Blu-Ray & HD DVD Versions Covered In Review
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I like the cover of this hd-dvd a lot, simply because it encapsulates the feel of the entire film. The Warriors gang proudly making their way back home, amidst the night time and graffiti covered streets. The menus are well done also, with the comic book theme that was added to this director’s cut as a working menu.
There are four mini-documentaries that are included with this version of the film. They are on average about 15 minutes long for each, and they include areas like initial casting, the location shoots, and the phenomenon that became the Warriors legend. They are nicely done, and they really give insight into the making of, and the history that became the Warriors. They include interviews with director Walter Hill, as well as producers Frank Marshall and Larry Gordon. Also many members of the cast, looking a bit older, are included in the documentaries talking about everything from the issues with shooting only at night to the long beach scene that concludes the film.
Overall the extras are a nice addition to the film, and due to their relatively short length, as opposed to some of the documentaries attached to DVD’s these days, they were easy to watch and enjoy.
The Warriors originally came out in 1979, and at that time I was all of 9 years old. I saw the film way back when, but I must have been older than 9 when I saw it initially. Lets just say I probably watched it on HBO at a later date. I loved the crazy gang vibe of the film, especially since I grew up in the Midwest, with no real idea of what a gang was. I was young and apparently ultra-impressionable, because I loved the feel of the film and the intensity of the Warriors. I must have been about 13 or so.
I am now much older, and while some would argue it, I am much wiser. The Warriors now looks dated, and I had trouble with the fact that these groups of individuals were considered the dangerous underbelly of any city, let alone New York. I mean come on, who in their right mind would be terrified of a gang of guys dressed up like mimes? Well, I actually take that back, because if I ran into a group of mimes on the street, I would probably be very afraid, but you know what I mean.
The gang thing aside, the rest of the film was just as I remembered it: a thrill ride that saw this group of thugs trying to make it back to their home turf on Coney Island, through the maze of gangs and cops that was New York City. It was a story that really was well done, and it was actually nice to see fight scenes that didn’t resemble anything having to do with the slow motion blur or crazy camera angles. This predates the Matrix by so many years that the coolest effect that I saw was when one gang member got thrown into a mirror, and caused it to shatter – wow.
That being said, this director’s edition includes cut scenes that resemble a comic book, which adds to the feel of the film. It is as if Walter Hill recognized that the film itself is dated, but the story, which he apparently took from a cheap book that he found, is one that is more in line with a novel. When the Warriors was initially released in theaters, apparently it had to be pulled due to violence between real gangs in the theater. Nowadays the film wouldn’t have nearly the same effect, and the inclusion of the comic style to the film gives it a different feel; more of a work of fiction as opposed to a commentary on society, which Walter Hill explains is more in line with what he initially intended before the film took on a life of its own.
Overall I had a great time with the Warriors, and it was nice to see it presented in such a new way, with such amazing visuals.
Video & Audio: 8/10
The HD-DVD of the Warriors is amazing. I was a bit worried about the fact that a majority of the film takes place at night, which can sometimes be an issue for these older films. My fears were dissipated near the beginning of the film when I saw that there was no real fuzziness to the nighttime shots, and everything else looks clean and crisp. I was definitely impressed by the transfer.
I had seen this film before, and I will watch it again. It is a decent film, even if a bit dated. I would recommend it as a buy if you are into this type of film (think Escape from New York). If you haven’t seen it before, and aren’t sure about semi scary gang members in really bad outfits, then definitely rent this movie, if for nothing more than to join the ranks of cool people who know what “Warriors, come out and play-e-yaaa” means.
Overall Score 8/10