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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Drama > Action > Native Americans > Womanhood > Japan > Racism > Australia > Filmmaking > Melodram > Geronimo: An American Legend (1993/Sony/Columbia/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Maborosi (1995/Milestone Blu-ray)/The Tracker (2002/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/2 Weeks In Another Town

Geronimo: An American Legend (1993/Sony/Columbia/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Maborosi (1995/Milestone Blu-ray)/The Tracker (2002/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)/2 Weeks In Another Town (1962/MGM/Warner Archive Blu-ray)/Woman Is The Future Of Man (2004)/A Tale Of Cinema (2015/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)



Picture: B/B-/C+/B/B Sound: B/B-/C/B-/B Extras: C+/B/A/C-/B Films: B/B-/C+/B-/C+



PLEASE NOTE: The Geronimo Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Twilight Time and is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last, The Tracker Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment as a Region Free Blu-ray and the 2 Weeks In Another Town is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.



Walter Hill's Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) gets the a great Blu-ray presentation courtesy of the good people at Twilight Time. This is a film that I remember seeing in my youth and it's nice to see it now in this new HD transfer.


Geronimo is epic in scope and features an A list cast which includes Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Wes Studi, Matt Damon (before he was a huge star), Rodney A. Grant, and Kevin Tighe.


The film was written by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Conan) and Larry Gross and is a great look at the famed Apache leader. Geronimo (played here by Last of the Mohicans' Wes Studi) is a badass strategist and is a noble man that even his enemies come to respect. As the Apaches have forcefully agreed to settle on a U.S. Government approved reservation, an uprising begins that shakes the foundation of our country. The film spans decades of the warrior's life and has impeccable production design captured nicely here.


Presented in 1080p high definition with a 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) and English 2.0 (with Pro Logic surrounds) DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless tracks, this is no doubt the best this film has looked as it hasn't been released on Blu-ray before this. The original theatrical sound was 70mm 6-track 5.1 magnetic sound with Dolby SR (Spectral Recording, their most advanced analog system) noise reduction, so this disc offers that at its best yet. The film has a orange tone to it and appears to have been recently color corrected to its advantage. The score is also featured here only a isolated track (as listed below) that adds to the cinematic experience.


Special Features include...


Isolated Music Track with a score by Ry Cooder


Original Theatrical Trailer


and a Collectible Insert Booklet with a great essay by Julie Kirgo



Hirokazu Kore-eda's Maborosi (1995) is finally on Blu-ray after all these years. The slow, quiet, leisurely drama about a a young mother/wife dealing with the return of a repressed pass was the first film of the successful director and we previously reviewed the DVD version in the U.S. of the film at this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/15197/Maborosi+(1995/New+Yorker+DVD


This time, with the name placed the opposite way, Milestone has issued this upgraded Blu-ray edition, but there are some issues we'll get to in a minute. As for the film, it did not stay too much with me (though I did not review it), but I can see why people are still talking about it and still respect it. I just felt it was uneven myself and though I can appreciate the love some people have of the film, it was not as much for me.


So we come to the picture and the issues with it. Though Blu-ray can do 1080p picture quality, this version is somehow a 1080i 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image presentation, so detail can be odd at times and we get fine detail issues. More oddly, the film is one of the few to be totally shot on Fuji 35mm color negative film, rarer now that (unlike out-of-bankruptcy Kodak), they no longer make movie film. Stocks included 50 ASA/ISO film that is used for strong daylight and is hard to expose, but gives you great color, color you can see on the old New Yorker DVD. So why is this new 'supervised' transfer so dark and dulling down the color in odd ways?


Hard to say, but that is not the way the film originally looked in some presentations and if they were going to go this route, having both versions might have been nice. The result is a disservice to the Fuji film, audience and great moments the film previously had visually. At least the new PCM 2.0 Stereo mix is better than the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo version form the old DVD, but only by so much since we get plenty of silent moments throughout.


Extras include a feature length audio commentary track with film scholar Linda Ehrlich, the Birthplace video documentary with star Makiko Esumi.



It's 1922. Four men set off in the in the Australian outback to hunt down a criminal, a native man accused of murdering a white woman. A sheriff, his rookie, a veteran (Grant Page) and his slave/tracker. They face unexpected challenges and dangers, but everything depends on their black tracker (David Gulpilil) and as they journey further into the frontier the greatest danger however... might be their trust in each other in Rolf de Heer's The Tracker (2002).


