Joe Kidd (1972)

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Released 4-Aug-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 83:54 (Case: 85)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Subtitle Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By John Sturges
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Robert Duvall
John Saxon
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music Lalo Schifrin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Portuguese
Dutch
Swedish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Hebrew
Arabic
Russian
Turkish
Greek
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Joe Kidd (Clint Eastwood) is a retired bounty hunter living on a small ranch. The area in which he is living is subject to a number of land rights claims by Mexican ranchers. Their claims are opposed by wealthy land baron Frank Harlan (Robert Duvall). Harlan hires Kidd to track down Luis Chama (John Saxon), the leader of the Mexican ranchers. During the ensuing chase, Kidd realises he is on the wrong side and that Harlan and his hired guns must be stopped. Together, Kidd and Chama take on Harlan's gang.

    With the exception of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood is the consummate Western Hero. Eastwood has spent the last 40 years bringing the Western epic to the silver screen, with films such as: A Fistful Of Dollars; For A Few Dollars More; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; Hang em High; High Plains Drifter; Two Mules For Sister Sarah; The Outlaw Josey Wales; Pale Rider; and Unforgiven dotting his resume. In the cases of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Josey Wales and Unforgiven, he has made unquestionably three of the greatest Westerns of all time.

    It is a shame then that Joe Kidd is such a mediocre experience. There is nothing particularly wrong with the film, it just doesn't have the class or panache of those listed above. The direction is pedestrian and lacking in pace. The cinematography doesn't capture the panoramic vistas so prevalent in Eastwood's other Western outings, and the characters are not all that interesting. With the notable exception of Sergio Leone, no other director has been able to capture Clint Eastwood to best effect in a Western film other than Eastwood himself. This is never more obvious than in Joe Kidd. I get the feeling that if Clint had done double duty as Star/Director as he usually does with the genre, the film would have improved ten-fold. However, for all its faults, Joe Kidd is still enjoyable and deserving of a look.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Joe Kidd is presented in an aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness levels were fairly strong, but I did notice minor edge enhancement throughout the transfer. This was more noticeable during the daylight sequences. The shadow detail was left wanting, with the picture losing depth and background detail in some areas. There was occasional grain on the transfer, but nothing obtrusive. The transfer had no low level noise issues.

    Colours were natural, if somewhat washed out, but as the film is 30 years old this was acceptable.

    The transfer had occasional film artefacts, but mostly of the dark variety so they did not stand out too much. The only exception to this was at the 8 minute mark where a vertical line appears to the right of centre and remains in place for about 2 minutes. Thankfully, the line is wafer thin.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

   There are five 2.0 Dolby Digital audio tracks on this disc. They are English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The English is the preferred choice.

    Dialogue is always clear and there are no audio sync problems.

    The film's music is by Lalo Schifrin, a favourite of Eastwood's. The score accompanies the film well and is not intrusive.

    There was very little evidence of surround channel usage. The majority of the sound was directed to the centre speaker with the exception of the score which could be heard on either side. The film's nature did not really warrant a dynamic mix and this was not missed.

    The subwoofer does what little it can but was hardly noticeable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Standard animation for a Western.

Scene Selection Animation & Audio

    It is always a nice addition to have animated chapter selections, and this is no exception.

R4 vs R1

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

    The R1 misses out on a 16x9 enhanced transfer, making the Region 4 version of this DVD clearly the version of choice.

Summary

    Joe Kidd is a moderately entertaining film. The disc has a decent audio / visual presentation with no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

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