Thursday, May 17, 2012
John Wayne Collection: "McLintock!" (1963)
Note: I know I didn't finish the last three films of the High-Powered Action Pack. I'll be getting back to it soon. Plus, if you could see into my account, I have a few other reviews I have started but never finished.
Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew has been an inspiration for films throughout the years and it comes in many forms; a high school teen drama like Ten Things I Hate About You or a western drama McLintock! It is interesting to see how it can be adapted in the many shapes and forms it takes. In this film, G.W. McLintock (Wayne) is running his own town and then he gets the news; his wife (O'Hara) is back in town. At the same time she is returning to town; a group of settlers promised land by the government show up at the same time. McLintock's wife begs for a divorce and G.W. refuses; to which his wife begs to let his daughter be a socialite.
McLintock's wife, Kate, goes around brooding the whole entire time but slowly falling back into love with G.W. At the same time, the government is forcing the Native Americans to relocate. The settlers are causing trouble with the Native Americans which leads to a chief almost being hanged. A giant, comedic fight ensure and people are thrown into a giant mud pit. The film more or less deals with focuses with McLintock dealing with his wife until they get to a breaking point and they go at it head on.
The film is pretty entertaining but it goes off point several times. We seem to be focusing on the struggle of the Native Americans but then it completely just ignores it at the end. The characters seem to quickly and abruptly change at the end in the final minutes. It felt really rushed, but I still managed to enjoy the film. Another problem I have is the comedy; it does work, however the slapstick goes overboard at times. The giant fight with the mud pit goes on and on. The 4th of July festival with the horses felt like it went on forever. Plus, the end "chase" felt a little drawn out. But to focus on the positives; Wayne gives a good performance throughout and whenever he shows his comedic acting skills, he shines. Movie gets a 3.5/5.
The video is a nightmare! I wrote a review for the so-called The Howling Trilogy; even though it was the third, fifth, and sixth films! That disc was the three films upscaled from SD to HD; this disc by Gaiam commits the same atrocity! The aspect ratio on McLintock! is 2.35:1 and we have it presented in 1.33:1! WHAT IN THE HELL WAS GAIAM THINKING? Timeless Media Group gave us a cropped, 1.33:1 transfer on Howling III from 1.85:1; but there's a big difference from cropping something that 1.85:1 vs 2.35:1! What's even more jarring about this whole cropping situation is that there is obviously several sources that they used to create this monstrosity of a video presentation. I would say that they probably used three different video sources for this so-called "HD Presentation".
Upon seeing the opening titles, it's hard to read due to the halo effect that plagues the film. One source looks like an umpteenth generation VHS tape; one look like an over-cropped source that looks like a blown up VCD; and one that looks like a film print that's somewhat in good condition that is upscaled from 480i to 1080i. And these video sources will alternate constantly. We'll have a scene and then it'll look ok and then when it cuts back to a shot and we transition to another source; it'll look washed the hell out. Me ranting about this in the review does not justify how poor that this presentation is. Video scores a .5/5.
The audio is not any better. I have an old school set up and you can clearly tell when the film changes it's sources; depending on which source is used, the audio will sound good. If it transfers to something that's poor looking video-wise, the audio will be muffled beyond hell too. Like the video, it will alternate back and forth. Audio scores a .5/5. No extras at all are present; 0/5. Overall, one film down and six more to go. THIS IS INSULTING! I feel robbed of my eight dollars and change that I paid for this. People who have bashed the hell out of Echo Bridge, you haven't seen nothing, yet! 1/5!