On March 17, Kino Lorber Studio Classics brings the war-action film Force 10 From Navarone (1978) back to Blu-ray in a new edition (previously released by MGM in 2009).
The sequel to the 1961 classic The Guns of Navarone features an all-star cast including Harrison Ford, Carl Weathers, Franco Nero, and a who’s who of the James Bond franchise: Robert Shaw, Richard Kiel, Barbara Bach, Michael Byrne, and Edward Fox, not to mention director Guy Hamilton.
Kino’s new disc boasts a brand new 2K scan, and the difference in overall sharpness and visual fidelity is clear. Additionally, the new scan has done a much better job of capturing more of the full frame. (The movie’s file size also weighs in at 80% larger, though a small factor of that is attributable to a newly added commentary).
Coverage of frame:
Kino’s scan is consistently less tightly cropped, allowing more of the image to appear on the screen on all four sides. Here are a few shots where this difference is a bit easier to spot, based on the objects or tangents around the periphery.
Extensive color correction has been applied to the film. A “rosy” blush apparent in many outdoor scenes has been mitigated, and ightly vivid green foliage has been scaled back to more natural tones.
High Desaturation & Contrast
Overall, Kino’s colors look quite great as the prior screens demonstrate — but at time the changes are overzealous. This is more readily apparent in lower light scenes, where some of the colors lose their lustre in favor of a more desaturated, high contrast appearance.
As harsh as that last example appears, it’s worth noting that this choice does make the nocturnal scenes easier to “read” and less murky, and especially in motion— for example:
Throughout the film there are also a few times where the old disc’s palette has simply has a more natural appearance, though these are in the minority:
Notes on Revised Titles
I don’t have a frame of reference for what the film’s titles originally looked like in 1978, but both Blu-ray editions appear to have recreated or retouched versions of the opening credits sequence.
The 2009 disc features some especially garish, ultra-sharp bright yellow text which looks computer-created and is obviously not from the film’s era. Kino’s new disc has a much more subtle/natural appearance, though they opted to replace the setting test of “Somewhere in England” (left alone in 2009) to the same aesthetic.
In addition to a new 2K scan, Kino’s disc also have some new bonus features:
- Audio commentary by filmmaker Steve Mitchell and Author Jay Rubin (Combat Films: American Realism)
- Theatrical Trailer (1:44)
- Additional trailers: Ambush Bay (2:44), The Devil’s Brigade (3:46), Hornet’s Nest (2:39), The Secret Invasion (3:11), The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (2:32), Tobruk (2:48)
Get it at Amazon:
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Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system. All package photography was taken by the reviewer.