The Professionals Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany
The Professionals will always ride side-saddle to the likes of The Magnificent Seven, The Wild Bunch or The Good, The Bad And The Ugly in terms of its “men-on-a-mission” concept and, as such, it can’t help but lag behind in the classic Western stakes. But this takes nothing away from a great, rip-roaring adventure yarn dominated by wonderfully drawn characters, sharp and witty dialogue, a handful of exciting set-pieces and a cast that lift the story way up and out of the pulp novel that kick-started it. Broadly cinematic and thrillingly told, The Professionals marked a serious detour for the genre on the road to its big turning-point in 1969 with The Wild Bunch, retaining the sheer exuberance of an over-the-top cast and a pure ensemble-yarn, whilst still delivering a stronger, more morally complex oater than many of its ilk. The transfer is let down a tad by edge enhancement, but this remains a terrifically engrossing and captivating image. Dolby TrueHD may not have been a completely necessary development, but it does provide a nice extension to the audio that makes the film feel a little livelier than previously. The extras may not look much, but there is enough warmth, anecdote and background to the film and, primarily, its main star of Burt Lancaster, to make the release feel more loaded than it actually is. For Western fans this is a must. But, for others, The Professionals still provides a grand-slam opportunity to see some Hollywood icons clearly having a ball at, what could be considered, the onset of their career twilight. Great stuff and well-deserved of repeat-viewing.
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Standard Member
Great movie and very fine superb image quality with some minor edge enhancement especially noticeable against hats, trains, and the wooden beams on the house during the opening ten minutes.

Despite the mild edge enhancement the film looks superb and is a classic western.

The reason for the edge enhancement is Sony's old machinery that they used added ringing to each transfer and they have replaced that as of early 2007.

Any transfer after early 2007 done by Sony should look superb so that includes all new releases. Some old masters may still be in use so might have minor edge enhancement on them.

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