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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Relationships > Crime > Counterculture > Drama > Exploring > WWI > WWII > Australia > Documentary > A > Aloha Bobby & Rose (1975/Icarus/Scorpion Blu-ray)/Jungle (2017/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/The Man From Down Under (1943/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches (2016)/Sunday T

Aloha Bobby & Rose (1975/Icarus/Scorpion Blu-ray)/Jungle (2017/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/The Man From Down Under (1943/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches (2016)/Sunday Too Far Away (1976/both Umbrella Region Free PAL Import DVDs)



Picture: B/B-/C/C/C+ Sound: B/B-/C/C+/C+ Extras: C/C/C-/C+/C+ Main Programs: C+/C+/C+/B-/C+



PLEASE NOTE: The Rod Taylor and Sunday Import DVDs, plus Jungle Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia, the DVDs can only play on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players that can handle the PAL DVD, while The Man From Down Under DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.



The following releases deal with drama from worlds so close, yet so far, most of which happen to have an Australian connection...



Paul Le Mat stars in Aloha Bobby and Rose (1975) which lands on disc remastered from Scorpion Releasing. A romantic time capsule piece that's a Bonny and Clyde film of sorts, Aloha puts you in the drivers seat of a '68 Camaro alongside a driver named Bobby (Le Mat) that likes to have fun any way he can.


It's not long until Bobby meets Rose (Diannue Hull) and the two fall in love in 1970s LA. Both of them have dreams of living the city behind and moving to Hawaii to start over fresh. When a prank goes wrong, they soon have to skip town anyway in order to escape the feds that are hot on their trail... but what is Rose going to do about her five year old kid?


While it doesn't mention here whether its a 2K or 4K scan (I'm guessing 2K), the film looks pretty nice and translates well to Blu-ray with few noticeable imperfections. The main selling point of the film is its impressive soundtrack with a collection of several hits from Elton John, Bob Dylan, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Junior Walker & The All-Stars and The Temptations.


Special Features...


Brand New On Camera Interviews with stars Paul LeMat, Robert Carradine, and Director Floyd Mutrux


Trailer



Greg McLean's Jungle (2017) offers Daniel Radcliffe as Yossi Ghinsberg, an Israeli who decides to go to the deepest reaches of the Amazon and find out what is there and maybe to see things no other man has seen before. Based on real events, this film was often believable and plausible, though some digital effects and humor take away from some of the credibility of the proceedings, but all are trying to make this work.


However, it did not stay with me, compares not so well to the likes of The Revenant for outdoor takes of harrowing survival and the results are mixed. Only recommended for the very curious and interested.


Cast/Crew Interviews, two Making Of featurettes and an Original theatrical Trailer are the extras.



Robert Z. Leonard's The Man From Down Under (1943) has Charles Laughton as Jocko Wilson, a man in unusual situations between the two World Wars that can be humorous, but from helping orphans escape and taking care of them, to getting involved in boxing!


Needless to say Laughton is convincing as the title character and carries a film that includes Binnie Barnes, Donna Reed, Richard Carlson and a gritty cast that has its moments. It is not the most well-cohered film or script, yet I cannot honestly say it is a separate series of vignettes that seem too loose and unattached and episodic. MGM apparently thought Laughton's star power could cover up the gaps, but that's just not enough. Now you can see for yourself as Warner Archive has now issued this quasi-curiosity on DVD.


An Original Theatrical Trailer is the only extra.



Robert De Young's Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches (2016) is a recent documentary about how the Australian actor became a big Hollywood star in the post-WWII years with hits like The Time Machine, Young Cassidy, Hotel, The Train Robbers, Sunday In New York, Hitchcock's The Birds and (though it is hardly given any time here) Antonioni's controversial Zabriskie Point. This also extended to cartoon voices (101 Dalmatians) and more feature film and TV work. It is an amazing career, longer and more successful than many remember.


His co-stars, Aussies who were there and newer stars like Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe are the interviewees rightly talking about his talent, charisma and groundbreaking work. This is a long-overdue retrospective (completed before his unfortunate passing) and is a solid 100 minutes very much worth your time.


Extras include a new Taylor/Tippi Hendren interview and Burbank International Film Festival Q&A from 9/10/2017.



Ken Hannam's Sunday Too Far Away (1976) is a serious, gritty film that helped launch the career of a fellow Australian actor as important as Taylor, but one who never crossed over to Hollywood: Jack Thompson. Here, he is part of a group of sheep shearers trying to make a living circa 1956 fighting to keep his job and get as much money as he can just to survive. The film has no problem showing blood, violence and the filth you'd expect from a realistic film as this honest one is.


Some films can wallow in such affairs, but this one quits at 86 minutes while it is ahead and you can see why it helped make Thompson a star and add to his credibility as one of the Australian cinemas most important stars and actors. Cheers to the rest of the cast and the makers who recreate the period very convincingly.


Extras include an archival 1975 Making Of film, Original World Premiere Programme from 1975 and Photo Gallery with rare images.



Aloha is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless track, this new version of the film is newly color corrected and features a brand new HD scan.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the HD-shot Jungle has obvious CGI digital effects and a little more motion blur than a modern production ought to have, so expect that issue as you watch. It plays fine otherwise. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless sound mix does not have the most consistent soundfield, but is good otherwise.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Taylor documentary mixes its new HD-shot footage well with archival footage, movie clips and trailers, resulting in a very watchable combination and a consistent, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track (though old clips are usually mono), while the anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Sunday is from a 35mm restoration of the film that has paid off with fine color, detail and depth making one want to see a Blu-ray or 35mm print. The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also as cleaned up and restored as possible and that work plays off.


Finally, the 1.33 X 1 black & white image transfer on Man can show the age of the materials used, looking rough at times and could look better, but it has some good spots. It also offers lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono that is down a few generations, so be careful of high volume playback and volume switching.



To order either of the Umbrella import Blu-ray or DVDs, go to this link for them or other hard to find titles at:


http://www.umbrellaent.com.au/


...and to order The Man From Down Under Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo & James Lockhart (Aloha)

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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