• Malone (Kino Lorber Blu-Ray)



    Released By: Kino Lorber
    Released On: October 13, 2015
    Director: Harley Cokliss
    Cast: Burt Reynolds, Cliff Robertson, Lauren Hutton, Scott Wilson, Kenneth McMillan
    Year: 1987
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    The Movie:

    Richard Malone (not his real name) had both black-ops feet on the ground in Vietnam long before the rest of the world was watching the war on television, and several successful missions resulted in his reputation as a man who knows how to get things done. But for some reason, Malone seems to be losing his taste for violence, most recently evident in his unwillingness to kill a man for the CIA, despite having his target in the cross-hairs and his finger on the trigger. Aware that he might be in need of a vacation, Malone drives his sweet Ford Mustang towards the lush mountainous landscape of Oregon, but a problem with the transmission leaves him stationary in a small town.

    Fortunately for Malone, the owner of the local service station, Paul Barlow, seems friendly enough, and his daughter Jo has smiles-a-plenty and provocative demure gazes for the stranded CIA operative. Opting to leave his car with Paul and wait for the parts to come in instead of taking it to a big city service station gets him an invitation to stay with the Barlows, and it seems that Malone has found the vacation of his dreams; a quiet town with a nice family where nobody knows his name. But it quickly becomes apparent that there's a menace in town by the name of Charles Delaney; a shady businessman with connections high up who seems determined to buy up all of the property in town to support his Patriot movement.

    The ball starts rolling when one of Delaney's men insults the sweet Jo in Malone's presence, and Malone shows the creep a thing or two about hand-to-hand combat, pummeling him to a bloody pulp. Delaney takes the opportunity to steer the beaten man's drunken brother in Malone's direction with a .38...which Malone responds to with an Automag and puts the man in the morgue. With the local police, prominent community leaders and government officials in his pocket, Delaney makes a formidable target, but when he sets his sights on the Barlows, Malone takes a stand in the name of truth, justice, and the American Way.

    The plot in Malone is mediocre. It borders on snarkworthy, and it's certainly not original. While many action films of the day compensated for poor plot with heaps and heaps of action, Malone doesn't fall into that category. Despite Reynolds' reputation as an action movie star, Malone to Reynolds is much like A View To A Kill to Roger Moore; you never quite buy that he's capable of the carnage he's inflicting on an enemy that he's unlikely to be able to beat. But like A View To A Kill, Malone has one thing going for it, and that's a great cast. Burt Reynolds, Cliff Robertson, Lauren Hutton, Scott Wilson and a handful of others make up the strongest suit that Malone offers, and they expertly carry the somewhat weak story across the finish line to much fanfare. And while Reynolds' earlier works such as White Lightning and Gator are no doubt superior films, Malone comfortably fits in alongside of them with no regrets.

    Unless you count the weirdo relationship and lingering kiss between old man Burt and the obviously underaged Jo Barlow. Because that's definitely something that Malone should regret. Ew.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Kino Lorber brings Malone to Blu-ray in a 1.85:1 transfer that looks like you would expect it to... there are more than a few instances of dirt, scratches and other issues, but by and large, Malone looks good. Solid blacks, crisp detail, and a nice range of colours that showcase the beautiful state of Oregon are a definite upgrade over the existing DVD.

    The DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio track is not blemish free, but the soundtrack sits nicely on those two speakers, balancing a consistently clear dialogue with the rest of the soundscape.

    A number of Trailers are included in the supplements; Malone, White Lightning, Gator, Sam Whiskey, and Navajo Joe.

    The Final Word:

    It's certainly not the best Burt Reynold's flick, but Malone will definitely have its fans. The KL Blu-ray is, despite being fairly barebones, a very good way to see it.



    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!