• Revolver (FilmArt) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: FilmArt
    Released on: December, 2019.
    Director: Sergio Sollima
    Cast: Oliver Reed, Fabio Testi, Paola Pitagora, Agostina Belli, Frederic de Pasquale
    Year: 1973
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    Revolver – Movie Review:

    Known in America as Blood In The Streets, Sergio Sollima’s 1973 picture Revolver is an unsung classic of the European crime genre with a gripping plot, great sets, an absolutely killer soundtrack and wonderful performances.

    Oliver Reed (Curse of the Werewolf, The Brood) plays Vito Capriani, a prison warden in Rome with a penchant for violence. When his wife Anna (Agostina Belli) is kidnapped, her abductors demand that Vito release one of his prisoners, Milo Ruiz (Fabio Testi of Once Upon a Time in the West and The Smuggler) or they’ll kill her.

    When Vito allows Milo to escape, the pair becomes tangled up in a messy conspiracy that takes them across the border to Paris, where they try and figure out who’s kidnapped Anna and why. It turns out that Vito is the only one that can pin the murder of an important businessman on the right culprit, and the ones behind it all will kill anyone they have to in order to make sure that Milo keeps his mouth shut forever.

    "In the name of love he killed a man... destroyed another... spit on his bade and tore a city apart brick by brick, street by street, punk by punk to find his wife."

    Sollima penned the screenplay with Dino Maiuri and Massimo De Rita and it’s got plenty of twists along the way keep the film moving at a brisk pace and the audience completely engaged in what’s happening on screen. Production values are also pretty strong here. The cinematography from Aldo Scavarda is slick, giving the film a nice, polished look while the score from the amazing Ennio Morricone ranks up there with the best of the maestro’s work, really enhancing the drama and tension and action in the picture.

    As to the performances - Reed, in 'a performance that makes Charles Bronson's "Death Wish" look like wishful thinking,' is pretty over the top as the perpetually pissed off prison warden. He contrasts well with Testi as the convict with a conscience. Both actors suit the film’s gritty and violent feel just perfectly. Reed is at the top of his game in this film and brings a believably exhausted element to his character as Vito seems on edge throughout the movie, always right on the edge of a breakdown. Testi, on the other hand, plays Milo with a more relaxed yet slightly sneaky tone, complimenting Reed’s psychotic overtones. The beautiful Agostina Belli is quite good as Reed’s wife, she’s a very sympathetic character.

    Everything about Revolver comes together perfectly. From the sets to the cinematography, from the landscapes to the performances, Revolver is truly a seventies crime movie classic.

    Revolver – Blu-ray Review:

    FilmArt brings Revolver to Region B Blu-ray on a 50GB disc with the feature given just over 34GBs of space. The feature is presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition and framed in its original 1.85.1 widescreen aspect ratio. This is a pretty nice looking picture. There’s very little print damage here, just the odd scratch now and again that most won’t notice if they aren’t looking for it. There are no problems with any noticeable compression artifacts and colors are reproduced quite nicely. Detail handily surpasses the old Blue Underground DVD, which admittedly looked very good for its day, and there’s nice depth and texture throughout.

    Audio options are provided in Italian, German and English 16-bit DTS-HD Mono options. Subtitles are provided in German only. The English audio option is not available from the menu, you have to select it using the ‘audio’ option on your Blu-ray player’s remote control. Regardless, the quality of the audio is pretty decent. Morricone’s superb score sounds nice and strong here, while the dialogue is clean, clear and balanced. There are no noticeable problems with any hiss or distortion to complain about – the track is solid.

    The main extra on the disc is the German co-production version of the film, which runs approximately ninety-two minutes. It’s presented in AVC encoded 1080p, framed at 1.85.1, with German language DTS-HD 1.0 audio. This version is given just shy of 12GBs of space and is considerably more compressed but it’s watchable enough, so long as you speak German (there are no alternate language options or subtitles provided for this alternate version).

    The disc also includes a seventeen-minute interview with Fabio Testi, but it’s in Italian with German subtitles. Finishing out the extras is an international trailer, an Italian trailer, a US movie trailer (using the alternate Blood In The Streets title), a still gallery of one-sheets and pressbook materials, menus and chapter selection. The disc comes housed inside a red DVD sized keepcase that also holds a full color insert booklet containing a German language essay on the film and some nice archival artwork. Reversible cover without FSK logo is also provided.

    Revolver – Movie Review:

    Revolver is one of the best Euro-crime movies, period. Reed and Testi are fantastic together, Sollima keeps things moving at a great pace and Morricone's score is perfect. The Blu-ray release from FilmArt presents the film in a very nice high definition presentation, though unfortunately most of the extras are not English friendly.

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