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"Three Amigos"
- {Blu-ray}
Wayne Klein
Studio: HBO
Release Date:
Special Features:

See Below


An overlooked comedic classic (and pretty darn silly, too) "The Three Amigos" was overdue for a Blu-ray release.***

Three silent film stars (Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short)known as the Three Amigos from their westerns. When the three are fired by their producer Harry Flugleman for demanding more money they desperately take the only job offered to them by telegram--to "perform" in a small Mexican village unaware that the villagers have mistaken them for real heroes and are hiring them to get rid of the bandit El Guapo.***

Playing as a delicious parody of "The Magnificent Seven" (which was, in turn, an adaption of "The Seven Samuri"), "Three Amigos" plays with the conventions of the western genre and Hollywood personas. Written by Steve Martin, Lorne Michaels and Randy Newman (who also composed the campfire song), it was a box office flop when released back in 1986 but has gained a cult following since then. The premise worked so well that it appeared again in the film "Galaxy Quest" and even "A Bug's Life".***

Image & Sound:

While I'm happy to finally have this on Blu-ray the transfer itself suffers from some compression problems and grain management is a bit inconsistent with some shots appearing grainer than others. The transfer also shows evidence of over processing over processing. This looks to be pulled from an old HD master but it is evidently a recent transfer which makes the sometimes sloppy presentation even more inexcusable. The film comes on a 25gig disc and while grain is quite prominent at times there are some problems with moire (which appears as "strobbing")aside from these problems the film looks pretty good if inconsistent in its presentation here. I'm guessing that most folks won't notice any of these issues.***

Audio sounds exceptionally good with a lossless DTS-Audio 5.1 mix. It would have been nice to have an isolated score for Elmer Bernstein's marvelous music (which parodies his own score for "The Magnficient Seven")but it's possible the individual elements no longer exist.***

Special Features:

We get deleted scenes some of which were cut by the studio when Landis was preoccupied with his trial for "The Twilight Zone" debacle (Landis could only edit the film at night and work on the post production then because his time was spent during at the trial during the day). These include an alternate opening sequence for the film. The deleted scenes were pulled from a preview copy of the film and are in decent shape but lack the sharper detail and presentation of the finished film. The rest of the deleted scenes and trims were sadly trashed years ago. We also get a vintage interview from 1986 with stars Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. It's not color corrected and hasn't been restored. It was shot on video. We also have a reproduction of the interview the three comedians and director Landis did this year that appeared in Empire Magazine.***

Final Words:

Although the presentation of "Three Amigos" isn't flawless, it looks pretty darn good for a mid-80's film. It's a pity there isn't a commentary track from the stars and director Landis but the limited extras we do get are quite nice and it's hard to argue with the price.***


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