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“Kelly's Heroes/Where Eagles Dare Double Feature” - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Taylor Carlson
Studio: Warner Bros.
Genre:
Action
Release Date:
6/1/10
Special Features:

Trailers

Review:

Kelly's Heroes (1970) and Where Eagles Dare (1968) both star Clint Eastwood and are directed by Brian G. Hutton. Kelly's Heroes co-stars Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas, Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, and Harry Dean Stanton. Where Eagles Dare co-stars Richard Burton. ***

Where Eagles Dare is the story of a military operation to retrieve an Allied high commander being held prisoner. The group takes a German-painted plane behind enemy lines and drops onto foreign soil - but even once the fortress is discovered, things don't go as planned - and it quickly becomes clear that not everyone may be who they seem. ***

Where Eagles Dare has its moments, but the movie is an overlong mess. Dragging on for over 2.5 hours, the movie outlives its welcome. Even Eastwood feels like he's playing second fiddle to Richard Burton. Throwing the concept of double agents into the movie about halfway through only further complicates the storyline, and makes it all the more difficult to watch and comprehend. There are some amazing sequences, but I would have preferred this movie if it were about an hour shorter and didn't have so damn many plot twists that actually worked against the film. ***

Kelly's Heroes is the story of a group of World War II soldiers who discover the hidden location of stolen Nazi gold, and set out on a journey to get their hands on it. But this is no easy trip or quick score. German soldiers are onto our heroes, and they aren't going to let them reach the riches without a fight. ***

Of the two movies in the set, Kelly's Heroes is my preferred film. The movie has an unforgettable ensemble cast, and takes itself less seriously than Eagles did. Like Eagles, the movie is far too long (half an hour could easily have been put on the cutting room floor), but it has a lot more memorable scenes and takes a more straightforward approach. The movie isn't a masterpiece, but it's a fun way to kill 2.5 hours. The cast is excellent, and even includes a pre-All In The Family Carroll O'Connor. ---

Image And Sound:

These films look good on Blu-Ray but not great. From what I can tell, Warner most likely used the same masters that were utilized for the most recent DVD release. They are a little softer than I would have liked, but a few scenes here and there look very good. One thing that can't be argued with - these are in all ways a step up form the SD offerings. ***

Both movies get a lossless audio track, but there is only so much that can be done with such dated source elements. These aren't the kind of tracks that will give your speakers a real workout, but there are plenty of action scenes that sound quite good. Just don't expect reference quality audio.

Special Features:

Just trailers for both movies.

Final Words:

These movies are not classics, or great films by any means. But it is a lot of fun to revisit them. And this double feature gives you both films for one low price. The unfamiliar should rent first, but I doubt any fan will be disappointed by this set, apart from the lack of supplements.

 

 
 
 
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