So those four men set off into the desert tracking an accused criminal, but what is his story? Is he truly a criminal or is he running for freedom? The sheriff will stop at nothing to bring the criminal in, he teaches the rookie that white men must force others to fear and obey them. He torturers other natives and even chains and whips his own tracker to force him to work harder. Eventually, he even abandons the veteran, leaving him for dead saying he only slowed them down. Eventually, the sheriff begins killing natives and the rookie is forced to make a moral choice of siding with either with his boss or the tracker. The tracker has his own secrets and shows out on the frontier it is not the law of white man that rules, but natives have their own rules and forms of justice.


This was simple yet profound movie, it was not about the overall story but more about each of the characters stories. It showed the how white man's laws and justice aren't really justice when they willing to commit more murders to bring another man to justice.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer was shot with anamorphic Lomoscope lenses, but this transfer has softness issues that make this look like an older HD Master with motion blur issues throughout, while the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is quiet, yet on the weaker side, so the presentation disappoints and we believe could play better.


Extras include interviews, outtakes, on locations, premieres at various film festivals and music clip.



Finally we have Vincente Minnelli's somewhat underrated 2 Weeks In Another Town (1962) with Kirk Douglas as an actor who suffers a nervous breakdown and lands up in an institution for a while until he gets an offer from an old friend to help with an Italian Euro production (popular at the time, even if they were plastic, pretentious and over-bloated, depending on the film) to go and film on it for a while. This reunited him with an old flame (Cyd Charisse as a trophy wife), an old filmmaker friend (Edward G. Robinson) and a new love interest (Dahlia Lavi, soon to be popular thanks to the Spy genre) and the results will be wild.


We reviewed this on DVD and even covered the limited edition CD soundtrack, so to have a Blu-ray now is interesting. It looks, sounds and plays better than ever, though with some reservations, yet it deserves rediscovery for how blunt it is about filmmaking. However, with recent scandals that turned out to be very ugly, parts sadly seem like some form of 'the good old days' unfortunately.


As they did with the DVD, Warner has taken this MGM A-list film and issued it on Blu-ray through their Warner Archive series and its great to have the upgrade.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and the MetroColor looks as good as it can, though shot in CinemaScope in its latter years when new scope format were replacing it with better picture quality, clarity and definition.


The sound is sadly a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix for a film that was originally a 4-track magnetic stereo sound with traveling dialogue and sound effects, but MGM trashed stereo masters in one of the worst moves ever and even the older CD has harmonic distortion issues, so the fact that this sounds even this good is impressive.


The only extra is an Original Theatrical Trailer, but it deserves something more down the line. Definitely give this one a look, especially if you are a film fan.



A favorite of Martin Scorsese are the interesting Japanese works of Hong Sangsoo, Woman is the Future of Man (2004) and Tale of Cinema (2005). Both films tell very natural stories of love and the complications that arise along the way. Nothing too stylized or super crazy over the top here, just grounded realism.


In Woman is the Future of Man, two men are in love with the same woman.. kind of like Chasing Amy but not quite as complicated. And A Tale of Cinema intertwines two stories one of a suicidal man who forms a pact with a friend and the other about a Filmmaker who pursues an actress and ends up falling in love with her. (thus his life is the projected reality of his film).


Presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-Ray discs with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and both Korean language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo lossy and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless tracks, both films look fantastic on disc and have been nicely restored as one would expect.


Special Features...


Newly filmed introductions to both films by Asian cinema expert Tony Rayns


Interviews with Kim Sangkyung, Lee Kiwoo and Uhm Jiwon, the stars of Tale of Cinema


Introduction to Woman is the Future of Man by director Martin Scorsese


The Making Woman is the Future of Man, a featurette on the film's production


Interviews with the actors of Woman is the Future of Man


Original trailers


Stills gallery


Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Scott Saslow


and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by Michael Sicinski.



To order the Geronimo: An American Legend limited edition Blu-ray, buy it and other great exclusives while supplies last at these links:


www.screenarchives.com


and


http://www.twilighttimemovies.com/


To order The Tracker Umbrella import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard-to-find releases:


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


...and to order the 2 Weeks In Another Town Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


http://www.wbshop.com/



- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Tracker) and James Lockhart (Geronimo, Woman)

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


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