Who Dares Wins (UK - BD RB)
Marcus takes a look at a British cult classic with this new Arrow Video BD...
Paranoia, black ops and espionage combine in Who Dares Wins, a violent and edgy anti-terror thriller starring Lewis Collins and Edward Woodward. The anti-nuclear movement is plotting a bloody outrage on British soil and, having already fatally lost their undercover operative at a violent protest, the secret services call on the aid of the SAS. Captain Peter Skellen risks his career, his family and his life to infiltrate the terrorist group before they can unleash an attack that will devastate the country.
The transfer here does not look all that HD but it is obviously a much cleaner looking presentation than that of a DVD. Tighter shots have good colours and fairly good detail, but there's no escaping the age of the film or indeed the fairly murky London setting. The entire presentation stays pretty consistent, holding up in brighter and darker scenes but never really excelling in many areas. This is an obvious upgrade, but it's one that's doing the best with that it has to play with.
The distinctly 80s score is good and strong, and actually quite punchy for a stereo track. Dialogue is solid throughout, but as with Arrow Video's other release this week, The Wild Geese, sound effects can sometimes be a little muffled at times. This is very much a film that reflects it's era, especially in British film-making. Nothing quite clicks together, the score is too electronic, the mood sometimes a little too broody and this audio track very much underpins it all, giving a good representation of how films sounded back then.
The commentary track has Jonathan Softcot popping questions to Euan Lloyd (Producer)and Ian sharp (Director) and it provides plenty of background to the stories the film is based on and the era in which it's set politically.
'The Last of the Gentlemen Producers' (37:23 HD) is a look at the career of Euan Lloyd, featuring stars he's worked with, such as Roger Moore, colleagues and family.
There are two trailers and an additional film The Commander.
Who Dares Wins feels very much of time it was made. Broody, detailed and straight to the point. I'm not sure that still really translates in today's modern spy thriller world but this trip back in time was sort of fun. The presentation here is an obvious upgrade but is generally sub-par when compared to good catalogue releases for larger titles, however the extras are all good and you get a free bonus movie too, so fans of the film should be happy enough.
* 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.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 8th October 2012
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: LPCM 2.0 Stereo English
Extras: Commentary, The Last of Gentlemen Producers Documentary, Trailers, Bonus Film: The Commander.
Easter Egg: No
Director: Ian Sharp
Cast: Edward Woodward, Lewis Collins, Judy Davis, Richard Widmark
Genre: Drama and Thriller
Length: 125 minutes
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