Here’s a look at a pair of badass crime-filled crime thrillers available on Home Entertainment.
Coogan’s bluff (Kino Lorber, rated R, 1.85: 1, 94 minutes, $ 29.95) – A pre-‘Dirty Harry’ 1968 collaboration between budding idol Clint Eastwood and director Don Siegel led to a violent crime thriller that now returns to Blu-ray with the largest collection of extras ever offered.
Mr Eastwood played the insubordinate Arizona deputy sheriff Walt Coogan, who is being punished for his behavior by being sent to New York and extraditing killer James Ringerman (a mad Don Stroud).
After being treated like a rube by Big Apple cops and stuck in his mission, he bluffs to take custody of the prisoner. Of course, Ringerman escapes and, rather than returning to disgraced Arizona, Coogan tracks down the killer.
This relentless effort has continued to shape the badass image of Mr. Eastwood with a sense of humor to boot and his performance is complemented by fiery and wise Lee J. Cobb as tired veteran policeman, Lt. McElroy. and Susan Clark as the hypnotized love interest and probation officer, Julie Roth.
However, the head-shaking treatment of female characters, such as a light approach to rape, prostitution, hippie nudity, and Coogan’s assumption that every good-looking woman wants him to tarnish this early example of the genre.
High definition transfer might require a good cleaning with the appearance of dirt spots, lines and light smudges, but the clarity is top notch and the low amount of grain in the film stays true to the film source.
More impressively, however, the colors are vivid throughout (even the fake blood is an orange-red) highlighted by an outdoor screen on a rooftop featuring a vivid blue sky against Coogan’s burgundy suit and yellow coat and hair. red from Roth.
The best extras: Viewers get a pair of new optional solo commentary tracks.
First, director and writer Alex Cox (“Sid and Nancy” and “Repo Man”), a spaghetti western aficionado, offers intermittent insight into the production, exaggerating and dissecting the plot, exploring key players and the team through anecdotes and touching. on the similarities to Siegel’s crime drama “Madigan” and the evolution of the 1960s crime film genre.
Then the writer Alan Spencer – known for the parody of the short-lived crime television series “Sledge Hammer!” – offers more light, conference-style and uninterrupted commentary with a more detailed, anecdotal deconstruction of the film right down to the credits font style, weapon types, acting styles, locations and more on Mr. Eastwood’s career and its tropes.
Viewers also get a pair of worthy features.
Start with a current nearly nine-minute interview with Mr. Stroud (now 70) that focuses on his role in the film as he discusses his work with Mr. Eastwood and Mr. Cobb, navigating the motorcycle chase and the film’s effect on his evolving career.
Next, a vintage, almost entirely black and white, 1970 segment titled âAt Home with Clint Eastwoodâ has the star answering questions in and around her home in Carmel, California. In the slightly strained classic interview, he explains why he’s had a pair of tub scenes with prominent women, his love of animals, and what drives him crazy.
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, R-rated, 2.39: 1, 100 minutes, $ 30.99) – Director Patrick Hughes has assembled the key cast of a 2017 blockbuster to deliver yet another violent action comedy thriller this summer.
Now available in ultra-high definition, the story picks up from the last film as disgraced elite bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) takes advice from a therapist and goes on a relaxing sabbatical to reassess his life.
While on vacation, he is brought back on a rescue operation when Sonia (Selma Hayek), con artist and wife of assassin extraordinary Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson), asks for help in gushing out his love which is being held by the crowd.
However, the trio are embroiled in yet another crisis when captured by Interpol agent Bobby O’Neill (Frank Grillo). They must stop the evil plans of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Papadopoulos (Antonio Banderas) who threatens to hack into Europe’s central data junction by destroying the power grid and the economy.
A huge amount of screaming, F-bombs, and head blood spray greet viewers throughout the Tex Avery-style action as the stars chew the scenery.
The cast are really having too much fun, especially Mr. Reynolds, who often acts like a test dummy, abused and beaten but always comes back for more.
The result is a pretty pointless but stupidly entertaining film that tries too much to laugh but delivers its fair share of high-octane action moments.
The stunning location throughout Italy is stunning in the ultra-high definition format as viewers make quick trips to Capri, Rome, Portofino, and Tuscany as well as a stop in Athens, Greece.
Equally impressive to admire are the obviously expensive action scenes highlighted by a shoulder-wielding rocket-wielding assassin aboard a helicopter firing HE shells at the trio crossing a bridge.
The best extras: Viewers learn how much fun it is to make an action flick via a collection of four featurettes offering roughly 30 minutes on production.
The segments cover the actors and their love for each other, particularly Mr. Reynolds, some of the more difficult hands-on stunts performed, and a brief look at the production design.
What is needed is an optional comment trail with Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Jackson, and Miss Hayek because I know that would be full of nonsense.