The River HD DVD Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany
The River may be a bare-bones release but then it would probably be quite hard to warrant much in the way of behind-the-scenes production background. Gibson, himself, would hardly be likely to pitch in any reminiscences regarding the time he spent with Mark Rydell as the period when this was made was a very difficult and trying time for him – with back-to-back movies and media attention dogging him every step of the way. He has even said that he considers the film “inferior” and his performance in it as bein “phoned-in.” Although I quite like the film, it does lack a sense of vitality and often comes over as rather drab in both appearance and theme. Still, Gibson proved his versatility once more and Spacek does well with a hand-wringing and thankless role, but the plight of the Garveys is hardly something that would inspire much repeatability.

The film’s transfer to HD is certainly worthwhile, with the image giving more life to the plight than it has previously produced. The audio doesn’t oversell itself, but the image has lots of fresh detail to offer, making this a sensible purchase for fans of the film, or Gibbo-completists.
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