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“Dances With Wolves (UK Import)”- {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Taylor Carlson
Studio: Warner
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
2009
Special Features:

None

Review:

Dances With Wolves is directed by and stars Kevin Costner (Open Range.) The film's musical score is composed by John Barry (James Bond series, Zulu), and is based on Michael Blake's novel. ***

After being declared a hero in battle, a Civil War-era troop is granted his request of being allowed to head out west and see the Frontier in its latter days. Once out west, he meets a friendly group of Native Americans, and begins to bond with them and embrace their way of life, becoming one of the tribe, and falling in love with a woman who has also been adopted by them. Unfortunately, this doesn't sit well with the soldiers he once fought alongside, who are looking to expand westward. ***

Prior to this film, Kevin Costner had several parts in numerous films over the previous decade. Dances With Wolves was his first film as not only a star but also director. It is the movie that made Costner a household name. Revisiting it 20 years after its theatrical release, it isn't all that hard to see why. ***

Dances With Wolves succeeds because of strong character development. In our 3-hour journey, we see the evolution of Costner's character from a foolhardy, suicidal soldier to someone who has embraced a way of life he was never meant to be a part of. It is rare to find films set in the Western era that don't depict Native Americans as one-dimensional savages, which is another reason that Costner's film is a breath of fresh air. The movie isn't afraid to depict the White Man as the villain later on, making the message of the film all the more dominant in its final act. ***

The musical score is provided by John Barry, perhaps best known for his work on the James Bond series, having composed the scores for roughly half of the films in that series! Barry can score ANYTHING, and here he creates the ideal score for a movie set on the Frontier, in its last days. ***

This disc only includes the 3-hour theatrical cut of the film. A German Blu-Ray exists featuring the 4-hour director's cut of the movie, however it is region-locked. A French Blu-Ray, which is region-free, features the 3-and-a-half hour extended cut. ---

Image And Sound:

This movie was beautifully filmed in some gorgeous country. And the Frontier comes to life like never before on this Blu-Ray. The colors are more vibrant than SD versions, and detail is amazingly good for a film 2 decades old. The image tends to be a bit soft throughout, but this is most likely just due to the way it was filmed. Print damage and dirt are not even an issue. ***

On top of the nice visual upgrade, the movie gets much-needed lossless audio. With this track, you'll hear all the sounds of the Frontier like never before. This is one of those tracks that needs to be heard in action to be appreciated. No fan will be disappointed.

Special Features:

None. This disc is as dead as the frontier after the events of the movie.

Final Words:

Dances With Wolves is an incredible, epic film and this region-free Blu-Ray Disc more than does the movie justice. I wish there were some special features and the other cuts of the movie on the disc, but those are small complaints - I'm fine with the 3-hour theatrical version. But this disc looks and sounds gorgeous, and it is easy to recommend importing it if you're a fan of the film.

 

 
 
 
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