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Get Carter (1971) - Blu-ray Review

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Get Carter - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

And the controversy continues. Violent and heavy on the nudity, Get Carter is a rather mean-spirited revenge flick that earns its reputation alongside Michael Caine’s badass performance as Jack Carter, a man on a mission. He won’t be content until it is completed. Carter is walking wounded. Mad to the core and it all stems from the unexpected murder of his brother; a harmless man caught in the crosshairs of a controversy he didn’t understand.

Get Carter features Brett Ekland in a steamy role as she woes and engages in naked phone sex with Caine, who also gets buck naked whilst holding a really long rifle to a couple of goons. He’s normally suited up, mind you, but caught off guard – in the bed of yet another woman – he makes do with a well-placed rifle and a mean disposition. It works. Love him or hate him, Carter doesn’t care and Caine, with the grit Dirty Harry wished he had, plays it to the hilt. Or should I suggest underplays it?

The movie, based on Ted Lewis's book Jack's Return Home, is written and directed by Mike Hodges and is fortunate that it changed location to Newcastle. The weary drabness adds to the angst of Caine’s character. The decay and the industrial complex adds to the hollowness of the revenge and – complete with a shocking ending – only solidifies the hopelessness in a life of violence lead by this London gangster returning home for his brother’s funeral.

In the wake of a sort of lessening of film censorship abroad, Get Carter pushes the envelope and has Ekland – already a siren of the screen – appearing in black bra and panties and then engaging – with Caine on the other end of the long distance call – in pretty hot and heavy sexual activity as he talks her through where her hands should go. It’s a moment that is hard to shake and alongside all the violence in the film makes a great statement about British film even as the government was slashing their budgets.

The jazz piano textures of Roy Budd other members of his jazz trio, Jeff Clyne (double bass) and Chris Karan (percussion), adds to the harrowing tale that sees a desperate finale on Blackhall Beach near Hartlepool. It is a score that is – at once – both haunting and memorable and sparse. Perfect audio textures for this revenge tale.

The British were quick to condemn the film for its amorality. The Americans embraced it but – due to a lack of support – Get Carter was relegated to the drive-ins across rural America. If you caught it when it was originally release, feel lucky. Few did. If you’ve never seen Michael Caine as anything but Batman’s butler, here’s your chance to see a real badass performance from him.

Get Carter is finally available on Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Get your copy while you still can.

Get Carter - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
112 mins
Director
: Mike Hodges
Writer:
Mike Hodges
Cast:
Michael Caine, Ian Hendry, Britt Ekland
Genre
: Thriller | Crime
Tagline:
The original gangster is back.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Jack, don't you think you ought to get dressed first."
Distributor:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 18, 1971
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 22, 2014
Synopsis: When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate..

Get Carter - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - April 22, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono; Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono; Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono (Spain)
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Get Carter is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This film shows its age at times, but still ends up looking solid and better than ever. The main flaws reside within the source print, which shows grain and debris throughout the film. Some scenes look sharper than others, but they all have some level of those flaws to be seen. The colors seem natural and reserved (as intended), with no discoloration and flesh tones look normal also. The contrast is stark and proper too, no detail seems lost and black levels are dead on at all times. A few minor compression errors surface, but this still turns out to be an above average transfer. This disc includes the original mono track which is good, but I wish a surround remix were here also. If for nothing else, I would just love to hear the excellent musical score in full Dolby Digital 5.1 splendor. But as mono goes, this one is above average and I found no serious issues to contend with.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The commentary features Michael Caine, director Mike Hedges, and cinematographer Wolfgang Suschitkzy. This is an informative track to be sure, but sometimes gets a little quiet and dull.

Special Features:

This disc includes international and musical trailers, readable talent files, and an isolated musical score. I am very pleased with the inclusion of the isolated music option, as this movie has some excellent musical pieces. Unfortunately, there are no featurettes.

  • International Trailers
  • Talent Files
  • Isolated Music Option

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