Outlaws and Angels (Blu-ray) (2016)
|Category||Western||Trailer-x 3 for other releases|
|Year Of Production||2016|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||JT Mollner|
Chad Michael Murray
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, a long scene after the credits|
New Mexico, 1887; after a bloody bank robbery the outlaws escape into the Badlands with a posse led by tracker Josiah (Luke Wilson) on their trail. Out of food and water, and with their horses dead, the three surviving bank robbers, leader Henry (Chad Michael Murray), dim-witted Little Joe (Keith Loneker) and Charlie (Nathan Russell), stumble upon the isolated farm and church of the Tildon family; father George (Ben Browder), mother Ada (Teri Polo) and teenage daughters Charlotte (Madisen Beaty) and Florence (Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint). During a night and morning of terror, dark family secrets are revealed and Charlotte gets very cosy with Henry. Is this a way to protect her family, or has Charlotte another agenda entirely?
Outlaws and Angels is a film by writer / director JT Mollner, his first feature, that raises some interesting and complex themes although the execution leaves something to be desired. This is film school 101; it utilises slow motion and stop motion frames, snap pans, zooms into faces and eyes, a constantly swaying camera, scenes where the camera holds on the actor for what seems an eternity and a voiceover that includes reflections upon the nature of violence and innocence. At almost two hours the film is also far too long, with some scenes that stretch out and out and out, even when the point of the scene has been clearly made. Other plot strands go nowhere; a tighter editing could have cut the film by 30 minutes, leaving a much more compact and tight structure. On the plus side, the New Mexico landscapes look stunning, the colours deep and rich. The acting by the cast is also convincing; they look and sound real although occasionally dialogue, especially some by Teri Polo, is somewhat extreme but realistic enough given the circumstances.
The result is an interesting, gritty and bloody morality play, very much a revisionist western where no-one is honest and no-one is on the side of the angels, despite the constant invoking of the Lord and Jesus by some characters. The conclusion of the film is also not quite as expected, with role reversals and retribution, yet here again Mollner cannot help carrying things on a couple of scenes too far.
The box of Outlaws and Angels indicates the film is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.55:1, although it looks closer to the original ratio of 2.35:1. It is in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.
The constantly swaying camera and quick zooms and pans does result is some softness, but close-ups and still images are firm. Colours are deep and natural, blacks solid and shadow detail good. I did not notice any marks or artefacts although brightness and contrast varied with a lot of glare when the light source was behind the actor.
There are no subtitles.
The only audio choice is English DTS-HD MA 5.1.
The audio was good, with the surrounds and rears active with horse hooves, gunshots and the score. Unfortunately, for a film with a fair amount of dialogue lines were too often indistinct or mumbled, especially by Chad Michael Murray, when subtitles would have helped. The sub-woofer provided appropriate support to the music and action.
The score by Colin Stetson was good, diverse and interesting, nicely supporting the visuals.
There are no lip synchronisation issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
Trailers for The Preppie Connection (1:45), Stonewall (2:17) and Gridlocked (1:06) play on start-up. They cannot be selected from the menu.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There is a Region 1 DVD of Outlaws and Angels listed on Amazon but no Blu-ray; the only Blu-ray anywhere at present appears to be our Australian release.
Outlaws and Angels would have benefited from a firmer control and less Film School 101. Yet, it is an interesting, gritty and bloody morality play with complex themes, good performances, nice visuals and a decent score. Fans of revisionist westerns will certainly find the film of interest.
The video and audio are fine; there are no relevant extras, but ours is the only Blu-ray release of the film at present.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|