• Quigley Down Under

    Released by: MGM
    Released on: 11/1/11
    Cast: Tom Selleck, Alan Rickman, Laura San Giacomo, Chris Haywood
    Year: 1990
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    The Movie:
    With nearly nothing but his saddle and his Sharp’s rifle, Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) arrives in Australia to meet with a potential employer named Elliot Marston (Alan Rickman). Marston paid Quigley 50 gold coins just to make the trip to Australia to meet and discuss some matters. Along the way to Marston’s ranch, Quigley meets Crazy Cora (Laura San Giacomo) and she goes along with him and some other women, sort of slaves (whores?) by the seem of it, to the ranch.

    Once there, Marston informs Quigley that he wants him to shoot native Aborigines who come onto his land. Outraged by this, Quigley beats the snot out of him, only to be beaten nearly to death by Marston’s men in return. He’s then brought into the Outback along with Cora and left to die. Aborigines rescue them, bring them back to health, and Quigley and Cora soon become sort of enamoured with their ways. The fun is over when Marston’s creeps show up and slaughter some of the natives. Of course at that point it is decided that Marston must be stopped, and you can pretty well guess where it goes from there.

    The movie has a lot on its side: great acting by the main characters, gorgeous scenery, humor, violence, righteousness, love story nonsense, and an awesome rifle. It also has a score by Basil Poledouris (The Howling, RoboCop, Conan the Barbarian) which helps add to the grandiose feeling the movie has. As mentioned the scenery is fantastic, shot by a man named David Eggby (Mad Max, Pitch Black), and really brings out terrain The Outback has to offer. The rifle Quigley is attached to is really fun to shoot (and if you’ve ever shot one, you’ll agree) and neat to see in action. The thing is six feet long and intimidating as can be. And when shot, it is just like they show it in the movie: shoot, drop the gun down and watch the round hit the target. Really neat.

    It’s a pretty formulaic movie, and the music, although good stuff, makes the film kind of corny, like an old western. But it still has some grit to it, and enough violence in it to keep it from being too much of a tribute to the John Wayne type of movies. Not that there’s anything wrong with John Wayne movies, it just that some, this viewer included, like their westerns to be ugly. This movie is too pretty. That said, it’s very entertaining, and is the kind of movie you can watch with most ages and have a good time with it.

    MGM has done a really nice job with the AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer of Quigley Down Under, providing colors that really jump out, and a pleasingly clear picture. Natural film grain is present, and the detail is very sharp. The scenic photography really shines on this release as well and gives the viewer an idea of what the outback must be like for those who have not seen it for themselves. There’s a little bit of aliasing in a few spots, but unless you’re really looking for it, it’s not that noticeable and is infrequent enough not to be a bother. The sound mix is a 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround track and it does the job. At times it get loud, specifically the music, but the audio is clear and there doesn’t appear to be any issues with it. There is also a mono Spanish track, a French surround track, and subtitles in the three languages if they’re needed.

    The extras are slim. A seven-minute featurette “The Rebirth of the Western” (found on the previous release) the trailer for the feature (in HD), and a couple of television trailers.

    The Final Word:
    A fun movie that may make you groan a little bit at the cornyness, but it delivers the goods and provides an entertaining movie to watch with the father-in-law. MGM does a great job with the transfer making this worth the upgrade.