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Joe Kidd Blu-ray Review

“Joe Kidd” is a quality Clint Eastwood vehicle.

John Sturges (who is no stranger to the western genre having helmed classics like “The Magnificent Seven” and “Gunfight At The O.K. Corral) helmed another western back in 1972 with “Joe Kidd.” This one, however, stars Clint Eastwood. In this outing, Eastwood plays the titular troublemaker/former bounty hunter who follows his own path but has a conscience. Joe is hired by a cruel and self-important wealthy land owner (Frank Harlan) to go after a Mexican revolutionary (Luis Chama) that is leading a fight against these land owners in New Mexico. Joe and 3 other gunmen venture off to find Luis, but along the way, Joe begins to question which side he is on.

Written by Elmore Leonard, “Joe Kidd” may not be a top tier Clint Eastwood starring film, but it does have an edge to it. Granted, Joe Kidd himself is sort of an amalgam of other Clint Eastwood western characters, but what makes this character stand out from the rest is that he’s conflicted. He’s not a hero and he’s not a villain. He’s somewhere in the middle and seems to have a set of morals which is what makes his journey so interesting. He makes critical decisions that change his path. Really, it is his character that makes “Joe Kidd” worth a watch as the plot itself feels pretty basic. 

On the subject of the character of Joe Kidd, Clint Eastwood seems to relish playing this complex character. You can tell he’s invested and dialed into playing him. Robert Duvall is equally engaged here playing the villainous Frank Harlan. As for John Saxon, let’s just say it’s an embarrassing case of whitewashing. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation:  2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? While the transfer isn’t on par with “Two Mules For Sister Sara,” the Technicolor film’s print is still impressive albeit imperfect.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD. How does it sound? A decent but hardly revelatory 2.0 track.
Extras:
* TV spot, radio spot and trailer for “Joe Kidd.”
* Poster and image gallery
* Trailers for “A Fistful Of Dollars,” “For A Few Dollars More,” “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly,” “Coogan’s Bluff,” “Two Mules For Sister Sara,” “The Beguiled,” “Play Misty For Me,” “High Plains Drifter,” “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” and “The Eiger Sanction.”
* A 9 minute interview with actor Don Stroud (who played Lamarr) who talks about how he was cast, on set experiences, and more.
* Another commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox.

October 28, 2020 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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