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Red Scorpion [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English HOH
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Certification: 15
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run time: 106 Mins.
  • Studio: Arrow Video
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 13, 2012
  • RRP: £24.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B006GB5TIA[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Dolph Lundgren’s 1988 cult action vehicle Red Scorpion arrives on Blu-ray from the UK’s Arrow Video in all its Cold War paranoid glory — cheesy script, and balls-to-the-wall action intact. In Red Scorpion, he of the sculpted Nordic physique plays Lt. Nikolai Rachenko, a Soviet special forces soldier who is sent to Africa to assassinate an anti-communist rebel. His task is complicated by his conscience, however, when he arrives and sees the horrendous way in which his countrymen and their Cuban allies are treating the locals. After a near death experience in the desert and an enlightening rescue by bushmen, Reshenko comes back reinvigorated, but fighting for the other side against his former commanders. An almost touching, but obviously flawed cult classic from the eighties with broadly drawn characters, Red Scorpion does have some strong, Rambo-esque, in-camera (read: no CGI) visual effects that take you right back to the era.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

The 1.78:1 AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement of Red Scorpion from Arrow is good, but certainly not great. There is still a lot of source damage that is apparent straight through the presentation and the image is given to softness. Dark scenes show a marked increase in graininess and often cross over into video noise. Flesh tones are also not quite accurate.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The original stereo soundtrack is offered in a LPCM 2.0 mix that is, once again, good, but not great. Overall sound is just a bit dull with a definite lack of higher frequency response and some noticeable crackle in dialogue. Stereo imaging isn’t very distinct at times and dynamics are just a tad narrow.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The overall deluxe packaging and HD featurettes make this a pretty good lineup of extras from Arrow.

The supplements:

  • Introduction to the film by star Dolph Lundgren (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:00:10)
  • Commentary with Joseph Zito and Howard S. Berger
  • All out of Bullets (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:29:58) – Dolph Lundgren offers his memories of filming Red Scorpion.
  • Music with Muscles (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:12:05) – The composer Jay Chattaway discusses scoring the film.
  • Trailer (1.33:1; 1080p/24)
  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
  • Double-sided fold-out artwork poster
  • Booklet featuring essay on the film by Calum Waddell. This essay is more a general commentary on the action genre of the eighties and this filmmaker’s work than it is specific to Red Scorpion.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Red Scorpion may be Dolph Lundgren’s best showing outside of the well known Rocky IV and while it is certainly not top notch cinema, as a cult, B-grade action flick, it’s definitely a decent time waster. The package here from Arrow Video makes it all the more worthwhile for anyone thinking of adding this region-free disc to their collection.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B006GB5TIA[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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