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Monday, June 24, 2024

Green Ice (Imprint Collection #295) (Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements


An American engineer drifting through Mexico meets a mysterious woman and runs afoul of her crooked emerald smuggler fiancé.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

In the 1981 adventure film Green Ice, based on a novel by Gerald A. Browne, Ryan O’Neal stars as American engineer Joe Wiley who finds himself meandering through Mexico where he meets the high-class woman Liliana Holbrook (Anne Archer) and after some witty banter the two hit it off. Liliana puts Joe up in a swanky hotel room where he finds a cache of emeralds and takes a call from a stranger looking to buy the gems. He goes to the meet at a secluded beach and ends up being shot at, making a getaway by diving into the water where Liliana of all people rescues him in a speedboat, and they make a getaway. Later, he learns that Liliana is engaged to a man named Meno Argenti (Omar Sharif) who controls the emerald syndicate in Colombia. Liliana’s sister was killed in Colombia, and she believes Argenti can help her find the killers. So, the two go to Colombia where Argenti pays them a visit and gives Wiley a tour of his high-tech, highly secure emerald operation and safe, with the implication that Wiley being an engineer may be able to improve his security even more. But Wiley has other plans – and so does Liliana. The two of them conspire with left-wing freedom fighters in Colombia looking to bring down the syndicates in order to avenge Liliana’s sister’s death and do a heist of Argenti’s emeralds, which would destroy him.

Green Ice was released in the UK a month before Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in the US, which should dispel anyone from believing it was another of the many awful copycat films that followed in Indy’s wake. While Green Ice does have some similarities to Indiana Jones, mostly that of a man and woman thrown together on a dangerous adventure involving some sort of treasure, that is where the similarities end – mostly. This is a campy film, which is another similarity, but it is camp that feels like it is unintended. Sharif, for instance, gives an earnest performance as a villain that ends up feeling very out of place against the often-comedic story, almost farcical story.

The film has some good action set pieces, Ryan O’Neal and Anne Archer work well together, but ultimately a sloppily put together screenplay has it feeling like a Saturday night made-for-tv movie for a slow weekend, one that you throw on late at night to fall asleep to.

Purchase Green Ice (1981) – Imprint Collection #295 Blu-ray on Amazon.com

  • Omar Sharif in Green Ice (1981)
  • Ryan O'Neal in Green Ice (1981)
  • Ryan O'Neal in Green Ice (1981)
  • Ryan O'Neal and Anne Archer in Green Ice (1981)
  • Ryan O'Neal in Green Ice (1981)
  • Anne Archer in Green Ice (1981)
  • Green Ice (1981) – Imprint Collection #295

The Video

Green Ice is from a new 2024 2K scan of the original 35mm camera negative by Imprint Films presented in a 1.78:1 AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray. This new scan and transfer from Imprint do present good detail and natural color, with the film’s central MacGuffin, the emeralds, looking verdant and sparkly, but there is also a lot of source damage still left in place, like scratches and some sparkle. This leaves it looking a bit too gritty overall, especially with the grain being a bit coarse, but at least the grain is left relatively untouched and mostly natural, and flesh tones are spot on.

The Audio

We get a LPCM 2.0 stereo track that is wide in its stereo imaging and dynamic. The musical soundtrack with the score from The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman has good punch and instrumental separation, but the high frequencies are just a little edgy. Sound effects come through cleanly.

The Supplements

Imprint packages this with their usual gorgeous artwork on the slipcover and insert, plus there is the extended cut from an SD source upscaled to 1080p with a new audio commentary included.

Bonus Features:

  • Extended cut of the film, upscaled to high-definition
  • Audio Commentary by author David J. Moore on the extended cut (2024) NEW 
  • Gravity Artist: Stunt Coordinator Vic Armstrong on ‘Green Ice’ (2024) (1080p; 00:16:28) NEW 
  • Isolated Music and Effects Track featuring score by Bill Wyman
  • Textless titles featuring Maurice Binder designed sequences (720p; 00:04:45)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p; 00:02:50)
  • Limited edition slipcase with unique artwork

The Final Assessment

Imprint have resurfaced somewhat of a forgotten film with this one with a new 2K scan that has it looking much better than it probably deserves, with gorgeous packaging, some fine performances, and even an extended edition of the film. While Green Ice is hardly a great film, Imprint is still to be commended for bringing even the B-movies like one to Blu-ray with such care.

Green Ice is out on Blu-ray in Australia April 10, 2024, from Imprint Films

Purchase Green Ice (1981) – Imprint Collection #295 Blu-ray on Amazon.com

  • Rating Certificate: Australia: M
  • Studios & Distributors: Lord Grade | Jack Wiener Production | Incorporated Television Company (ITC) | Pimlico Films | Universal Pictures | Imprint Films
  • Director: Ernest Day
  • Written By: Edward Anhalt | Ray Hassett | Anthony Simmons
  • Run Time: 112 Mins.
  • Street Date: 10 April 2024
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English LPCM 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English HOH

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An American engineer drifting through Mexico meets a mysterious woman and runs afoul of her crooked emerald smuggler fiancé.Green Ice (Imprint Collection #295) (Blu-ray Review)