Foxy Brown (UK - BD RB)
Marcus messes aroun' with Foxy Brown and hets his ass handed to him in HD...
When her boyfriend is shot down by members of a drug syndicate, Foxy Brown (Pam Grier) connects her boyfriend's murderer to a modeling agency run by Steve Elias (Peter Brown) and Miss Katherine (Kathryn Loder) and seeks revenge.
I'd never seen Foxy Brown. I'd seen plenty of clips and of course Pam Grier is the go to image of hot black female vigilante when it comes to seventies Blaxpoitation flicks but really it was only via Quentin Taratino's Jackie Brown and its popularity in the 90s that I really got accustomed with Foxy Brown and her iconic status in the world of film heroines.
Given I got to this party forty years too late you'll have to forgive me if I start by saying I was a little underwhelmed with the film in general. Of course I'm not oblivious to the era the film was made in and this isn't my first Blaxplotation movie but I guess I just expected more of a spark from this cult classic. Something beyond Pam Grier's not so convincing kick ass abilities and her flirting with nakedness maybe. Don't get me wrong, the movie is cool as hell with funky ass dialogue and Foxy's upfront attitude is pretty enjoyable to be around but the acting ain't great throughout and really it's Pam Grier's presence and charisma that makes Foxy Brown shine in this flick as opposed to her dialogue delivery.
The flashy bright red and green opening sequence set to the soul funk soundtrack looks great. Foxy dancing about and doing high kicks will push your motion blur setting's limits but the striking imagery opens the film up with dazzling results.
Once the film properly gets going, the 70s good looks of the flick comes with a strong set of primary colours and a brighter, fresher look than I expected from my limited experience with the film over the years.
Yellows, red and blues leap off the screen even if there's no escaping the fuzzy layer of grain and occasional dirt in the frame (the dirt part of that downside is minimal though). Lighting throughout has the typical seventies TV look to it. Y'know soft muted coloured looking exterior stuff and the super lit interiors that always seem to come with green painted walls in a not so convincing set. This however makes for good skin textures and a fair bit of detail on faces in arrears such as stubble and make up.
I have to say, with my glimpses of the film over the years and the handful of unremastered clips within the extras on the disc, this is a pretty good looking restoration in comparison. Its bright, beautiful and hella 70s in all the right celebrated ways, and that makes for some superfly greatness.
This is a good all around LPCM track but the source isn't exactly made for modern presentations. Some of the dialogue can sound a bit scratchy and hollow and it's really only the the funky soul tracks on the soundtrack that sound rich and strong throughout. Sound effects such as punches in fight scenes or even folding paper can sound crisper than much of the dialogue, which can sometimes make it feel uneven but I can't imagine any other version of the film over the years would have sounded much different, so here the LPCM boost just enhances elements rather than reinvents the wheel.
The Jack Hill commentary track is loaded will back story and tales of Foxy Brown's history. Its impact in black culture and the importance of the empowered black female lead especially when it comes to getting one over the white guys in the flick is covered a whole lot. He also goes into many of the issues the film never fails to slot in as well as a his recent enjoyment of a French version he saw that managed to translate the word 'Motherfucka'. There's a few cold spells of silence, as expected from a solo track but there's still a fair bit of detail here.
'From Black And White To Blaxploitation' (19:53 HD) talks to actor Sid Haig and covers his career and his long term collaborations with Jack Hill and then 'A Not So Minor Influence' (18:57 HD) talks to stuntman and actor Bob Minor about his career as well.
'Back To Black' (25:07 HD) is the best extra on the disc and is a whistle stop celebration of the not so lovingly named Blaxplotation movement. Key actors and film experts talk about the black movement in the films of the era and how the films were loved by the black community. This is a solid venture through the key films of the movement and how they changed as they grew more popular and of course the challenges there were getting the films made.
Last up there's a trailer reel of some other cult titles (19:50) and an image gallery.
Despite the distinct lack of Pam Grier on the extras, Foxy Brown is a fine Blu-ray release. Extras are only a mix of interviews really but they cover the film and its connections to the era it was made well enough. The film's presentation is a pretty great HD overhual of the cult favorite. I was a bit disappointed in the film in general but hey, it's been popular for forty years and this was the first time I'd ever seen Foxy Brown in its entirety, so who am I to question the film's true greatness?
* Note: The images on this page are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 24th June 2013
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: LPCM 2.0 English
Extras: Commentary, Interviews, Blaxplotation Documentary, Trailer Reel, Image Gallery DVD Copy
Easter Egg: No
Director: Jack Hill
Cast: Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas, Peter Brown. Terry Carter
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama and Thriller
Length: 132 minutes
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