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The Wild Geese [UK] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0  (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certification: 15
  • Run Time: 109 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 8, 2012
  • RRP: £19.99

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

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]

If you’ve seen the recent Sylvester Stallone “comeback” film The Expendables, or any number of action films along the same lines over the years, then you already get the gist of this 1978 Euan Lloyd production. A who’s who of British veteran actors, including Richard Harris (Rafer Janders), Roger Moore (Lieutenant Shawn Fynn), and Richard Burton (Colonel Allen Faulkner) headline the adaptation of the Daniel Carney novel directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. The premise is simple, a group of aging former-military friends turned mercenaries sign on to parachute into the African bush, retain deposed African president Julius Limbani (Winston Ntshona) and re-appoint him as monarch, all to the benefit of British corporate interests.

There’s nothing much else to say about the film other than it is adorned with the expected amount of action sequences that for its day were rather exciting. It also has a rather kinetic energy  throughout that keeps one interest despite the obvious over the top nature and silliness of the plot. There campiness in its dialogue (“That was ludicrous, sir. You’re jumping from an airplane, not a whorehouse window. Do it again.”) that makes it almost more laid back and comedic than a pure action/thriller. It also goes without saying that the three leading men, despite the sheer absurdity of the material they are dealt here, turn in performances almost worthy of the RSC.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

In comparison the companion release, Who Dares Wins, coming out alongside it, The Wild Geese looks like a revelation on Blu-ray. But that’s not really saying much, all things considered. This release still hardly looks like an extensive effort was put into restoring it, it’s more like the luck of the draw when it comes to available source materials. The Wild Geese still looks rather soft, shows some obvious flaws in scratches and dirt from time to time, but it doesn’t suffer from the outrageous amounts of noise and edge enhancement that plague Who Dares Wins.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

The LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack sounds a bit veiled and has audible crackle on the dialogue pretty much straight through the film, but dialogue remains intelligible and it gets the job done in a reasonable fashion.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

The sequel to The Wild Geese is included on the disc (in SD/PAL) as well as a strong slate of usual Arrow features and collectibles.

The supplements:

  • Audio commentary with Roger Moore, producer Euan Lloyd, and second unit director John Glen
  • World Premiere (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:36) – An archival promotional feature on the film’s premiere.
  • Trailer (1.85:1; 1080p/24)
  • Code Name: Wild Geese (2.35:1; SD/PAL; 01:23:54) – Bonus feature film starring Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Bognine, and Klaus Kinski.
  • Reversible sleeve with original poster and newly commissioned artwork cover.
  • Collector’s booklet featuring brand new writing on both the films by Ali Catterall, co-author of Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the Sixties and writer James Blackford as well as a biography of producer Euan Lloyd illustrated with original artwork.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

The Wild Geese is sheer spectacle and silliness that bests most of the action films along these lines of our era on style and acting ability. The fact that it seems to unfold with ease and utter seriousness while being relaxed and amusing without causing you to laugh at it outright is a great balancing act, making one understand why it is a cult classic.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B006TVT5LE[/amazon-product]

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

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B006TVT5LE[/amazon-product]

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

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


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