Blackthorn has arrived on Blu-ray/DVD and I had the opportunity to get hold of a copy to see if the film was better a second time on my big screen HD TV. In addition, the special features may give light on the making of the film I felt was only average at the movie theater.
The story behind Blackthorn combines a ‘what if’ premise with a road movie. Each idea, as far as I’m concerned, could have been a movie in itself. However, there would have been little substance being separate for director/writer Mateo Gil to put on a good show. This bothered me when I saw the film on the theater screen. In addition, the far fetched notion that the icon lawless gang leader Butch Cassidy would have remained in Bolivia until he grew old without seeing the son to which he was writing, made it unlikely.
So, I watched it again keeping in mind that maybe I may have just been in an off mood that killed the film for me. So I ramped up the sound on by 60” HD TV, shoved the Blu-ray disc into the player and turned down whatever light I could to give me an in theater feel.
The film centers on Butch Cassidy, a man in seclusion under the name of James Blackthorn. High up in the Bolivian mountains to which he escaped from near death in a government military shoot out, Blackthorn pines for the day he can leave his retreat for a trip back to the United States where the son he has never seen lives. Finally feeling like he can travel, he takes a trip to a far off town and sells all his worldly goods to a couple of unscrupulous gentlemen.
Heading back to his shack he gets bushwhacked by Eduardo Appocada (Edwardo Noriega) and in turn drops the man with a shot. When the man tells Blackthorn that he has a lot of money hidden and will split it with him if he helps him get to the hidden dough. So starts a rigorous road trip with twists and turns that lead to swift justice.
Well, the second time around was much better since I had been already acquainted with the characters. The acting as reported in my review is the best reason to see the film with my story available in ACED Magazine at the following link.
So I checked out the bonus material that includes some Deleted Scenes, “Making of Blackthorn”, Short films by Director Mateo Gil and HDNet: A Look at Blackthorn to see if it upped the value of a purchase of the Blu-ray. Not a lot here that’s any different than other Blu-ray extra, EXCEPT the two short films by Director Mateo Gil that are superb. Very intense in different ways, one deals with couples breaking up, the other a sales pitch from hell.
Blackthorn has been rated R for violence and language by the MPAA.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A better film on Blu-ray that brings the subject up close and personal. Film (B), Special Bonus Features (C ), Total Experience (C+)
- Actors: Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega, Stephen Rea
- Directors: Mateo Gil
- Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Subtitles: Spanish
- Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: R (Restricted)
- Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
- DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011
- Run Time: 102 minutes