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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Melodrama > Adventure > Large Frame Format > Germany > Relationships > Stage > French > Comedy > Sur > Dark River (2017/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/Flying Clipper (1962 aka Mediterranean Holiday/Flicker Alley 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Melo (1986/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976/Fox/

Dark River (2017/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/Flying Clipper (1962 aka Mediterranean Holiday/Flicker Alley 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Melo (1986/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Walkabout (1971/Umbrella Region Free Import Blu-ray)



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



PLEASE NOTE: The Walkabout import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment in Australia and can play on all Blu-ray players, while Next Stop, Greenwich Village is only available from our friends at Twilight Time, is limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last. Both can be ordered from the links below.



Up next are some of the more formidable and challenging releases we have received lately...



Dark River (2017) is a superbly made film by Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant), but a little drab story-wise, that follows Alice (played by Ruth Wilson) who returns to her family farm after being gone for 15 years. Stepping back into her dark past, she confronts memories of her shifty father (Sean Bean) and goes head to head with her brother (Mark Stanley), in an effort to reclaim the family farm that she feels is hers.


The film also stars Shane Attwool, Esme Creed-Miles, and Steve Garti.


Presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and lossy tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, the film looks and sounds pretty solid for the format. A lossless audio track would have been better, but the overall desaturated tones to the film makes it feel a bit more dismal and realistic than it would normally if it were brighter tones.


The only extra is a HD Trailer.


Dark River is a bit slow, but has some great acting and overall production design that makes it worth checking out.



Hermann Leitner & Rudolph Nussgruber's Flying Clipper (1962 aka Mediterranean Holiday) is a really fun, impressive piece of filmmaking, the first German film made in the 70mm format (65mm negative) and with six cameras built to make it, the great MCS 70 cameras (one of which was reportedly used on Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)) that turned out to be lighter weight and maybe a bit more stable than great 70mm cameras from Todd-AO and Panavision (Super Panavision 70) so to have it in a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray set from Flicker Alley is something to celebrate.


It was inspired by the only film the Cinemiracle company ever made, Cinerama's brief rival, with the also-amazing Windjammer (1958) that we reviewed twice. That includes the great recent upgrade Blu-ray edition you can read more about here...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/15179/Birth+Of+A+Nation+(1915/Brownlow+restoration/


Windjammer was sadly not a big enough hit to allow Cinemiracle to continue as a format and company (Cinerama bought them out when it was all over) but was a hit in Germany, inspiring the makers of this film to want to repeat the story of young sailors traveling to different locales around a big geographical area on a big ship. It was even initially entitled 'Windjammer 2' before Cinerama objected legally and otherwise. They continued under other titles and the result was the final film we have here, a large frame filmmaking gem at least as good as the film that inspired it and just as scenic and fun.


I'll save the locales as a surprise for you, but add that they shoot extensive footage of the Grand Prix in Monaco a few years before John Frankenheimer makes his film Grand Prix (1966, reviewed on Blu-ray elsewhere on this site) there and the footage is as amazing. The makers have a great instinct on what to film (including five cinematographers), what to show and this should be watched back-to-back with the Frankenheimer film and/or Windjammer. It is a true achievement in pure cinema, a real experience without being just a mere travelogue.


One side note. The film looks so good, that more than a few sources have said that the film was in the ultra-widescreen anamorphic 65mm format Ultra Panavision 70, but that is an error. No squeeze lenses were used in tis production and Panavision did not participate in the pr9oductionin any way. Thus, that leaves only 10 films ever shot in Ultra Panavision 70, the last being Tarantino's recent Hateful Eight.


The 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.20 X 1 Ultra High Definition image is a fine transfer with the camera materials used (mostly 65mm negative) somehow holding up and in remarkable condition. I was hoping maybe they used Agfa color film, but the company apparently was not making 65mm negative at the time, so it is shot on Eastman Kodak 65mm color negative. I like this transfer very much, though faces and fleshtones can be a little more reddish than I would have liked. As well, there is even more image information to be gained from the film materials sometimes down the line, so maybe we'll see some Dolby Vision and HDR10+ when they start thinking 8K on this one.


The 1080p 2.20 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is fine for the format with the same reddishness, but not always as much color range, detail and depth, but it is about as good as it can get in the now-older format.


Both disc versions offer a new Dolby Atmos 11.1 (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) mix, but some purists might object to the makers going out and recording new sounds for it, albeit they were recording certain vintage items as they did or may have sounded at the time. I have no objections to that too much, but the fact that the original sound mix as it would have been on a 70mm film print (6-track magnetic sound with traveling dialogue and sound effects) is not here in a lossless version (we get DTS-HD HR (High Resolution) versions versus DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless mixes) will frustrate some. Otherwise, the sound is about as good as it can get.


Extras include a Program Booklet/facsimile representation of the original program booklet, white the discs add an Interview with Herbert Born - 70mm expert Herbert Born explains the process that went into restoring Flying Clipper for UHD Blu-ray, an Interview with Marcus Vetter - A film projectionist guides us through the process of screening 70mm film, an Interview with Christoph Engelke - Detailing the audio restoration for Flying Clipper and how the new Dolby Atmos version was crafted, a Restoration Comparison - Side-by-side comparison showcasing the work that went into restoring the film and a Trailer Gallery - Additional 4K Busch Media Group trailers.



