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Feature


Regis High School, an exclusive prep school for delinquent teenage boys, becomes the target of a terrorist attack in this action-adventure.

Columbian drug lord and terrorist Louis Cali has travelled to the US to free his drug kingpin father. With a team of ruthless mercenaries, Cali invades Regis High School in an attempt to capture the son of the federal judge presiding over his father’s trial.

As Cali takes the students hostage, the FBI and US Army remain helpless. Within the school, however, is a group of rebellious and mischievous students, led by Billy Tepper and Joey Trotta, who decide to put their expertise in avoiding authority to good use. Now years of bad behaviour are about to pay off...


Video


My expectations weren't particularly high for this one given its relative lack of popularity compared to similar late eighties/early nineties genre films, but I was pleasantly surprised. 101 Films' release presents a reasonably strong image, which is nicely detailed and delivers natural colour reproduction. There are a few minor instances of print damage here and there (well, more than a few if truth be told), but the image is in good shape on the whole. It's certainly comparable to a number of other catalogue releases from 101's peers. The image is unmolested by heavy-handed digital manipulation such as edge enhancement or noise reduction, which is always nice to see. I was surprised to learn that it is an MPEG-2 encode, which is a real rarity these days, but it doesn't appear to have had a particularly detrimental affect on the overall quality of the image (there are no glaringly obvious compression issues, for example).

Audio


The film arrives with a solitary audio option in the form of a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo track. As you might expect, it's not the most dynamic or expansive affair, sounding every bit of its twenty four years, but it would appear to be faithful to the original source material. In any case, dialogue is always clear and intelligible, and the track is free from distortion. While there aren't any fancy three-hundred-and-sixty-degree audio pans or other such gimmicks, there is some directionality across the frontal array. Bass isn't particularly explosive, even when things are, well, exploding, but the film pre-dates the days of earth-shattering LFE for even the most innocuous of events. The score is largely well-suited to the action and is also well-represented in the mix.

Extras


To use a food-related idiom, not a sausage.

Overall


As unbelievable as it may sound for a self-confessed genre fan, I'd never actually seen Toy Soldiers prior to receiving this Blu-ray. It's all the more surprising given that my teenage self would have loved the film, without a hint of irony I might add. While technically an early nineties feature there's a real eighties bleed-through in the costumes, tone and action that reminded me of a number of my favourite films. It also struck me that people just aren't making this sort of film any more. It stands apart from the 'young adult' movies that we see these days in much the same way as something like the original Karate Kid or The Goonies do. Given my previous lack of exposure to the film it was initially quite jarring to see Mikey Walsh and Wesley Crusher cursing and calling dodgy phone sex lines. I was also taken aback by the violence, which is much stronger than it would be if the film were to be made today, but to be honest it was refreshing to watch a movie that didn't pull its punches. Sure some of the acting is weak and the characters largely one-dimensional, but before long I found myself viewing the action through my sixteen-year-old eyes and I had a lot of fun. It's real wish fulfilment stuff.

From a technical standpoint 101 Films' release is a solid effort, delivering a pleasing audio-visual experience that surpasses a number of its recent efforts and rivals titles from 'bigger' labels. The lack of bonus material is a bit of a shame, but to be perfectly honest the price point for the disc is such that it's not a deal-breaker.

* Note: The images below 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.

 Toy Soldiers
 Toy Soldiers
 Toy Soldiers
 Toy Soldiers
 Toy Soldiers
 Toy Soldiers
 Toy Soldiers
 Toy Soldiers


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