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Bronco Billy Blu-ray Review

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“Bronco Billy” has merit.

Clint Eastwood stars in and directs 1980’s “Bronco Billy” which finds Eastwood as the titular character who is the horse rider/trick shooter star of a fading traveling wild west show. While the show’s constant problems are a main subplot, the main plot revolves around the budding romance between Bronco and an heiress (Antoinette) who was ditched by her husband and later thought to be dead.

Dennis Hackin (who wrote and produced “Bronco Billy”) has crafted a story that is half poignant and half dopey comedy that plays like a proto “Overboard” (seriously, there a fair amount of parallels). Granted, some viewers may find themselves swept up in this more lighthearted Eastwood fare, but, to me, the rocky romance between Bronco and Antoinette and Antoinette’s family are the least interesting elements here. What does work is the almost personal storyline about Bronco Billy that no doubt has parallels to Clint Eastwood’s own career and personal interests. At its heart, this is a story about a man (the title character) trying to keep a thing of the past alive with the wild west traveling show despite it being a very niche attraction now that isn’t bringing in much money. In 1980 and now, the western genre (where Eastwood made his name) was in the same shape so from that perspective the movie is really fascinating. Equally fascinating is that Bronco Billy never wavers despite everything seemingly going wrong. Frankly, I wish the movie had focused more on that.

Cast wise, Clint Eastwood seems at ease as the hotshot show star who is finding love. It’s a fairly different role for him when looking at the entirety of his career. Sondra Locke (who frequently worked with Eastwood and married him at one point) does a fine job with her developed character arc. The film also boasts fine supporting performances from the likes of veteran character actors Scatman Crothers and Geoffrey Lewis.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? While a slight upgrade from DVD, this is a very fuzzy and blotchy transfer.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Expect a lively 2.0 track that fares much better than the picture quality.

The lone extra is a “Bronco Billy” trailer.

July 26, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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