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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immortal? Nearly but not quite!
Ignore the nay-sayers, Highlander has never looked this good! Having owned VHS and DVD copies previously, I can guarantee that Highlander will never look more polished than this without serious money being spent by the studio (like Bladerunner or Star Wars), and it'll never happen! This is a "warts & all" release, with even the Director of Photography in the "Making...
Published on 7 Feb. 2010 by Daniel Howe

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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Shame About The Sound
What more can I say. The film is great - One of the best from the 80s. If you have seen it you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it add it to you shopping basket NOW.
Now onto the sound. If you have a DD 5.1 system don't buy this film for the sound. It has been converted from Stereo but not very well. The sub does hardly any work at all. A shame as there...
Published on 9 Dec. 2001


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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immortal? Nearly but not quite!, 7 Feb. 2010
By 
Daniel Howe "Kingsize Dan" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Highlander Highlander - Special Edition [1986] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Ignore the nay-sayers, Highlander has never looked this good! Having owned VHS and DVD copies previously, I can guarantee that Highlander will never look more polished than this without serious money being spent by the studio (like Bladerunner or Star Wars), and it'll never happen! This is a "warts & all" release, with even the Director of Photography in the "Making Of..." documentary (transferred from a German DVD release) pointing out such things as the Skycam visible in the wrestling scene, or the shadow of the camera crane passing across the Kurgen's face. HD quality has been both a blessing and a curse to this film, making it look stunning in parts, but also highlighting its flaws. Some of the visual effects have clearly not dated well, and the quality of the film stock varies between scenes. However, those who say their DVD quality is better are talking rubbish; the outdoor highland scenes look gorgeous on blu-ray! As for the 1-star reviewer saying how poor the film is...this release is unlikely to win over legions of new fans, but for those of us who've loved it since 1986 this is an essential purchase! However I only give it 4/5 because it is missing the three Queen music videos present on the original Region 1 Immortal Edition DVD, and also the "Deleted Scenes" are nothing of the sort. They are extended/alternate scenes which are also missing the audio track, so a temp music track has been put in place, and not very interesting at all. For years I'd heard rumours of scenes such as the Kurgan slitting a sheep open and tossing it aside when first bursting in upon Ramirez and Heather, and a scene involving Mcleod, Kastagir and a coke dealer on a New York subway...If they ever existed they are not on this disc!
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and underapreciated, 6 Oct. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Highlander [DVD] (DVD)
I thought that the way in which the director transitions from modern day (well 1985) New York to the Highlands of Scotland in the 16th Centruy was done particularly well.
The flashbacks give you real understanding, at the time you need them so that there are questions to be answered, but so that you are not left in confusion. You gain a real feeling and understanding for Connor Macleod's life. And his character is developed as well as you could hope for a mainstream film of 1985. In fact, better.
Christopher Lambert does amazingly well at pulling off a Scottish accent, especially taking into account that he could not speak English at all before beginning this film.
This is an original and unique film that has unfortunately been destroyed through many a terrible spin off. If you try to ignore and forget that there is anything but Highlander 1, the original, then this film should be remembered. It is one of a kind, covering the genres of action, love, pain and questions if we could truly deal with living forever. It's definately worth watching.
Like I said...just my humble opinion
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Highlander Has Ever Looked, 25 July 2009
By 
James M. Dubs "dubsjm" (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
First, if you are like me and need several sources to confirm that this disc plays in both region A & B Blu-ray players, you can rest assured that it does. I'm American and even though I have read that this disc would work you can never be too sure until you get it home. The package says it will only play in region B, but I am pleased to say that this is not true.

Before I get to my other point...nerd confession: I own Highlander on multiple formats. I own it on VHS, Laser, DVD (x2), Blu-ray, and even 16mm film (I told you I was a nerd). I've also seen a slightly used 35mm print of the film in theaters.

Why do I mention that I've seen the film in so many formats? Well, it's not to brag. In fact, I'm a little ashamed. I've read some reviews complaining about the video quality. General complaints seem to be about grain or "noise," and inconsistencies in the film look from frame to frame or scene to scene. Others feel that the transfer is bad. These complaints aren't wrong; rather this is simply a matter of opinion and taste. Is there film grain? Yes. Are there inconsistencies between the look and quality of shots? Yes. Is this a problem? It is NOT for me.

