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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
52 Pick Up [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 26 December 2017
in good condition
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on 6 April 2018
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on 18 March 2017
An enjoyable if somewhat dated movie. It came in prior to the date and I'm pleased.
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on 19 January 2018
Great 70s style thriller
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on 26 April 2017
I loved it .my kind of movie.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 March 2006
52 Pick-Up was one of the few rays of light in the dark days when every screen adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel would go horribly wrong and when John Frankenheimer's name on the credits wasn't exactly a guarantee of quality any more, although it sank quickly due to a botched marketing campaign (the producers decided to play up the good reviews by touting it as `The best film this season from Cannon,' which is a bit like boasting about having the least contagious form of VD). A riff on his earlier Western The Tall T, this sees businessman Roy Scheider set up by a trio of blackmailers who, not taking kindly to him confessing his affair to his wife rather than pay up, murder his girlfriend with his gun so as not to miss out on their payday, only for Scheider to turn them against each other. While it's no Out of Sight, it's an effectively seedy L.A. thriller with a couple of outstanding supporting turns by John Glover and a seriously mucked-up and dangerous Clarence Williams III.

No extras on MGM/UA's original DVD release, but it does have a decent 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. Arrow's UK Blu-ray fares rather better in the extras department, with a critical audio commentary and a 12 minute featurette on the cast while Kino Lorber's Region A-locked US Bluray only includes a trailer..
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on 19 December 2014
we are elmore leonard fans but this film is not as good as the book. The humour and wit removed..
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 July 2014
52 Pick-Up is directed by John Frankenheimer and written by Elmore Leonard (adapting from his own novel) and John Steppling. It stars Roy Scheider, Ann-Margret, John Glover, Vanity, Clarence Williams III, Robert Trebor and Kelly Preston. Music is by Gary Chang and cinematography by Jost Vacano and Stephen Ramsey.

Successful business entrepreneur Harry Mitchell (Scheider) finds himself the victim of blackmail by three pornographers who have video evidence of his extramarital affair. With his wife about to embark on a new stage of her political career, the last thing Harry needs is a scandal, but when things take a turn for the worse Harry decides to use unorthodox methods to deal with the blackmailers.

A nifty neo-noir this, certainly deserving of being better known in neo-noir circles. The presence of Leonard at the writing table ensures that the story doesn't drift too far away from his own source material, though location is moved to L.A. as opposed to the Detroit of the novel. Thematic thrust centres around Mitchell being caught for his indiscretions and what the consequences of his actions means for all around him, quite often with devastating results.

Mitchell has to move about a seedy world of pornography, of cheap peekaboo bars, strip joints and snuff movies, he has to get to the level of his blackmailers so as to enact his plans with conviction. The three weasels played by Glover, Williams and Trebor are in turn slimy, menacing and a twitchy neurotic, an off-beat trio suitably framed by Frankenheimer's sleazy and cold world.

It may not be prime Frankenheimer but the director knows his noir onions, both in performances garnered from his strong cast and via his visual ticks. Characters are more often than not smoking or drinking liquor, sweating or looking pained as the camera gets up close and personal, the director even finds place for a bit of slatted shadow play in one sequence and menacing angled shards for another.

Some contrivances are more annoying than hindrances, it's a bit bloodless for a picture not lacking in action scenes, and although the finale is signposted without due care and attention, it is still sufficiently rewarding. Decadence, sleaze, greed, paranoia and moral decay come crashing together to create a sadly neglected piece of 1980s neo-noir. A yuppie revenger where there are no heroes, just sinners and victims. 7.5/10
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When it comes to this 1980s production of Elmore Leonard's original novel I am very much on the same page with the late film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. His positive comments, a real reinforcer for a good thriller based film. For me this is a well-crafted movie by a man who knows how to hook the audience with the story he is telling. What really sells this movie is John Glover who plays his villainous role with shear relish, and to quote Mr Ebert `provides us with the best, most reprehensible villain of the year and uses his vile charm as the starting point'. If anything sells this film short it is the fact that it was in anyway handled by the Cannon Group, a low brow company that focused its efforts on low - budget films and had heavy interests in the Video (VHS) market - to which this film was regulated far too quickly.

