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A down and out young punk gets a job working with a seasoned repo man, but what awaits him in his new career is a series of outlandish adventures revolving around aliens, the CIA, and a most wanted '64 Chevy.
For more about Repo Man and the Repo Man Blu-ray release, see the Repo Man Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on December 28, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, Sy Richardson, Olivia Barash, Tom Finnegan
Director: Alex Cox
» See full cast & crew
Repo Man Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, December 28, 2011
Alex Cox's "Repo Man" (1984) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original theatrical trailer; exclusive new video introduction to the film by director Alex Cox; re-edit of "Repo Man" for American network television; deleted scenes; video interview with actor Harry Dean Stanton; audio commentary by director Alex Cox, executive producer Michael Nesmith, casting director Victoria Thomas, and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora; and more. The disc also arrives with a massive 44-page illustrated booklet specially created by director Alex Cox, entitled The Repo Code and incorporating all manner of Repo ephemera. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Harmless punk Otto (Emilio Estevez, The Breakfast Club, The Way) becomes a repo man after he is tricked by oldtimer Bud (Harry Dean Stanton, Alien, Paris, Texas) to steal a car for him. The job isn't perfect but pays enough to make Otto forget about a slutty girl who has recently dumped him and his obsessed with a local televangelist parents. Soon after, Bud begins teaching Otto important lessons about the real world.
While taking a break from 'school', Otto befriends a good looking UFO conspiracy theorist (Olivia Barash, Patty Hearst) who refuses to help him get rid of an apparently mind-altering amount of semen his body has produced. However, she does help him get on the radar of a few government agents looking for an old Chevy Malibu last seen in Roswell, New Mexico.
Eventually, the wanted car is spotted somewhere in L.A. and the feds quickly announce that they are willing to pay $10,000 for it. Otto and Bud immediately begin looking for it and soon cross paths with the Rodriguez brothers, the area's most feared repo thugs.
Meanwhile, some of Otto's old punk friends decide to hit a couple of liquor stores to get cash. While having fun, they run into the Rodriguez brothers who have managed to steal the wanted car from a sweaty mad scientist. The punks take the car and disappear into the city, parts of which are soon after peppered with unusually large hail stones.
British director Alex Cox's Repo Man is a wildly unpredictable film that oozes a type of nihilism that was prominent during the Reagan era. The film is extremely cynical but never offensive; rather it is entertaining, and it produces excellent observations about a culture and a way of thinking that were greatly influenced by the Cold War and the nuclear arms race America was obsessed with during the '80s.
Occasionally it may seem like the main protagonists are unconventional rebels, but eventually it becomes clear that they are in fact active supporters of the system they are supposedly unhappy with. They simply do not realize that the system is the biggest repo man around, allowing one to lead a normal life only if one keeps supporting it. Some, like the televangelist Otto's parents have made richer with their savings, have learned to play the system, but others, like Otto's friend Bud, have been completely brainwashed by it to believe that their country is falling apart because the poor have turned their backs on it. (There is an excellent sequence in which Otto and Bud pass through a very poor area of L.A. and Bud begins speculating that the city has been brought to its knees because the bums have stopped paying for the privilege to live in it).
Despite the random political overtones, however, Repo Man is not a political film. It is an honest film that simply does not see America through rose-tinted glasses like most Hollywood produced films do. Its honesty, however, is eventually replaced with LSD inspired madness that pushes it into a territory reserved for an entirely different crop of films.
Estevez is convincing as the young punk looking to find his place in a world full of crooks. The film, however, belongs to the iconic Stanton, whose cynical lessons are beyond entertaining.
Repo Man has a cracking soundtrack, featuring now considered classic punk tunes by Iggy Pop, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, and The Circle Jerks, amongst others.
Repo Man Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Alex Cox's Repo Man arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment.
The master from which the high-definition transfer was struck must have been prepared by Universal Studios at least a couple of years ago. Its basic characteristics, however, are strong, and quite similar to the basic characteristics of the high-definition transfer used for Eureka Entertainment's Blu-ray release of Douglas Trumbull's Silent Running.
Image depth and clarity are pleasing, particularly during the daylight sequences. Most close-ups also reveal fine textures that are simply missing from the R1 DVD release of Repo Man. Traces of mild denoising, however, are at times easy to spot (see screencapture #14). Despite occasionally looking somewhat soft, the nighttime sequences are also pleasing. The best news, however, is that there are no traces of overzealous sharpening, which is a serious problem with many Universal Studios catalog releases. A layer of light grain is also present throughout the entire film, though occasionally it is mixed with light noise and even artifacts. Color reproduction is also a lot more convincing here - on the R1 DVD release, the greens at the end of the film look incredibly shaky; here they never look blocky. Finally, there are a few minor specks popping up here and there, but large cuts, damage marks, or warps are nowhere to be seen. All in all, this Blu-ray release of Repo Man represents a very fine upgrade over the existing R1 DVD release of the film. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 in order to access its content).
Repo Man Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track and Music & Effects DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. For the record, Eureka Entertainment have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
The official press release and the press sheet I received indicate that in addition to the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track the Blu-ray will have a 5.1 remix. My screener, however, does not have one, so I assume that the final market version won't have one either.
The English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is strong. It has a good range of nuanced dynamics that open up the action scene rather well. The famous punk soundtrack also gets a decent boost. However, do not expect the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track to test the muscles of your audio system - its strength is its ability to bring back to the film colors and nuances that are lost on the lossy tracks from the DVD releases. For the record, there are no sync issues or audio dropouts to report in this review.
Repo Man Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Repo Man Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I find it rather strange that important classic, contemporary and cult American films get a lot more respect overseas than they do in America. Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, Gus Van Sant's Elephant, Orson Welles' Touch of Evil, and Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop are only a few of these films that deserve to be on the American market. After all, these are not some random films, but some of the most important and influential films America has produced during the years. The latest addition to the long list of important American films not yet available for purchase in America is Alex Cox's once controversial Repo Man. The film looks wonderful, the best it ever has, and the Blu-ray also contains great supplemental features, including a brand new and exclusive introduction to the film by Alex Cox. If you could play Region-B "locked" discs, do not hesitate to add this Blu-ray to your collections, folks. It is worth every penny. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Repo Man: Other Editions
Repo Man Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Repo Man Detailed - December 7, 2011
British distributors Eureka Entertainment have detailed their upcoming Blu-ray and Limited Edition Blu-ray SteelBook releases of Alex Cox's cult film Repo Man (1984), starring Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez, Tracey Walter, and Olivia Barash. Street date is ...
• Pasolini, Melville, Imamura, Watkins, Cox, McCarey, and Hellman F... - October 4, 2011
Eureka Entertainment have revealed that they are getting ready to release a number of classic and cult films on Blu-ray: Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Silence de la Mer (1949), Pier Paolo Pasolini's Accattone (1961) and The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964), Shohei ...
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