Force 10 From Navarone (1978) Blu Ray May 24, 2010 19:41:05 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on May 24, 2010 19:41:05 GMT -5
The Guns of Navarone was one of the better movies about World War II (even though it was almost completely fictional). It's place in the upper echelon of WWII movies is secure.
A sequel would surely be unnecessary, right? Can you imagine a Saving Private Ryan II?
But producers Oliver A. Unger and Samuel Z. Arkoff decided to carry forward with a sequel (17 years later) loosely based on another of Alistair McLean's books. This time Captain Keith Mallory (originally played by Gregory Peck) is now Major Mallory (and played by Robert Shaw), and Corporal John Miller (originally David Niven) is Staff Sergeant Miller (Edward Fox this time). Aside from these two characters there are no real connections to the original movie.
Brought in to direct the movie was Guy Hamilton of James Bond fame (Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun), and he did a fine (if unspectacular) job. And maybe that's the problem with the whole movie. Nothing is as good as the original. The mission is smaller in scale with less riding on it's success than the mission in Guns. The visual look of the movie is closer to a TV show than the grand look of Guns. The cast, while very good, isn't quite at the level of the original.
And maybe that's the biggest problem with Force 10 From Navarone: the comparisons to The Guns of Navarone. On it's own, Force 10 is a good WWII movie, but when compared to the best movies in the genre (such as Guns) it comes across as a bit lackluster.
Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford are both good, as is the rest of the cast. There are some exciting action sequences and some genuine suspense in the film, making Force 10 an enjoyable film to watch.
MGM's Blu Ray release of Force 10 From Navarone is fairly good overall, but like the movie itself it isn't quite up to the standards set by better releases on the format. It starts out fairly poorly with an overabundance of film grain, especially with the recap scenes of Guns. There is also an unacceptable amount of grain during the aerial battle, but then as soon as the men are on the ground the film takes on a completely different look. There is still grain present, but a pleasing real film quality level of grain. It isn't overbearing, and the detail level and color both improve at the same time.
From that point forward the film generally looks very good (with a few lapses into higher grain and a softer picture). The sound quality on the disc is OK, but nothing to write home about. There isn't anything inherently wrong with the soundtrack, but there isn't anything that would make you want to put this movie on to show off your surround sound system, either. Part of that is due to the age of the movie, and part of that is the mastering job on the disc itself.
Neither the movie nor the Blu Ray stand out as exceptional, but both are acceptable. The movie is entertaining, and the blu ray looks and sounds fairly good for a movie of this age.