'Who Dares Wins' storms its way on to Region Free Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer with Phil Meheux's camerawork framed in the theatrically correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio. If we believe the Blu-ray box, this is a 'superbly restored' version of the film. I guess we are so used to seeing superbly restored movies that anything that is slightly flawed stands out like a sore thumb. The opening title sequence is grainy like a 16mm blow up and features dirt specks on the film that an ultrasonic clean would have removed. This may be down to the 'matted' titles as the image improves thereafter, although grain varies throughout the movie. There are also occasional print marks that a little attention to detail in the clean up would have sorted out. Overall, the transfer is a tad soft as there are no bitingly sharp close-ups such as those we have become accustomed to on restored High Def releases. The colour is somewhat muted and faces, when shot against a grey sky, take on a reddish hue. There was also some noticeable burnout on 'hot' areas in the grey skies. Overall, it depicts the UK as a rather dull grey, sunless environment - so it's fairly realistic looking. The contrast however is good and blacks couldn't be blacker. It's not that it's really bad - just not as good as it might have been, hence the slightly disappointed feeling.
If we believe the box we have a DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound mix on 'Who Dares Wins'. The reality is that we have an LPCM 2.0 mono track, which is faithful to the way the movie sounded on its original cinema release. All the same, that great music track by Roy Budd would have sounded better with at least a full stereo mix.
There's quite a bit of dialogue in the lead up to the action scenes so thankfully, it is clean and crisp throughout. Obviously we have no deep bass grunt or bullets pinging off our walls due to the lack of a surround mix, but it's a good engrossing story so your attention is locked firmly to the screen with no auditory distractions.
'Who Dares Wins' comes as a 2 disc special Edition with Disc 1 being a Blu-ray while Disc 2 contains a SD DVD version.
- Audio Commentary
Hosted by Jonathan Softcot, the discussion features Producer Euan Lloyd and Director Ian Sharp who between them provide us with a nice 'in depth' insight into the background to the film as well as what it was like working with SAS trained actor Lewis Collins. They are joined later by Rosalind Lloyd who describes her scenes with Lewis and the fight scenes which she apparently enjoyed. This is real gold dust for film buffs. You're listening to very down to earth people who describe things in a very human way. Interesting stuff.
- The Last of the Gentleman Producers - HD, 37 mins
This chunky doco looks at the career of Producer Euan Lloyd with contributions from Roger Moore, John Glen and Mr Lloyd himself. It's fascinating. I won't spoil it by describing it, but he's a man with an interesting background so it's a great watch.
- 'The making of 'Who Dares Wins' - HD, 24 mins
This is actually an ageing episode of Granada TV's 'Electric Theatre Show' which due to the number of 'drop outs' looks as if it came from a VHS tape that has been in someone's loft. It covers the helicopter sequence in front of the big house at Pinewood and includes interviews with the producer, director and star.
- Trailer - HD, 3 mins
This is a surprisingly low key British trailer and basically tells the story in 3 mins.
The SAS action thriller 'Who Dares Wins' explodes on to region free Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 transfer framed at 1.85:1. The film isn't quite as sharp as many High Def releases and the print suffers from some dirt specs and occasional marks, but it's not too bad with slightly muted colour to add to the realism.
The audio is limited to a LPCM 2.0 mono track which is faithful to the original cinema release. The Extras contain a fascinating audio commentary and a nice doco on the career of producer Euan Lloyd and a TV special on the making of the film.
As a movie, it's a great British action flick that builds to the final set piece assault on Pinewood's mansion. Give yourself a treat. Modern films are tame by comparison.
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- Audio Commentary