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Feature


Nominated for six Oscars, Alan Parker's Mississippi Burning is based on one of the most notorious race-related murder cases in US history.

When three civil rights activists go missing deep in Ku Klux Klan territory, the FBI are called in to investigate. Agents Ward (Willem Dafoe) and Anderson (Gene Hackman) are poles apart in their approach, one methodical and by-the-book, the other more cynical with age and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Facing an uncooperative local police force and a community too afraid to talk, their investigation sparks violent repercussions as they edge ever closer to the truth [Offical Second Site Synopsis]


Video


The presentation here initially is purposely muted in colour to underline the 1964 period setting and even the burning church in the opening credits are a wash of orange rather than the multi levels of colour fire can muster in HD.

As the film travels on black levels are deep and largely bathed in moonlight to show slivers of detail and despite a softness highlighting the film's age, edges are generally sharp giving a strong sense of detail within the frame.

As we hit daylight the softness is a bit more apparent than the sharpness but it's still an image that appears clean and fresh with natural Iight bringing it to life. There's a slight but barely noticeable level of grain but generally speaking there's a good amount of detail and a depth to the small town with wide shots looking fantastic when bathed in sunlight.

Some interior scenes suffer the softness and the higher level of grain, especially in the darker  areas of the frame but Mississippi Burning is an otherwise solid catalogue release that's many exterior scenes lend themselves nicely to an HD upgrade.

Audio


The dialogue on the track is good and strong but the score sometimes feels a bit lost behind it. This is only sometimes though as the track oterwise balances score, dialogue and natural surrounding sound effects very well for a stereo track and isn't really effected by the film's age at all.

It's a track that is very much doing its job but being stereo and within a film that's more charactwer based and controlled than wild and off the chain, it has nothing really to show off beyond is level headed, reliable audio presentation.

Extras


The commentary track by Alan Parker is a dry British affair, with lots of gaps as a solo track often has. There's a lot of detail about the story and the film but it's a fairly soft track that may only keep the avoid fans of the film or Alan Parker rather than a casual listener.

'Remembering Missisippi Burning: An Interview With Willam Dafoe' (09:25 HD) is a short chat but a detailed and a very warm one.

'Through The Storm: An Interview With Alan Parker' (20:33 HD) is a much more in depth view of the film and it's evolution and success.

'Under Siege: An Interview With Chris Gerolmo' (15:54 HD) is a chat with the screenwriter of the film and however come about the story and his approach to writing it.

Overall


From it's powerful as all hell opening scene Mississippi Burning still retains its impact after all these years. Released in 1988, the story still feels an entirely relevant one to tell and one that sadly still echoes through society today. Performances are great, especially from the two leads, the situation's tension is still felt and the HD home it's now living in fits the film's exterior scenes rather wonderfully in the video department. The extras here are also a nice addition, they are not super in depth but they hit just the right level of detail generally.
 Mississippi Burning
 Mississippi Burning
 Mississippi Burning
 Mississippi Burning
 Mississippi Burning
 Mississippi Burning


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