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Directed by Sydney Pollack, 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR ($30) is definitely a best of breed spy thriller from the 1970ís. In 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR Robert Redford portrays Joe Turner, an analyst working for the CIA, whose job entails reading books, newspapers, and magazines from around the world, looking for anything that may be relevant to the intelligence community. One day, while Joe is making a lunch run, a group of armed men enter his nondescript New York City office and assassinate the six other employees. Upon finding his dead co-workers, Joe flees the building and calls "The Company." Upon giving his code name, "Condor," Joeís call is transferred Deputy CIA Director Higgins (Cliff Robertson), who arranges for Joe to meet with his section chief, Wicks (Michael Kane), who will bring him in for a debriefing.

However, the back alley rendezvous turns out to be an ambush, forcing Joe into hiding. With nowhere to hide from "The Company" that they wonít know about, Joe randomly selects Kathy Hale (Faye Dunaway), a woman he sees in a sporting goods store, and forces her, at gunpoint, to take him home with her. Eventually, Joe is able to turn Kathy to his cause, which gives him time to try to figure out why everyone in his office was assassinated and why he has become a moving target for a detached hired assassin, who is identified as Joubert (Max von Sydow). The cast of 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR also features John Houseman, Addison Powell, Walter McGinn, Tina Chen, Michael Kane, Don McHenry and Michael B. Miller.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. I have to say that I was might impressed with the 1080p presentation of 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR, which looked exactly how a mid seventies film should in high definition. Image sharpness, definition and fine detail are all very good, but one needs to place the picture quality in perspective- this is not a brand new movie shot on todayís superior film stocks, so the image will appear somewhat softer than a new movie. Color reproduction is very good despite the bland 1970ís pallet. Hues have a natural level of saturation and true looking flesh tones. The blacks and whites appear accurate. Contrast is smooth, and shadow detail is more than acceptable. The elements from which 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR has been mastered appeared quite clean, with only minor hiccups. Grain is ever present, and is sometimes a little heavy, which is exactly why this presentation is wonderfully film-like and reminds one of what vintage movies should look like in high definition.

3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Considering the era 3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR was most likely released originally in monaural, the remix really doesnít seem to push beyond the limitations of the track. The talky passages are front and center, with the more active bits being given some breathing room across the front. Canít say the surround channels were very engaging. Still, the sound is rather effective and I think the lossless encode helps liven the sound effects a bit. The music sounds respectable, but the recordings are a tad dated. Dialogue is crisp and easy to understand. A French language track has also been encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as Theatrical Trailer, which is in HD.

3 DAYS OF THE CONDOR remains a sold spy thriller that has been given a truly fine hi-def presentation on Blu-ray. Recommended.



3 Days of the Condor [Blu-ray] (1975)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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