BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Mechanic (1972) - Blu-ray Review

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The Mechanic

Stay loose!  The original classic, The Mechanic, is back for your viewing pleasure and it's been carefully remastered in 2K thanks to Scorpion Releasing.  Prepare for this assassin, a member of an unnamed top secret organization, to absolutely blow you away with its meticulous pacing and its explosive ending.

"takes viewers on a journey into more than the mind of an assassin.  We get to see what it must take to live to kill"


The first 15 minutes of director Michael Winner’s The Mechanic, starring Charles Bronson, are absolutely golden.  Nuanced and free of dialogue, we see Bronson, as assassin Archer Bishop, prepare for his next target.  We see Bishop stake out the target’s apartment; we see him study the plans while listening to classical music; we see him wait, wait, and wait some more for the perfect time to break-in, set the trap, and then - with even more minutes ticking by - we see him assemble his weapon.  And then, while squinting through the sniper, he fires and BOOM! The whole apartment explodes into mass hysteria, blowing back the bangs from out of his eyes.

While the movie, at the time of its release, was unfairly criticized for its set-up and its predictability, The Mechanic takes viewers on a journey into more than the mind of an assassin.  We get to see what it must take to live to kill and Bronson, joined about 30-minutes in by "Big Harry" McKenna’s (Keenan Wynn) son, Steve (Jan-Michael Vincent), after he kills McKenna, delivers an intriguing performance that is knee-deep in isolation as he pays a prostitute to pretend to be his girlfriend.  His private moments are made up of wine, Beethoven, and a denial of his loneliness - seen here through his father/son relationship with Steve.

He never forgets that there is a target painted on his back and, while he lives luxuriously, he is aware of its expiration.  Always.

However, Steve is interested in what Bishop does.  Maybe too interested and it comes off in impulsive bouts with his friends and with Bishop.  Hell, they almost watch a girl take her life in front of them and do nothing about it.  

Steve tried to learn from his father, but his father taught him nothing of Bishop’s profession.  Bishop, seeing a spark, takes him in and starts his training, but he does - as communicated to us with stronger jaws and squintier eyes (as only Bronson could) - suspect that Steve might be a little too into this whole assassination thing.  From motorcycle chases, to sea-bound hi-jinks in Italy, The Mechanic takes its time to get to the action, but when it does, there’s hardly anyone left standing by the gunshots and the explosions.The Mechanic

Screenwriter Lewis John Carlino provides viewers with a character study of two hired killers and Winner gives us the action as we jump from two great action set pieces, slow down to get the bond between Bishop and Steve just right, and then hop on motorcycles, yachts, and chases through the winding hills of Italy.

The Mechanic needs no fixing.  The movie, co-starring Jill Ireland and Frank DeKova, is now on blu-ray thanks to Scorpion Releasing’s stunning new 2K restoration.

4/5 stars

The Mechanic

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- June 2, 2020
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Arthur Bishop is a mob hit man who operates in a world of his own ... an uncompromising world where conventional rules of morality don't apply and where one wrong move could cost him his life! He's always worked alone, but as age catches up with him, Bishop takes on a competent and ruthless apprentice and teaches him everything he knows. Together they become an unmatchable team of globetrotting killers ... until the pupil's ruthlessness puts him on a collision course with his teacher!  Scorpion Releasing is proud to present The Mechanic on blu-ray with a brand-new 2K restoration, and new bonus features.

Video:

Scorpion Releasing is proud to present The Mechanic on blu-ray with a brand-new 2K restoration.  The new 2K scan from the interpositive is a beauty as, what was once muddied and unclear, bounces back into focus with fine details and crisp shadows.  From the beach to the Bishop’s home and beyond, the landscape and the scope of the movie absolutely comes back to life.  It’s almost like watching the movie for the first time.  The 1080p transfer (with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1) looks pretty solid for a film shot in the 1970s. Some shots, due to the era of the day, are fuzzier than others but the image is reasonably well defined with crisp contrasts and solid textures. Colors are solid. Blacks are, too. Surprisingly, there's enough fine detail on display to make this seem revelatory for those used to the previous releases.

Audio:

This release comes with an explosive DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There are two commentaries.  See special features for details.

Special Features:

Surely, the brand new 2K restoration of The Mechanic is enough to get you to pull the trigger on this purchase!  No?  Well, there’s also an interview with screenwriter Lewis John Carlino and an audio commentary from Paul Talbot, who wrote Bronson’s Loose!, The Making of the Death Wish Films, to help you with your decision.  The second commentary is from cinematographer Richard Kline.  The first 2000 pressings of the blu-ray also feature a cool slipcover with the original art.  

  • NEW on-camera interview with writer Lewis John Carlino
  • NEW audio commentary with Paul Talbot (Author of "Bronson's Loose!; The Making of the Death Wish films")
  • Audio commentary with cinematographer Richard H Kline
  • Original trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

The Mechanic

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
110 mins
Director
: Michael Winner
Writer:
Lewis John Carlino
Cast:
Stanley Shapiro; Paul Henning; Dale Launer; Jac Schaeffer
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
Clean. Fast. Professional.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I had no idea how small time I was until I met you."
Theatrical Distributor:
MGM
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
May 10, 2019
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 20, 2019.
Synopsis: Interesting. When he's cornered, he answers questions with questions.

The Mechanic

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