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Daniel Attias
Gary Busey, Corey Haim, Megan Follows
Writing Credits:
Stephen King

A werewolf terrorizes a small town.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 12/17/2019

• Audio Commentary with Director Daniel Attias
• Audio Commentary with Producer Martha De Laurentiis
• Score Selections/ Audio Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
• Interview with Actor Kent Broadhurst
• Interview with Editor Daniel Loewenthal
• Interview with Actor Everett McGill
• “Full Moon Fever” Featurette
• Trailer
• TV Spot
• Radio Spot
• Still Gallery


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-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Silver Bullet: Collector's Edition [Blu-Ray] (1985)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 25, 2019)

Adapted from a novella by Stephen King, 1985’s Silver Bullet takes us to the small Maine town of Tarker’s Mills. Set in the spring of 1976, a series of brutal murders disrupts the quiet community.

While Sheriff Joe Haller (Terry O’Quinn) deals with an investigation, wheelchair-bound young Marty Coslaw (Corey Haim) goes through his own close encounter with the culprit. He manages to inflict harm on the attacker’s eye and he escapes.

Marty claims a werewolf assaulted him, and along with teen sister Jane (Megan Follows), he begins a search for a local with a damaged eye. Marty, Jane and their drunk Uncle Red (Gary Busey) go down a dangerous path as they attempt to stop the brutal violence.

King might’ve written the screenplay and based it on his own work, but Bullet feels like some weird half-assed attempt to make a Spielberg movie. Despite the horror motif, the emphasis on Marty throws off a serious ET the Extra-Terrestrial vibe, for instance.

In addition, expect Bullet to “borrow” massive globs of Jaws. A confrontation between a grieving parent and Sheriff Haller completely rips off the scene between Mrs. Kintner and Brody, and the score even offers hints of John Williams’ legendary theme at times.

Toss in ample reflections of prior werewolf movies and Bullet lacks even a hint of originality. It feels like a loose collection of influences without much real purpose of its own.

If Bullet managed decent entertainment value, I might not mind its derivative nature so much. Unfortunately, this becomes an awkward mix of scenes that feels too campy to scare but not quite campy enough for “so bad it’s good” material.

Though Bullet really does go down the silly side of the street a lot of the time. The choice to make Marty a paraplegic screams “plot device”, and then the decision to give him a turbo-charged wheelchair falls into the same path.

Basically King creates obstacles in the pursuit of tension, but then he finds “outs” for these as well. This feels like tacky storytelling, as those involved can’t be bothered to come up with logical rationales for much of anything.

With Busey in the lead, the adult castmembers overact a storm, whereas the kids underplay their parts too much. The differing styles emphasize the movie's theme that the kids know better than their elders, but the two sides feel too different for them to connect as needed.

There’s nothing wrong with the film’s underlying plot, as the werewolf theme always comes with potential. Too bad the final product offers a goofy, scare-free tale.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B-/ Bonus B+

Silver Bullet appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was an inconsistent presentation.

Most of the concerns related to sharpness, which seemed awfully erratic. While some shots looked well-delineated, more than a few appeared soft – and oddly soft at that, as I couldn’t discern a logical reason for these iffy elements.

This meant wide shots could look vague and tentative one minute but then appear tight and precise the next. Much of the movie brought acceptable to good accuracy, but the exceptions caused distractions.

Otherwise, the image held up pretty well. No instances of jagged edges and shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. In terms of print flaws, the film came free from issues.

Colors appeared fine within production choices. The movie opted for a fairly autumnal feel to suit its setting. This meant the hues appeared more than acceptable but didn’t stand out as memorable.

Blacks felt fairly dark and dense, while shadows offered appropriate clarity. The softness made this a “B-“ image that just barely rose above “C+” level.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, it seemed perfectly adequate. Speech was natural enough, with no obvious edginess on display.

Music showed decent range, and effects felt the same, as they showed reasonable impact and avoided obvious distortion. Given the movie’s age and sonic ambitions, this became an accurate representation of the source.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio offered minor improvements over the lossy DVD mix, though the nature of the source restricted growth.

Visuals demonstrated a more obvious upgrade, as the Blu-ray was substantially cleaner, with stronger colors and accuracy. Even with the soft shots, the Blu-ray obviously topped the problematic DVD.

While the DVD lacked any extras, the Blu-ray comes with a bunch, and we find two separate audio commentaries. In the first, we get running, screen-specific chat with director Daniel Attias.

Accompanied by disc producer Michael Felsher, Attias covers aspects of his career as well as specifics connected to Bullet. In that vein, he discusses the source and its adaptation, story/character areas, cast and performances, editing, sets and locations, music, effects, and the movie’s reception.

Attias brings us a perfectly, entirely, totally okay commentary. Actually, that sells the chat a little short, as Attias brings us enough notes about the movie to make the piece reasonably good.

However, the commentary simply lacks a certain something to make it particularly involving. We get a more than competent discussion but not one that excels.

For the second commentary, we hear from producer Martha De Laurentiis. Also paired with Felsher, De Laurentiis talks about her career and partnership with famed husband Dino as well as aspects of this movie.

Expect a pretty good chat here, as De Laurentiis digs into the various topics well. The track moves at a nice pace and becomes a satisfying discussion.

In addition, we get a combo of score selections and an interview with composer Jay Chattaway. The ubiquitous Felsher appears here as well, and the pair look at Chattaway’s career and his work on Bullet.

The interview fills the movie’s opening 38 minutes. After that, we get isolated score segments through 1:09:40.

On one hand, the format works fine, and I appreciate the fact that the track doesn’t alternate music with Chattaway’s comments. I don’t much like isolated scores, so I feel happy I don’t have to sit through the whole movie just to hear occasional remarks from the composer.

That said, it seems unclear why the disc didn’t simply provide a separate on-camera interview with Chattaway and then devote the audio track entirely to score. It’s a useful piece but the format seems a bit wonky.

Three interviews ensue, and the first comes from actor Kent Broadhurst. In his 11-minute, 51-second piece, Broadhurst discusses his career and his work on Bullet. He brings good insights into his small role.

For the second interview, we hear from editor Daniel Loewenthal. During this 16-minute, 39-second reel, he covers his time in Hollywood and what he did for the movie. This becomes another fairly informative program.

Finally, we locate a conversation with actor Everett McGill. He gives us a 16-minute, 15-second view of his character and performance as well as aspects of the production. McGill goes into the material well.

A featurette called Full Moon Fever spans 21 minutes, three seconds and offers notes from special makeup effects artists Michael McCracken Jr. and Matthew Mungle. They detail their creations for Bullet and make this an engaging chat.

A few staples complete the disc. We get a trailer, a TV spot and a radio spot as well as a Still Gallery. The latter offers 71 elements that include shots from the set, promo pics and advertising. It becomes a nice compilation.

One of Stephen King’s earliest screenplays, Silver Bullet lacks impact or polish. The film feels like a mix of styles and influences that never builds terror or tension. The Blu-ray offers inconsistent picture as well as adequate audio and a positive roster of bonus materials. Though not flawless, this easily becomes the movie’s best home video release.

To rate this film visit the original review of SILVER BULLET

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