Monday, August 30, 2010
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
To wrap our Battletruck week I thought I'd say a few words about Shout Factory's release of the movie.
To begin with there's the commentary track moderated by Jonathan Rigby. This was well researched and prompted a good banter with informative and entertaining questions and answers from the films director Harley Cokeliss and Rigby.
An issue that I was glad to see discussed was the often wrote perception that Battletruck was a wannabe Road Warrior knock-off. Cokeliss's movie had been gestating since about 1975 and during his role as a second unit director on The Empire Strikes Back the financing for Battletruck came together (which in itself is an interesting Roger Corman moment on the commentary). Battletruck and Mad Max 2 were in production within months of each other so much so that Cokeliss even states that they tried to get crew members that had already been committed to George Miller's Mad Max sequel. The director even mentions meeting Miller after the films were released and comparing notes over drinks.
There is also a story about a canceled BBC airing of the movie in the late eighties as a knee-jerk reaction to gun violence in the UK after a then recent shooting incident. The context in which it is discussed in commentary explores a matter of censorship and illustrates Cokeliss's class and intelligence especially when the letter which he wrote to the Guardian newspaper about the matter is read in its entirety by Rigby.
Other insightful parts of the commentary include explanations of shot set-ups and cinematographer Chris Menges applying the principal of a three act structure to each individual shot...great stuff if you're into the art of story telling.
As for the image quality I actually thought it was very good. I'm not sure but I believe the source used for this disc is from an open matte print. I watched it using the zoom option on a 16x9 tv and the compositions did not look at all compromised. Furthermore the disc is a double bill with Deathsport also with bonus features. This was a great disc from Shout Factory.