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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Crime > Prison > The South > Melodrama > Relationships > French > Family > Suicide > Mental Health > Cool Hand Luke 4K (1967/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Martin Roumagnac (1946/Icarus DVD)/The Son (2022/Sony Blu-ray)

Cool Hand Luke 4K (1967/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Martin Roumagnac (1946/Icarus DVD)/The Son (2022/Sony Blu-ray)

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

Here are some new drama releases, including an upgrade to a classic, an underrated French film not enough people have seen and a new film that could have caught on better...

Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke 4K (1967) is a welcome Ultra High Definition reissue celebrating the first century of Warner Bros. movie studio, but it is one of their great gems that is not always discussed, but is constantly finding new fans. One of Paul Newman's greatest performances and big screen triumphs, we previously reviewed it on Blu-ray at this link:


Playing a down on his luck and life man who gets arrested and put into a jail with a sadistic warden and a few fellow prisoners not playing with a full deck, the film only gets better with age and it just gets better and better with time. The film hardly ever hits a false note and is so ahead of most such dramas now, its not even a joke. Though Rosenberg did not have the career he deserved, he was a great journeyman filmmaker and this backs that up. Serious film fans need to get this one!

Extras are the same form the older Blu-ray.

Pierre Very's Martin Roumagnac (1946) is a curio simply because it is a rare Marlene Dietrich film made in France where she specks nothing but French. If you did not know she was the all-time worldwide cinematic icon she is, you would think she was a French actress no one ever heard of, then ask why not?

Here, she is a shopgirl who has a dark past, but the title character (the also-legendary Jean Gabin) is a building contractor who falls in love with her and goes for her. Unfortunately for him, she is a serial dater trying to date as many men as possible. She also has a politician on the side who says they'll marry when his wife dies. Of course, you know this is not going to work out well for a few people at least and the script handles it very well.

With a nice shoot, solid directing and fine acting all around, it is a little gem and more that works very well and deserves to be rediscovered. Glad it was saved!

Trailers for three other foreign films from Icarus are the only extras.

Finally, we have Florian Zeller's The Son (2022) with Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern as divorced parents whose son (Zen McGrath) is having problems, but she is not able to handle him alone and he is too busy with his job, new wife and baby. The result, the son is having major emotional issues and is potentially suicidal. Not a sequel to Zeller's The Father (reviewed elsewhere on this site) but maybe thematically connected, Anthony Hopkins does show up, but in a very different role.

It is as ambitious, but some moments do not work as well as others, even though the cast is terrific. However, it goes back and forth at times, covers some things we have never seen before, but it was the ending I really did not buy and that is why I think the film was not as successful critically or commercially. Still, it is worth a look and handles a serious subject well enough.

Extras include a Making Of featurette: Bringing The Son To The Screen and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 2.35 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Luke is a solid improvement over the old, yet decent, 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image on the Blu-ray. Though some optical printing and slight flaws in parts of the film are more apparent on the 4K version, the depth, detail and color are all improved and this is the closest to the 35mm version I saw years ago of the film. It looks more realistic and raw here, making it more affecting as you watch, making this the most effective way to see it outside of a high quality film print. Originally issued in three-strip Technicolor, you can get a better idea of that watching this.

The sound on the 4K disc is a great DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix that is a big improvement over the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono from the old Blu-ray, which remains the sound on the included Blu-ray, which is exactly the old Blu-ray pressing. Save if you can get the original Lalo Schifrin score in stereo, the DTS is the best you will ever hear the film.

The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Son is a solid HD shoot with good color, depth and detail, but is on the dark side in the indoor shots (likely on purpose) and has nicer outdoor shots. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is dialogue-based and only offers so much, but the film can be on the quiet side due to its serious subject matter.

The 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer on Martin can show the age of the materials used, but this new 4K scan is fine, even in this older, standard definition format. The all-French, lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound is a little rough from the original source, so even a lossless version would reveal the same flaws. Just be careful of volume switching and high playback volumes.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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