If you are looking for a perfectly pristine blu-ray you will probably never own it. Unfortunately, this is a problem with the source material and probably not the transfer. There is one constant between all of the versions I've seen and that constant includes all of the complaints you've read - grain, inconsistencies in shots, "muddy" image, etc.

Fact: Highlander has never looked better. In fact, I think it looks amazing. There are details in shots that I have only seen on the 35mm print. The source material they used to make the transfer is the cleanest I've ever seen. Blu-ray is an amazing format that allows us to see films with renewed clarity and detail. And in the case of Highlander, also brings the existing flaws into renewed clarity as well.

So in the end the questions remains, will you like this new blu-ray? I can't answer that for you. However, if you want to experience Highlander in the closest way possible to the theatrical release, this is it! You just have to take the good with the bad. You will even get to experience the annoyingly obvious suspension wires in the final Quickening, just like audiences did in 1986.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy Eighties Classic, 6 Nov. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Highlander Highlander - Special Edition [1986] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I am of an age to have seen Highlander when it first came out on VHS (I wasnt quite old enough for the cinema haha) and it was a film, along with The Terminator, which I watched again and again at the time. Something about this 80s' slice of swashbuckling cheese just really appealed to the 11 year old me.

Its basically just the age old story of good versus bad but.......its got Christopher Lambert channeling his best Scottish accent, Clancy Brown doing a superb baddie in the Kurgan, Sean Connery as......um Sean Connery, its set, partly, in an amazingly sunny SCOTLAND :D (Ive been past the castle used for filming many times and never seen such an amazingly blue sky seen here!!) and its got possibly the best soundtrack for a movie EVER!

I havent owned a copy of Highlander since my video copy burned out and faded away long ago so its nice to have it now on blu. The picture quality is nice, though obviously nothing spectacular. I dont know if a remaster would help with some of the issues but seeing the film warts and all, or should that be strings, is just part of the magic for me. The commentary is low key, with only the director Mulcahy participating, so there are occasional silences but its still an enjoyable listen. Would be nice to have a cast commentary. The documentaries and featurettes are perfectly perfunctory and its nice to see some of the people involved talking some years later about the films eventual success.

All in all, a great blu ray of a cheesy classic movie. And cheap as chips.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - Shame About The Sound, 9 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Highlander [DVD] (DVD)
What more can I say. The film is great - One of the best from the 80s. If you have seen it you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it add it to you shopping basket NOW.
Now onto the sound. If you have a DD 5.1 system don't buy this film for the sound. It has been converted from Stereo but not very well. The sub does hardly any work at all. A shame as there are some great opportunities in the film with all of the sword fights and explosions.
Summary - Great film but don't expect any DD 5.1 kind of magic.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gimme The Prize!!, 15 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Highlander [DVD] (DVD)
This movie as I'm sure you'll have read epitomises all the characteristics of a well rounded sci-fi action movie. The believable plot of immortals battling throughout the ages has an intriguing atmosphere about it. Basically the movie's great. A timeless classic. Shame about the sequals.
Now for the DVD. I've watched it twice, and am very impressed by the anamorphic 1:85:1 video, which looks good on a 4:3 but better on a widescreen. Video quality is good considering the degredation that would have occured on the 80's source tape - images appear clear and sharp, compression artifacts are non existant and noise is reduced to the point of insignificance. Pixelation/blocking of the video does not occur noticeably at any point, and although edges have been enhanced and sharpened in places nothing looks contrastingly out of place in any scenes. Fleshtones and colours appear natural but noise reduction combined with source tape degredation has lead to a loss of fine detail in some scenes.
Sound quality is good - the English audio is done in full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, but for some reason the rear speakers seem amplified much more than the others, meaning the "background" music can tend to drown out sound effects in action scenes if the volume is not altered on them before playing the movie. Also, although I appreciate that the movie is old and had to be "converted" into surround sound I feel more could have been done with respect to the directional placements of some sound effects in the movie. That being said, all sound is very clear and sharp and a reasonable attempt at making full use of the surround sound was made in several scenes, but it's not comparible with surround sound from either Gladiator or The Matrix. This is where the DVD lost 1 star.
However the DVD knocks the spots off of the VHS edition so if you are a Highlander fan then buy this DVD!!
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the negative hyperbole..., 29 Jun. 2009
I just got my German blu-ray today and I was expecting a horrible transfer that some people likened to worse then VHS quality. Thankfully its all totally overblown hyperbole. Highlander has NEVER looked better then this and I have the US and the UK Immortal Editions on DVD to compare it to. Yes the transfer retains all the grain of the source and was thankfully not reduced into a blurry mess while trying to get rid of the grain with DVNR.

