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Black Rainbow Blu-ray Review

Black

“Black Rainbow” is unworthy of being obscure.

Written and directed by Mike Hodges (best known for helming the original “Get Carter” and “Flash Gordon”), 1989’s “Black Rainbow” is a neo-noir supernatural thriller (at least that’s how I would describe it). The story revolves around a medium (Martha) and her father (Walter) who travel from town to town doing shows. During one show, she has a disturbing vision of a murder that eventually comes true. The murder is connected to a larger conspiracy involving a shady business. Martha begins to see more visions of the future, but what she doesn’t know is that the killer is after her too. Tied into this whole plot is a newspaper journalist named Gary who is trying to get to the bottom of the truth and perhaps help save Martha from danger. 

“Black Rainbow” is an unusual movie in many respects. It’s a supernatural thriller about a non-phony clairvoyant, it’s set and shot in the heart of Americana in the bible belt, and it’s a film that explores the spiritual realm, blind religion, economic class, and nature. Mike Hodges gives the film a unique vibe and tone with some truly eerie imagery. Moreover, the film has one of the most unconventional and curious endings/final acts that, while a tad rushed, is bold and provoking. Simply put, there’s more than meets the eye with this forgotten 80’s film that deserves more attention. 

Cast members Jason Robards, Rosanna Arquette, and Tom Hulce all turn in fine performances here. Robards is his usual great self as a deeply flawed father, Hulce commits to the role of a journalist, and Arquette seems to be relishing her complex and mysterious role. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? “Black Rainbow” has been restored from the original negative and the result is a nice crisp print.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 PCM. How do they sound? You can’t go wrong with either track here as they are both quality.

Extras:
* Arrow Video Channel free trial coupon
* A booklet featuring credits, photos, a written piece by Mike Hodges and an essay by film critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
* “Black Rainbow” trailer
* 3 archival interviews with Jason Robards, Rosanna Arquette, and Tom Hulce.
* “Message In A Bottle: The Making Of Black Rainbow”- A vintage making of featurette with film clips, stills and interviews with Mike Hodges and producer John Quested.
* 4 archival featurettes titled “8 Minutes,” “Disasters,” “Seeing The Future,” and “Behind The Rainbow.”
* 2 commentary tracks. One thoughtful solo one by writer/director Mike Hodges and the other by film historians Kat Ellinger and Samm Deighan

July 30, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Just reviewed this, and came to the same conclusion; unjustly neglected, and should be more widely seen. Black Rainbow might just reach its biggest audience in 2020.

    Comment by tensecondsfromnow | July 31, 2020 | Reply

    • It would be nice if it found more of an audience!

      Comment by nicklyons1 | July 31, 2020 | Reply


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