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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Thriller > Crime > Politics > French > Mystery > Kidnapping > Australia > The Fugitive 4K (1993/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Le Combat Dans L'ile (1962/aka Fire And Ice/MVD/Radiance Blu-ray)/Mercy Road (2022/Well Go Blu-ray)

The Fugitive 4K (1993/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray)/Le Combat Dans L'ile (1962/aka Fire And Ice/MVD/Radiance Blu-ray)/Mercy Road (2022/Well Go Blu-ray)

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

for the latest action thriller releases, including two notable upgrades...

Andrew Davis' The Fugitive 4K (1993) is back in a new edition that finally gives the film a new upgrade for the Ultra High Definition era. Up until this point, a decent HD transfer has been out there in Blu-ray (and now-defunct HD-DVD form) for a good while. You can read about the film in my coverage of that older releases at this link:


So, how does the film hold up? Surprisingly well, os much so that I wonder if Hollywood can even produce a film this competent today. It is rarer and rarer in this era of hyper-digital garbage and infantilized screenplays (witness the collapse of the superhero genre) and to also get the talent together like they do here and know what to do with it. Everyone involved is at the top of their game, Ford is as good as he ever was and yes, Tommy Lee Jones more than deserved his Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, capturing one of the greatest actors of his generation in full artistic and commercial power all at once. All of them knew what they were up against, the reputation of one of the most phenomenally successful TV shows ever made with one of the most successful conclusions STILL in all of TV history to date. They did it and WOW does it hold up!

The pre-digital visual effects also hold up extraordinarily well and the editing, directing, pacing and timing are as solid and strong as ever. If you have not revisited the film lately now is the time and this is the best way to do it. The image and sound have both been upgraded and you can read more about that below.

Extras add nothing new and repeat the already decent extras from older releases, as listed in the older review link above.

Alain Calvier's Le Combat Dans L'ile (1962, aka Fire And Ice) is another smart, underseen, mature, adult thriller from the director of Fill 'Er Up With Super (also released on Blu-ray recently by radiance, reviewed elsewhere on this site) about a somewhat dysfunctional couple (a stunning Romy Schneider in great form and an on-the-money Jean-Louis Trintignant) who simply seem to be such a young couple, but one day, her helper discovers something hidden in their closet... a bazooka!

Though he lies about what it is at first, he turns out to be an assassin for an underground right-wing political organization targeting certain politicians and other figures, but he is soon betrayed during one of the assassination runs and things get complicated with his wife in tow and the fact that he comes from money makes it all the crazier.

This is all well handled, convincingly built up, well acted and very consistently put together. A thriller very much for smart, mature adults like they rarely make anymore, it asks some important questions as relevant as ever and the world they live in is quite palpable. There is also an interesting chemistry between the leads in a way I did not expect, though I figured there would be something between the two leads at the time. A fine film that somehow got lost int eh shuffle of so many, I am thriller Radiance has brought back yet another Cavalier film and if you are interested, I strongly recommend it.

Extras include a Interview with Alain Cavalier from French television show Cinema page (1962, 5 mins)

  • Faire la mort: A commentary featurette by Cavalier on photos from the Cinematheque francaise (2011, 5 mins)

  • Interview with star Jean-Louis Trintignant from the Belgian television show Cinescope (1983, 7 mins)

  • The Succulence of Fruit: An interview with French critic Philippe Roger who provides an analysis of the film and Cavalier's work (2020, 37 mins)

  • Un americain: Cavalier's first short film about a sculptor who comes to Paris (1958, 17 mins)

  • France 1961: a short film made by Cavalier on the occasion of Zeitgeist's DVD release of the film (2010, 13 mins)

  • Behind-the-scenes photos including images from the archive of Louis Malle

  • an Original Theatrical Trailer

  • and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork.

John Curran's Mercy Road (2022) is the latest 'stuck-in-a' movie, this time, taking place for the vast majority of the film inside a car with the driver (Luke Bracey) tormented by a mysterious figure on his cellphone as he searches for his missing daughter and also has to deal with the mother. Had this been made a decade or so ago, this might have been called 'Phone Booth on wheels' after the late-great Joel Schumacher's thriller, but such thrillers are nothing new, usually cheap to make and most are as predictable as they are forgettable.

The one bonus they have here is the villain is voiced (and he does show up) by the underrated Toby Jones, who you might remember as the tech assistant to the evil Red Skull in the recent Captain America films, though his work (including a great turn as Truman Capote in a recent lesser-seen film as good as the Oscar-winning one) and he knows exactly how to handle his role. It saves this from being a total dud and unfortunately, increases the missed opportunities. However, it is worth a look for the very curious and could have been much worse. At least they were trying, though the child-in-jeopardy aspect bothered me a bit.

A Trailer for this film and a few other Well Go releases are the only extras.

Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Fugitive 4K looks good and has some fine color, detail, depth and a solid look, but it has some limits that come from it not being a brand-new 4K scan. With Dolby Vision 12-bit color, this would have been even more jaw-dropping, but it is still the best I have seen it since I saw it in an exceptional 35mm film print that was one of the best 35mm prints I ever screened. The sound is now here in both an upgraded, lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older systems) and an also-strong DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that are the best mixes the film has ever had from the dialogue to the great music score to the great sound mixing, sound editing and sound effects. Location audio holds up and the Atmos mix opens up the sound, but the DTS mix is a little warmer, richer, thicker and stronger. That gives you two great soundtracks with which to watch the film with and you will land up watching it several times with this gem and that;s not bad for such an early digital theatrical sound film release.

The 1080p 1.66 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer on Combat can show the age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film with beautiful detail, depth and grey scale. Like Fill 'Er Up With Super, Cavalier knew what to do with monochrome and how to shoot it. The original monophonic soundtrack has been remastered here for PCM 2.0 Mono sound and is impressive for its age, so this is pretty much as good as this film will ever sound.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Mercy Road is an HD shoot that is consistent, but is also consistent with some slight blurring, slight detail issues here and there and color that is a little on the dark side and a little off, partly on purpose. However, it is too distracting for such a film in practically one shot and hold sit back for watchability. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix fares better with a solid recording and consistent soundfield, so the combination is good, if not great or very memorable, despite opportunities to do so.

- Nicholas Sheffo


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