Anyone who expects this to look like a brand new Blockbuster like Transformers is delusional and really should stay away. Same for people who cannot accept that grain is something natural and inherent especially in some older film stocks.

Highlander was never a big budget movie and it certainly will never look like one. This Blu-ray however is by any fair judgment leaps and bounds better in terms of image quality then any of the DVDs that have been released of this movie anywhere on the planet.

I for one am very happy with this Blu-ray, knowing its a faithful representation of the movie and I have no problem whatsoever with the a little more visible grain this movie has in some scenes.

If there is anything to really nitpick about, it's the still tinny sound of the 5.1 mix. If you stick with the original 2.0 surround mix that's also on the disc it sounds perfectly fine for a 23 year old film.

Oh and for anyone interested, this disc is region locked to regions A AND B.

Another note, if you select the German menu option you'll get another 30 minute special feature with the producers of the movie that will not appear in the English menu.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic- Immortal, 17 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Highlander [VHS] [1986] (VHS Tape)
Ever since I first saw this movie I have been captivated by its shoreline. It is the sort of movie that makes you want to visit the Highlands where much of it's content was filmed. I have seen different versions of this movie; probably the best being a version, which I bought from Amazon.com, it was an NTSC version, which had a few slight differences mainly the sound. The movie remains a classic, one of the best and much not be confused with any of the sequels or the series, as this movie is a law unto itself. The soundtrack too is simply the best making the whole package so real. Watch this movie and then watch it again, this is a must in order to fully experience and appreciate the true depth of this all time classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a lot of utterly preposterous fun, even if it doesn't quite hang together., 5 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Highlander [DVD] (DVD)
The perfect gift for all movie enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
Back in 1986 all the goodies were doe-eyed musclemen. The baddies rippled under black leather. A pumping hard rock soundtrack surrounded them all, and "Highlander" defined the moment.

A truly heroic stomp through time and space, "Highlander" is the tale of clansman Connor MacLeod (Lambert), flamboyant nobleman Ramirez (Connery), and the evil Kurgan (Clancy Brown). All are immortals, and can die only by decapitation. They are cursed to duel down the ages until the mysterious 'Gathering', when the few left will battle for 'The Prize'. Together, Macleod and Ramirez struggle to thwart Kurgan in his attempt to win 'The Prize', and save the world from his random ultra-violence and low-down wickedness.

From the moody, rain-soaked, noir-ish streets of late 20th century America to the wild open spaces of medieval Scotland, Mulcahy plunders movie history to set off his visceral fight scenes with suitably rugged locations. This epic quality makes up for the pretentious shifts in time and space, and drags the viewer into the sheer monstrous drama of it all. Throw in a beautiful, female weapons expert, and a warm-hearted Scottish farm girl, and director Mulcahy could rest assured the boys in the audience will be happy.

What the film loses through ham acting, weak narrative and pompous macho posturing it more than compensates with in sheer fiery bravado, pace and larger than life action.

Stylistically "Highlander" may have dated as badly as Christopher Lambert's mullet, but so what? For an honest-to-God, boys-own thrash you can't beat it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, weak execution and a poor Blu-ray transfer, 22 Dec. 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Highlander Highlander - Special Edition [1986] [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Beware any film that begins with a wrestling match. Despite its cult success and Lazarus-like comeback on video after flopping big on the big screen, Highlander is a classic example of how to turn a great idea into a terrible film. Just hire Russell Mulcahy. Christophe Lambert as a Scotsman? I can live with that. Sean Connery as an Egyptian from the Spanish court? Sure, why not? An immortal race of swordsmen decapitating each other through the centuries from the Scottish Highlands of the 16th Century to New York in the 1980s in search of the ultimate prize when only one survives? Sounds fun to me. But Russell Mulcahy in the director's chair? Wasn't Michael Winner available that week?

Mulcahy's directorial style seems almost perversely determined to make the wrong choice in almost every scene, whether it's his obsessive use of inappropriate long lenses or his determination to make every shot so distinctive that he never notices that not only do the pictures often play against the intent of the scene but half the time the shots don't even match. It's so in-your-face you can practically see his tonsils, his visual overkill both irritating and distracting. The trouble is that, yes, they're pretty pictures, but they're just there because they look good: cut together they become increasingly clumsy and they stand in the way of telling the story. This is one of those embarrassing cases of a director constantly drawing attention to himself at the expense of the film he's making, suffering especially badly from the rock video mentality and its attendant inability to convey a cohesive narrative, let alone develop character. He's so afraid of losing your attention if he doesn't throw another great set-up at you every three seconds that you have nothing to latch on to and too often you just switch off.

