Wild Geese, The (UK - BD RB)
Marcus joins some ageing mercenaries for this British cult classic from Arrow...
Colonel Allen Faulkner (Richard Burton) is secretly back in London to accept the task of reinstating an African leader deposed in a violent military coup, but without the combat skills of his two old friends (Roger Moore and Richard Harris), there isn't going to be a mission. With his two reliable loose cannons in place, Faulkner and the team enact a text book rescue operation but disaster is close at hand when the cynical multinational who set up the whole deal turns the tables, striking a new deal with the local despot which sees The Wild Geese trying to escape with their lives intact.
Due to the age of the film and its cult status there's an unavoidable softness to the image for The Wild Geese as a whole, but even with those limitations it's still a pretty good good looking HD presentation. Sure detail varies from impressive to below average for HD but colours are good and strong. This enables sets to feel alive under bright lighting and while the outdoor naturally lit scenes suffer a bit it's still a solid enough transfer all things considered. I'm not sure if it's a DNR issue but there seems to be a layer of subtle grain between us and the film itself. It's not always apparent but there are moments in close ups where the colours in the frame flicker and little bits of noise appear on screen.
From the Joan Armatrading opening song the strong stereo track works well and dialogue feels very well placed and powerful, though that's initially thanks to Richard Burton's incredible voice. Sound effects can feel a little confined, with gunshots often muffled but for a stereo track it's not too bad at all.
The extras come with a commentary with Roger Moore, producer Euan Lloyd and second unit director John Glen. The track consists of stories of classic Hollyood and tales of actors considered for the parts as well as behind the scenes jollys.
'World Premiere' (07:36 HD) is original news footage at the Leicester Square premiere packed full of British film stars and celebrities, there's the traile, which is long and essentially gives us the whole plot one way or another (03:55 SD).
An additional movie, Code Name: Wild Geese (83 mins SD), is also included.
The Wild Geese is a maybe little too detailed and serious for it's bright visuals and semi-humorous lead actors playing off of one another well. Of course on that level this is an easy watch because Burton, Moore and Harris all bring the charm they are known for to this film and pretty much carry the less enjoyable part along because of it. The transfer is good for the age of the film, though never amazing (due to an odd flicker) and the extras are okay, with the commentary winning out as the best thing on the disc.
* 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: Commentaries, Premiere, Trailers, Code Name; Wild Geese
Easter Egg: No
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Cast: Richard Burton, Roger Moore,Richard Harris
Length: 134 minutes
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