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Time To Die Blu-ray Review

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“Time To Die” is an involving obscure western.

The Plot: After spending 18 years in prison, Juan Sayago returns to his hometown to restart his life, but things don’t turn out the way he planned. Instead, the 2 sons (Pedro and Julian) of the man he killed (Raul) are out for revenge against Juan. Juan wants to avoid trouble and move on with his life, but his past is haunting him in the form of the 2 sons.

If you haven’t heard of this 1966 Mexican western film, you’re not alone. Prior to popping this disc in for review, I had never heard of it myself. It’s a shame “Time To Die” isn’t more well known as it is actually a memorable western film.

Despite containing familiar western film tropes ala revenge and a fresh out of prison character, “Time To Die” is still a compelling “you can’t go home again” story. While it would have been nice to know how and why Raul actually died, the unsolved mystery surrounding his death is part of the film’s film appeal. In fact, it is one of a couple elements that don’t feel like your average western film. The main character of the film (Juan) isn’t your typical star. He’s a portly, older man who just wants to live his life again, but his past is depriving him of that. You know the man is doomed and perhaps he knows it too which makes him even more intriguing.

Another thing that stood out about this movie is the shaky, handheld camera work. Back in 1966, this was certainly not common (especially for a western). While it is a bit distracting at times technically, it does give the film a grounded, gritty look.

The production values here are top notch. The location shooting really draws you in. It gives you a real sense of place and atmosphere.

As for the acting, it can be a bit stiff and clunky at times to be sure, but star Jorge Martinez de Hoyos (Juan) really does a great job of carrying the film.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.33:1 1080p. How does it look? The 2K digital restoration of this B&W film offers up a clean and crisp transfer.

Audio Track: Unspecified Mexican Stereo Track. How does it sound? The film’s sound is sometimes echoey and isn’t of the greatest quality, but this track does a solid job nonetheless.

Extras: Film Movement trailers, a booklet that features credits and an essay by Cinema Tropical co-founder Carlos A. Gutierrez, a “Time To Die” trailer, an intro by director Alex Cox and an informative subtitled commentary by director Arturo Ripstein and actor Enrique Rocha.

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December 3, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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