The French romantic drama, Melo (1986) that is directed by Alain Resnais, and adapted from Henri Bernstein's classic play about a doomed (and complicated) love triangle set in 1920s Paris. The film gets the deluxe treatment here under Arrow Academy, a branch of Arrow films that celebrates highly respectable cinematic works.


In Melo, two concert violinists, one named Pierre (Pierre Arditi) and the other named Marcel (Andre Dussollier), not only share a profession, but have been friends since they were kids. Their lives and careers taking different paths, they end up having a dinner and reuniting after years of being apart. However, Pierre's wife Romane (Sabine Azema) ends up having an affair with Marcel, and things take a tragic turn...


The film is presented in 1080p and a 2K restoration by Arrow films that's quiet clean and lovingly restored here. Presented in a 1:77:1 widescreen aspect ratio and paired with an original PCM 2.0 Stereo French soundtrack (and optional English subtitles), everything looks fine here, considering the film was primarily shot on stages.


Special Features include...

Newly-filmed introduction by critic Jonathan Romney

Archive interview with director Alain Resnais

Archive interview with producer Marin Karmitz

Archive interviews with actors Pierre Arditi and Andre Dussolier

Archive interview with script supervisor Sylvette Baudrot

Archive interview with set designer Jacques Saulnier

Theatrical Trailer

Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork

and FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Bilge Ebiri.


While a bit slow and dialogue driven, Melo is an interesting film that fans of French cinema should check out.



Paul Mazursky's Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) is a very biographical film about the director under the name Larry (Lenny Baker) who leaves his home to move to the title locale despite the manipulative objections/guilt trips of his mother (Shelley Winters) circa 1953. From there, he is trying to become an actor, meet new people while staying in touch with old ones and hoping for the best. One relationship gets serious when the gal (Eileen Greene) gets pregnant and is not certain she wants to have the baby long before abortion was legal.


Antonio Fargas plays a gay man, Christopher Walken a group friend, Jeff Goldblum an actor who thinks he is on his way and insists on it, Lois Smith as a troubled friend and a cameo by Bill Murray that turns out to be his feature film debut. The film captures the period, shows much talent of the time on the rise, has some other veteran actors you've seen before, even if you cannot name them and looks good.


This all turns bad when the Greene character might be having an affair with Walken's and Baker finds out about it. What follows is a sudden, out-of-nowhere moment of physical abuse against a woman that is shocking, was awful then, is worse now and is handled in such a casual way that it displays pure ignorance and is then ignored as the film goes on as a comedy like nothing

happened. The film never resolves it, it is not 'realistic' as it might like to think and on the audio commentary track when the scene arrives, Mazursky just lets it play without comment demonstrating he still does not understands the problem with it decades after shooting it.


If you can somehow ignore this section, you'll like the film more than this writer, but to accept it as ever normal or how anything should be is not political correctness but refusing to sanction an abuser. Thus, it may ultimately be the reason why Fox though it best this be a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray. He is a filmmaker of note from the time, if forgotten (scenes like that explain why a bit) and it should be in print uncut no matter what. Too bad it is never dealt with.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used a little, but this looks good despite being processed by MovieLab. Color is very good and consistent and the print has no visible damage. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix shows the film's age, but most everything can be heard, especially dialogue and new music by Bill Conti.


Extras include 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 disc adds a previously recorded feature length audio commentary track by Mazursky and actress/co-star Ellen Greene, Isolated Music Score and Original Theatrical Trailer.



Finally, we have another Blu-ray edition of Nicolas Roeg's classic film Walkabout (1971) in a new import Region Free version from Umbrella. As noted in previous reviews, the film is a gorgeous cinematic adventure set in the Australian outback. The story is a depressing view on modern day times and how different it can be from one side of the world to the next. Interestingly photographed and directed, this is a film that many cinephiles have praised over the year and is definitely worth checking out.


A geologist (John Meillon) takes his teen daughter (Jenny Agutter) and his young son (Lucien John) into the outback to kill them. Having a change of heart before he pulls the trigger, he commits suicide instead, leaving the two children to grow up in the wild by themselves and learn to eat off the land. Thanks to an Aborigine boy (David Gulpilil), the two learn what it takes to survive in the wild, in a beautiful and vast uncivilized world that's both new and frightening.


The film is presented in 1080p high definition with a 1.77:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono mix, both of bring a solid presentation on disc. The film is chock full of beautiful locations that are shot magnificently. Some things could be a little bit sharper, but overall the presentation is fine considering the age of the film.


No extras on this release, or even a menu for that matter, which is why it is less expensive than the Criterion Blu-ray with pretty much the same transfer. You now have a choice of this basic edition or the Criterion, which we reviewed at this link...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/9916/Walkabout+(1971/Criterion+Collection+Blu-ray)



To order the Next Stop, Greenwich Village limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these links:


www.screenarchives.com


and


http://www.twilighttimemovies.com/



To order the Walkabout import Blu-ray, go to this link for it and other hard to find titles at:


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



- Nicholas Sheffo (Clipper, Village) and James Lockhart

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


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