Quigley Down Under (1990) 
Blu-ray Western
Written by Noah Fleming   
Wednesday, 23 November 2011

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“Quigley Down Under” is not the most prominent film in cinema history but for those that are aware of its existence will have found quite the little gem.  And for those that haven’t heard of the film should definitely give it a chance.

The film stars Tom Selleck and Laura San Giancomo, before her “Just Shoot Me” fame.  In addition, the film stars Alan Rickman fresh off his success as Hans Gruber in “Die Hard.”

In “Quigley Down Under,” Tom Selleck stars as Matthew Quigley, a sharp shooter in the times of the old west, hired by a British landlord (Rickman) in Australia.  After a several month ocean crossing from America to Australia, Quigley learns of Marston’s (Rickman) real plan for him.  Instead of killing dingoes, Quigley is sought after to kill the aborigines.

Quigley, of sound morals absolutely refuses.  He is therefore left for dead in the middle of the Australian desert, along with Crazy Cora (Giacomo).  The two of them are forced into the middle of the aborigine/British conflict due to their morality.

“Quigley Down Under” achieves everything that “Australia” set out to do and failed.  The film has adventure, romance and sorrow.  This film is a clear tale of morality.  Because of its inspirational and human tale, it deserves respect.  Giacomo delivers a terrific performance as Cora.  You might think that her crazy, obsessive nature would wear thin, but it is engaging throughout.  Selleck delivers one of his best performances of his career as well.

This Blu-ray was originally scheduled for release back in May 2011.  However, due to marketing decisions the release was postponed to November 2011.  So, for those that got your hands on the May release, this is the same release.

This is perhaps one of MGM’s best stock catalog Blu-ray video transfers.  The black levels are strong and shadow delineation is appealing throughout.  The colors are richly saturated.  The sunbathed yellows and reds of the Australian landscape are exemplary.  Details are nicely textured and apparent.  Film grain remains intact, providing more texture to the image.  The fineness of dust and dirt smoothly transcends the screen.  There is no visible artifacting worth mentioning.  While the transfer is relatively clean, there are some speckles and scratches here and there.  Nevertheless, this is a superior catalog transfer.

The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA 2.0.  Let me preface this by first saying, the 2.0 track packs quite a punch.  However, I would have really liked a surround remix of this soundtrack.  It has some great action sequences that could easily benefit from surround placement.  That being said, the stereo audio track has nice width and terrific bass support.  The dialogue is generally intelligible, though some fall by the wayside due to prioritization choices.  Aside from the bombastic bass and crystal clear effects, this is a rather typical stereo audio track.

In terms of special features, this MGM release contains a simplistic set.  There is a theatrical trailer and TV Spot.  In addition there is a classic featurette, “The Rebirth Of The Western.”

“Quigley Down Under” has good Western-Australian story with terrific Australian landscapes to behold.  The audio and video qualities of this Blu-ray catalog release is well above average and easily warrants an upgrade from that old standard DVD.
Studio MGM Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating PG-13
Starring Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman
Director Simon Wincer
Film Release Year 1990
Release Year 2011
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Running Time 2 hrs.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 2.0 • French Dolby Digital 2.0 • Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles English SDH • French • Spanish
Special Features “Rebirth Of The Western”; Trailer; TV Spot
Forum Link http://www.avrev.com/forum
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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