- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: VC-1
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Monaural DTS-HD Msster Audio
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
- Region: A
- Rating: R
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 2, 2010
- List Price: $19.99
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Highlander is pure 1980’s cheese that somehow even Connery, Sean Connery got roped into participating in. Complete with a soundtrack by Queen reminiscent of another cheesy 80’s flick’s soundtrack, Flash Gordon, Highlander’s true joy is in its so awful it’s funny dialogue (“You a faggot Nash?” “Why, Garfield, you cruisin’ for a piece of ass?”) — ditto the acting by the lead, Christopher Lambert.
At the heart of the story is a centuries old battle amongst immortals that cannot die but at the decapitating blade of another immortal. Drawn to each other to do battle, they fight because “there can be only one.” The “Highlander” is one Connor MacLeod (Lambert), cast out by his clan in Scotland centuries ago after he escaped death on the battlefield at the hands of the enemy, MacLeod’s story picks up in contemporary New York City where he is now living as an antiques dealer. Flashbacks tell his tale, of how he was trained by another immortal, (Connery), to defend himself against the most powerful immortal of all, The Kurgan (Clancy Brown).
Now MacLeod is caught up in a murder investigation, the Kurgan is still after his head, and only one woman knows his secret, Brenda Wyatt (Roxanne Hart), a forensics investigator for the NYPD. MacLeod must keep his secret from being revealed while awaiting a showdown with the Kurgan.
This 1980’s film looks relatively clean given its age, but the grainy and inconsistent quality of the image won’t win many converts to this 1.85:1 VC-1 transfer. The fill does show many moments of strong, detail, however, but it’s hampered by too many moments f softness and jumps in grain. There is also some red push evident in flesh tones.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix brings the sound of this 80’s action flick to life nicely. The surrounds are pretty active throughout the film and dialogue is relatively clean. There is some evidence of clipping in the louder sound effects, but overall the mix is engaging and entertaining.
Supplements are thin on this release consisting simply of some deleted scenes and the obligatory director’s audio commentary:
- Deleted Scenes (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 0:06.14) — Played continuously against a musical score, these are some deleted and extended scenes without sound that have been out together for this release.
- Audio Commentary with Director Russell Mulcahy
The Definitive Word
Here is a film that has a strong following, but is certainly no Oscar contender. For fans of this 80’s “classic,” this Blu-Ray release will probably be satisfying, but no reference piece. For everyone else, I recommend renting this first if you’re curious.
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