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Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Jack Irish: Bad Debts & Black Tide (Blu-ray) (2012)

Jack Irish: Bad Debts & Black Tide (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 24-Oct-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Crime Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 201:39 (Case: 217)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jeffrey Walker
ABC Films
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Guy Pearce
Roy Billing
Shane Jacobson
Steve Bisley
Anthony Hayes
Aaron Pedersen
Neil Melville
Colin Friels
Marta Dusseldorp
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Welcome to my 1000th review for Michael DVD. I am proud to have been involved with this site since 2004 and have enjoyed writing all my reviews over the years. I would like to thank MichaelD for his ongoing support of the site and all my fellow reviewers especially TrevorD & RayN who have been the backbone of the site's output over the last few of years. I would also like to thank all the distributors who continue to support us with review discs and, of course, you the readers for continuing to read our reviews. And now, on to the review...

     The ABC has been churning out some great drama over the last couple of years after a long lean period including shows like The Straits, Crownies, Miss Fisher and more. The latest show to join this list is Jack Irish, currently a pair of telemovies which were show recently on the ABC and have now been released on DVD (2 separate discs) and Blu-ray (1 disc with both films). With any luck, the remaining two novels will be made into movies next year as these two movies are high quality television telling very Australian stories based on Australian novels. The films are based on novels by Peter Temple, an Australian writer who moved from South Africa in 1980 and began writing crime fiction in the mid-1990s. He has since gone on to win a number of awards including the Miles Franklin Award for Australian novels. The novels these films are based on were his first and second novels, Bad Debts and Black Tide.

     Both films feature the titular Jack Irish (Guy Pearce) as the main character, and what an interesting and a different lead character he is for a thriller/mystery plot. He is not a crusading cop, prosecutor, private detective or amateur sleuth as most protagonists in this sort of show are one or the other of. He is a gambler, involved with helping colourful racing identities, a debt collector, a sometimes lawyer and a cabinet making apprentice. He is a complex and interesting character who as the first film starts is trying to rebuild his life after his wife was murdered by a legal client of his 10 years before. He has had no relationships since his wife of any length and spends his days helping out his dodgy mates, collecting debts and hanging round his favourite pub, The Prince of Prussia which is one of the last bastions of belief that Fitzroy Football Club have not moved to Brisbane. His father was a Fitzroy star who died young in an alcohol fueled fight. Characters which appear in both films include his boss, colourful racing identity Harry Strang (Roy Billing) and his minder, Cam (Aaron Pedersen), a policeman who sort of helps Jack (Shane Jacobsen), reporter Linda Hillier (Marta Dusseldorp) and Jack's cabinet making mentor, Charlie Taub (Vadim Glowna who the movies are dedicated to).

     The first movie, Bad Debts involves an ex-client of Jack's who he defended ten years earlier on a hit & run charge. He gets a call from the man, Danny McKillop, while he is out of town asking him for help and to meet him in a car park. Jack didn't get the message and by the time he gets the message on his return, Danny is dead, shot by a policeman in the car park. Jack needs to work out what is going on quickly before the police and political corruption involved in the case catches up with him. This movie also features Colin Friels, Steve Bisley, Colin Hay & Rhys Muldoon.

     The second movie, Black Tide, involves one of Jack's father's mates, Des Conners, approaching Jack for assistance with preparing a will and trying to track down his missing son, Gary. Gary was involved in some shady deals involving international criminals, big business and drugs. Jack is quickly drawn into a world of murder where no-one can be trusted. This movie also features Lachy Hulme, Don Hany, Kate Atkinson & Diana Glenn.

     These are high quality Australian telemovies with great casts and an excellent performance in the lead by Guy Pearce. He captures the complexity of the character and seems to really enjoy playing him. Both movies have been very well shot using the latest digital cameras and production design and stunts are of high quality. They are atmospheric (aided by the quality score), gripping and gritty whilst also having a nice vein of humour driven by some excellent dialogue. They were directed by up and coming Australian TV director, Jeffrey Walker.

     These movies are definitely something to savour for fans of quality Australian movie making, whether for television or the cinema. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is very good, I am sure significantly better than the equivalent DVDs.

     These features are presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p using the AVC codec.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. Shadow detail is very good.

     The colour is generally excellent although sometimes faces have strange colours to them but this may be more to do with makeup than a transfer problem. Guy Pearce always seems to have an orange chin.

     There was some minor aliasing from time to time.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which were clear and easy to read.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is very good but only stereo.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS HD-MA 2.0 stereo. The soundtrack is clear and impactful despite only having 2 channels.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout.

     The music by Harry James Angus plays a significant role in the production, adding atmosphere and style.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     One good quality extra.


     The menu featured music and motion.

Behind the Scenes (16:10)

     This is a mixture of behind the scenes footage and a making of which is actually quite good. It includes interviews with Guy Pearce and other cast and crew. Discussion covers the books, characters, stunts and the digital shooting.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This is a local release only at this point.


    Two high quality Australian thriller/mystery telemovies.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The one extra is good quality.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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