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  Directed by
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  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Quigley Down Under

MGM/MGM Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 115 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Matthew Quigley (Tom Selleck) is on a boat to Australia to answer a want ad for sharp shooters. Upon arrival, however, he defends a struggling young woman (Laura San Giacomo) against a bunch of thugs who turn out to be the guys there to meet him. Good start.

He soon meets the employer in Elliott Marston (Alan Rickman) and from here he learns that his skills are to be used not for hunting dingoes as he was led to believe, but for hunting aborigines. Immediately taking issue with this deplorable proposition, he makes an enemy of Marston and attempts escape into the wilds. However, he is caught and, with the girl he rescued a while back, dumped in the outback to die.

He doesn’t though and soon he is back to seriously kick some colonist arse.

"They say God made Australia last…"

Tom Selleck is his usual affable self in this rather good film from director Simon Wincer (Lonesome Dove is a relative production of his). Laura San Giacomo is even good playing a character wrestling with her inner demons and guilt associated with her past. Between them they have a good chemistry that makes this film eminently more watchable, though the inclusion of the brilliant villain Alan Rickman certainly goes a long way as well.

There are some nice points brought up about Aboriginal Australia, though these seem to be sorta tacked on not so much as an afterthought, but as an oversight. However, as an action vehicle this film isn’t so bad and although it’s been a little while since it was released it has held up fairly well. I saw this years ago on video and it really fell into the background noise of the myriad films I’ve ever seen, but points here did pop up again in my memory when watching it this time around. I thought it less forgettable this time though, with the ton of beautiful landscape shots and character developing silences between action bits. 14 years can certainly make a difference to how one views a film. And not to say I minded it way back when; it was just a bit ordinary to a 19-year-old. No doubt it’s ordinary to many people today as well, but for those after a slightly different take on an Australian/American film, they could do worse than this effort. There’s a healthy assortment of Australians here (though ironically they all play folks from the rest of the world) and the film takes its time meandering through what is a simple story nicely filled out with sub-stories and bit-part characters.

It’s by no means a brilliant film, but it is well worth checking out for the amazing cinematography (reminiscent of Japanese Story) and the not-so-subtle dig at racism we continue to battle today, 150 odd years since this film was set.

  Video
Contract

The picture quality is fairly nice here and is delivered in the monster 2.35:1 cinema aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. The colours are mostly earth tones and are delivered evenly. The flesh tones are okay with shadow detail being fairly good. Blacks are true, but there are some fairly dodgy special effects shots of the moon and stars, which surprised me with this being a 1990 film.

  Audio
Contract

Dolby Digital 5.1 surround does its best here, though it doesn’t get all that much to work with. Occasional surround sounds crop up every so often, but the subwoofer is the real supporter here with multiple booming cannon-like gunfire unnerving the viewer. Dialogue is all clear and easy to understand, even amidst the myriad accents and fake accents.

Music is scored by Basil Poledouris and is a curious mix between classic American western and synthesised late ‘80s. Still, it does fit the film. It’s really not bad and certainly fills the film in nicely.

  Extras
Contract

Just the original theatrical trailer here which runs in the full size aspect with enhancement as does the film. Only 2.0 this time though and it goes for 1:48.

  Overall  
Contract

I enjoyed this film a little bit more than I remember enjoying it the first time around and it has made the transition to DVD in remarkably nice style. It’s a different take on the American western, although it is peppered with clichéd American archetypes of that sort of film. That’s not such a bad thing though and the film works as a retribution/revenge film for a decent cause.

Tom Selleck fans will find much to enjoy here and even Laura San Giacomo does a better than average job as a tormented woman in driven mental by her past. Well worth the look.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=4054
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      And I quote...
    "The American western goes into Australian territory in this 1990 shoot-’em-up that sees Tom Selleck defending the Australian Aborigines."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-T29S32S 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
          Akai
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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