidnapping > Spy > Espionage > Politics > Overthrow > Execution > Noir > History > Airplane > Argo (2012/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/I Want To Live! (1958/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Sully (2016/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray w/DVD Sets)

Argo (2012/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/I Want To Live! (1958/United Artists/MGM/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Sully (2016/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray + Blu-ray w/DVD Sets)



4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: B/B/B & C+ Sound: B/B-/B & C+ Extras: C+/B/B- Films: B/B-/B



PLEASE NOTE: The I Want To Live! 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 and can be ordered from the links below.



The following three hit films are all based on true stories...



Ben Affleck's Argo (2012) is the Best Picture Academy Award-winner that is rare in its director did not even nominated, but that's the democratic process of the awards and many may not have been able to accept the fine job Affleck does here. This is especially important since he has made the town so much money as a movie star and since this film too was a hit, he's made a commercial comeback as batman and more. What works is Affleck is able to concentrate on the story at hand, had some humor (though the family moments are a little overdone) and tell the story of how a fake movie production before Iran totally fell to Islamic extremists in 1979 saved six U.S. workers posing as Canadians.


The film also tries to build suspense, but since we know what happened, it needed a different approach. Fortunately, the story is a relevant as ever (though things were more hostile in its release as far as Iran was concerned) and it is a true story that needs to be told. Affleck's plays a CIA man (though his casting was slightly controversial due to a) should he take the role as star and b) is he the 'correct' ethnicity) who suggests the film project when most in hos office think it is a bad idea, but we hear their ideas and they are far worse, so he get the greenlight to greenlight a phony film... barely.


This actually includes having to go to Iran and the Middle East, but the fake fantasy/space opera project (the title of this film) from an actual script is set in motion, but will those over there buy it?


Helping the film immensely are great performances by the supporting cast that include John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, Zeljko Ivanek, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Scoot McNairy, Kerry Bishe, Rory Cochran and Michael Parks. It four years since the film was issued and would do as well today if not more so than when it was released. Glad Warner is making it one of their first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray back catalog releases.



Robert Wise's I Want To Live! (1958) is a sort of landmark as one of the first films to ever show the death penalty on the big screen, most appropriate for the end of the original Film Noir era. There is also the innovate Johnny Manzel music score like nothing any film had offered before, another final innovation of the Noir period. However, despite a remarkable performance by Susan Hayward as the 'bad gal' who gets the chair for a crime she was not the only one responsible for and fine supporting performances like that of the late, great Simon Oakland as the reporter trying to cover the case, the film falls into Wise's usual melodramatic dragging along and that I why you may not have heard of it. It is also why MGM has taken this United Artists hit and licensed it to be a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray.


Though this can be trying, it is worth sitting through once just to get out of it what works, but it is worth it and looking better than it has since its original release (give or take any new prints struck since then), this is the ONLY way to see it outside of a good print. A big mistake is that it ceases being a Noir about halfway through, but it holds up just enough to revisit.



Finally we have Clint Eastwood's Sully (2016), one of the best films of the year along with the likes of Snowden, telling the story of how veteran airplane pilot Sully Sullenberger (one of Tom Hanks' best performances to date) only had seconds to decide where to take his airplane that lost both engines to pigeons flying in them. Sully is haunted by this and we see the tale in mixed order, not just using flashbacks, but through one of the few great of narrative economy lately, other scenes so we get an idea of the true, full story.


Aaron Eckhart is good as his co-pilot, Laura Linney (so good in Eastwood's Absolute Power) as Sully's wife, plus the locales work. However, the one error is making the investigators boo hiss bureaucrats determined to blame Sully for EVERYTHING (in part so the insurance company does not have to pay for the lost plane as to imply 'who cares who ides if it costs us money') as a bad throwback to bad 1980s cinema. This part eventually collapses in phony, not so feel good fashion, but otherwise, Sully is a pleasant surprise as Eastwood proves he can out-direct other filmmaker a third of his age!



The 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.35 X 1 Ultra High Definition image on both Argo (shot on various film formats) and Sully (an HD shoot with some purposely sketchy footage) look really good with color, depth, detail and range the 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the regular Blu-ray versions cannot deliver, despite looking good for the format. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image DVD on the second Sully set is passable and included for convenience, but you just miss nice little details in performances and the shoot versus the 1080p and especially 2160p versions.


Finally, the 1080p 1.85 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer on Live is lightyears ahead of any previous footage or transfer I have ever seen of the film, rarely does this print show the age of the materials used or the film itself, Director of Photography Lionel Lindon (the original Manchurian Candidate) ts some great depth and detail here, though it looks les like a Noir in the latter half of the film. His skills make sure the change is not sloppy, abrupt or silly.


As for sound, Sully gets a Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless core) soundmix in both video formats that is not the best-ever such mix we've encountered, nor does it sound like an afterthought to add more tracks after the film hit post-production. Instead, the sound kicks in for the airplane sequences, the film is otherwise dialogue/acting based and yet, there is always subtle articulation of sound throughout. This is fine. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD version is fair, but you loose way too much from the soundmaster.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on both video versions of Argo is also well mixed and presented, including period monophonic sound and other unusual mixing and cuts to go with its sometimes post-modern visuals. It is a seriously good sound mix.


Live offers a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless mix that shows the film's age, but sounds as good as this likely ever will. The original mixdown does cut into the music and it all sounds aged, but the isolated music track shows just ho much better a recording the music was.



Extras include Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy for PC, PC portable and other cyber capable devices for Argo and both sets of Sully, while Argo also adds a feature length audio commentary track by Affleck and writer Chris Terrio, plus three Making Of featurettes including Argo: Absolute Authenticity, Argo: The CIA & The Hollywood Connection and Escape From Iran: The Hollywood Option. Sully adds three Making Of featurettes of its own including Sully Sullenberger: The Man Behind The Miracle, Moment By Moment: Averting Disaster On The Hudson and Neck Deep in The Hudson: Shooting Sully.


Live offers a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while the Blu-ray disc adds an Isolated Music Score (again with remarkable fidelity) featuring some audio commentary in non-music spaces by Robert Wise associate & film scholar Mike Matessino and an Original Theatrical Trailer.



To order the I Want To Live! limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:


www.screenarchives.com


and


http://www.twilighttimemovies.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo


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