There are some clever links from one time period to another and some moments work when he just stands back and lets the story happen, but ultimately the film is never as much fun as it should be and repeatedly defies all my attempts to like it more. If only it had been made by someone who knew how to direct, or even, with every scene played at fever pitch to growing indifference, had just the most rudimentary grasp of the importance of pacing. He's not much good with actors either, constantly spinning off into clumsy broad comedy that undermines any threat or momentum, with Clancy Brown's evil Kurgan the main casualty as he is reduced to a tiresomely comical punk rocker, alternating reckless driving and gratuitous priest-licking with terrible one-liners that wouldn't have passed muster in the Adam West Batman series.

Not that the direction is the only problem. Lambert is at times more sheepish than lionly in the lead and too often the film feels like it didn't know what to do with its idea, at times camping it up or descending into deliberate comedy, going especially awry in the 20th Century as the Kurgan goes ever more OTT once he discovers leather and MTV. It's also, like so many films from the decade of big hair and shoulder pads, surprisingly dated for a film that spends so much of its running time in the past, with many of the worst visual failings of 80s schlock in the modern-day scenes. Still, there are some good in things there: an engaging double-act from Connery and Lambert, a couple of half-decent sword fights despite Connery obviously not putting in the rehearsal time, Michael Kamen's score and Queen's songs, some of the period scenes look good and... well, that's pretty much it. It may be the best of the series, but it's a long way from being even nearly as good as it could and should have been.

Optimum's UK BluRay of the original European theatrical version is a very disappointing widescreen transfer: at times it is something of a minor improvement over previous versions (it has to be said the film didn't look that great on the big screen to begin with), but the quality veers wildly from shot to shot in some sections. The first 20 minutes or so suffer especially badly from excessive grain in the Madison Square garden scenes, improving sporadically in the Scottish flashbacks, but never impressing - it's more a case of getting used to it than radically improving. It doesn't have many of the features of the various US DVD releases of the title over the years - producers' commentary, music videos, stills galleries - but it's a decent package that improves on Lionsgate's all-region US disc. The few minutes of extended scenes are missing original sound or even subtitles, which is a bit of a problem when one of them is a dialogue scene, while the 85-minute making of documentary is missing most of the key players - no Lambert, Connery, Mulcahy or producers - but makes up for it by focussing on the interviewees it does snare at considerable length and detail. Particularly revealing is original writer Gregory Widen on the script's origins: touring the Tower of London armoury he wondered what it would have been like to not only own all the armour and weapons but to have used them all, adding a villain inspired by Harvey Keitel's persistent duellist in Ridley Scott's first film following the hero through history to pursue a never-ending duel that becomes the sole focus of his existence. Also on hand is co-writer Peter Bellwood to explain how the idea was expanded into an epic without delving too deep into why the rewrites went so wrong. Cinematographer Gerry Fisher and production designer Allan Cameron discuss the look of the film - the modern scenes now being its most dated aspect - while leading lady Roxanne Hart discusses her take on the role.

Unfortunately the 30-minute interview with the producer from the German DVD that concluded the documentary is missing, which is a pity because the film's financial history deserves more discussion than it gets here. It was instrumental in the downfall of EMI as a film company, with the studio fronting the lion's share of the huge budget to its canny independent producers and not even getting the potentially lucrative US rights - which went for a pittance to Fox, who heavily re-edited the film - in one of the most outrageously kamikaze deals of the eighties that ensured the company could never make a profit on it no matter how much it took. (Similar bad deals ensured that by the time the film came out, EMI had sold out to Cannon, who gutted the company before running it into the ground.) It would be the film's surprising profitability in the gold rush days of home video that would drive the series of increasingly poor sequels and syndicated TV series.

While it may not be definitive, it is surprisingly interesting, with gaps filled in by Mulcahy's dryly informative audio commentary and a brief French interview with Lambert, the package rounded off by the full UK trailer (though not the effective teaser). It's a more than decent package for one of those films that I'd love to like more but which never lives up to its central idea. Still, there's always the impending remake - and this is one film that's practically crying out for a remake with a decent director.
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Highlander Highlander - Special Edition  [1986] [Blu-ray]
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