On December 11th, David Gregory and Severin Films are giving us two cult classics for their first time ever on Blu-Ray. I know it is unprofessional to brag about some companies over others, but when Severin films are behind the release, I know quality is number one priority. No matter how you feel about certain titles they release one thing is for sure no one bitches about the sound, picture quality, the ratio, and the bonus features. Gregory is such a geek for this stuff that he basically loads these discs all up and gives you fans packs, when you do not have to buy them separate, you can get both the dvd and blu ray in a combo. And if you do not own their release of Santa Sangre, you should stop the review right now and rush out and buy that film that many of us on this site love more than words itself. Oh yeah, this is about The Wild Geese and Ashanti.
Ashanti originally was released in 1979, Michael Caine in one of his earlier roles ( I think he was 60 in this film..ha ha joke) plays David and is a doctor working around and in Africa and he is married to this Ashanti woman named Anansa. His wife who loves to go skinny dipping one day gets abducted by a group of slavers who work with a slave trader who is played by Peter Ustinov. This film is basically Michael Caine trying to go get her back. Michael Caine is one of those actors that when the material is right, he shines but when the film is Jaws-The Revenge and anything in that ilk he sort of sticks out for trying to make the film watchable which in turn hurts the film more, but Ashanti was fun. The stars in this film alone make this well worth the watch, you have the above mentioned and also Rex Harrison, Omar Sharif and William Holden along with so many others. This film is a guilty pleasure, and to see Michael Caine playing this role of a desperate man who is willing to do anything to get his woman back is just silly fun stuff. When Rex Harrison plays a man who is against the slave trade and helps him out, the film really just gets so much into that cheese factor that you really cannot go wrong watching this film.
There is little subtle hints at comedy in this film that really make the script and characters have some depth to them, like a scene when David cannot get on his camel that Caine sells so well. This film is all about David wanting to save Anansa from being sold to Omar Sharif, how can you not see gold with that premise? The funny thing is that this seems to be almost based on a true story; the material seems to play like it is more factual and less farce or fiction. I can see why this film earned all the controversial rants it got, the film was a good little thriller that I found myself getting really behind and by the end I really appreciated that Severin did such an awesome job with the transfer, I had a good time with this film, and think others like you would as well.
8 out of 10
The Wild Geese was originally released in 1978, and like Ashanti this has a cast that is just amazing. Richard Burton plays Col. Allen Faulkner who leads a group of soldiers to stop a ruthless dictator and free a leader of an African nation. Also included in the cast is Richard Harris, Roger Moore and many other fine actors who really give this film so much top rate acting and dialogue that this film I did not want to end. The action in this film is tame compared to what we are used to today, but it was nonetheless exciting and still fun. This film like Ashanti had a dark humor to it that really made the material so much more fun to follow. The three main stars are a team of aging mercenaries who are hired by a wealthy man for that one last mission. Of course, like all the films of this genre you know that everyone will not be who they seem to be and that the impossible in their eyes is possible and they will show you how.
I am easy; Roger Moore to me does no wrong. This is one of those films that when most of us were kids came on ABC at night on Sunday, which leads me to these questions where is the blu ray releases of The Town that Dreaded Sundown, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and The Van? Why not keep on resurrecting all those films from that era that seemed to make such an impact on me on television. This blu ray has a shit ton of extras from new interviews with military advisers to the director. And Roger Moore doing commentary, how can you not have fun with that? I really enjoyed this throwback action film and think that most of your fathers, and grandfathers would love it a lot as would you. This may be a great substitute for that tie you want to buy dad.
8.5 out of 10