This is a pretty good film, but I believe sold short by those that had a vested interest in promoting to its' best - a film for those who like a good thriller with a twist, as well those who want to see Elmore Leonard's book mirrored reasonably closely into the moving image.
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on 29 March 2017
Title: 52 PICK UP (1986)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1

Some Thoughts About The Movie (NO base for my rating):
FRANKENHEIMERS movie is a well done mixture which uses elements of crime thrillers and sleaze cinema. There is a touch of direct to video as well as a nicely done cinematic appeal to it. This kind of „CANNON-ball“ flies quite well and straight forward. Good acting, a very special soundtrack, sometimes great cinematography and an overall decent visual style do the trick. 52 PICK UP can get quite intense at moments and I like the movie for what it is. Had it be made in the 70th supposedly QUENTIN TARANTINO would acclaim it as one of his favorites. I am fine with the fact that he did not. You can get drawn into the movie quickly. 52 PICK UP is funny somehow, intense and very entertaining due to its production qualities and the well performed (different) characters. Its tone is slightly undercooled, showing some influences from Nouvelle Vague and Film Noir with a very coooooool final segment. I wont spoil anything for you at this point. I like audience to see each and every movie with a relatively free mind and detached from comparisons to other works. So enjoy if you do not know the movie and enjoy a revisit if you already have seen the show. 52 PICK UP deserves a closer look.

No Grain Baby, No Gain / The Transfer:
The 2K BD Transfer from original film elements was done by MGM and they once again did their typical standard job here. Nothing too bad but nothing remarkable either. The Source is in good condition, was well washed, cleaned and stabilized. The colors are nice and stable, black-levels are good. Only a very slight crush of details in blacks - nothing too vexing. The grain structure is visible and looks relatively film-like, but could be reproduced much more intense. Sometimes faces tend towards the waxy side and the overall texture and grip could be more appealing. DNR has been applied for sure and you can feel it, the darker the picture gets. Thankfully there is no evidence of harsh edge enhancement (just a little amount). The result looks quite film-like but could (as so often with MGM transfers) look much better. All in all this BD offers a solid picture quality but fails to enter high-class league. All in all a good compromise.

Cut and Run:
This is a version intégrale from a complete intact source. NO noticeable inserts from different sources have been applied. The movie has passed uncut by the BBFC.

Final Thoughts:
Fans, collectors and people with big screens or projectors can spent their money and will have a good time with this BD set. There is a nice collectors booklet within the first issue and the BD contains some nice supplements. This is not a definite film-like version but it delivers on a certain level. The film is worth seeing several times. I like to give 3,5 stars for this transfer. Amazon does not offer this opportunity so I raise to the better 4 stars because 3 stars seems a bit unfair in this case.

How I rate / What I rate:
My ratings refer exclusively to technical aspects of BD sets. The more film-like a HD transfer looks and feels via a projection, the more high-class the source is scanned and digitally treated afterwards, the higher my ratings will be. Digital phenomenons like edge enhancement, block noise, digital appealing grain, swarming grain / noise behavoir and DNR filtering will directly result in lower ratings.
I do not rate movies at all. In the introduction part I just offer my opinion, based on taste, preferences and knowledge about film/photography in general. Movies are artificial constructions where many efforts have been taken (including complex postproduction) to accomplish a vision of whatsoever kind. No movie made for cinema ever shot has earned a 1 star rating on AMAZON or a 1 point rating on IMDB. I have studied many publications about making films, their psychological impact, and the subject violence on film. I am a hobby photographer knowing much about frame compositions, color and light effects and different styles. I am also a hobby musician and sound designer for my own private joy. I could rate a movie/ its soundrack, but why should I? Things are what they are and nothing more or less. I like to think beyond mind constructed terms of good and bad. So called "objectivity" becomes fast diluted by preferences which results in comments of personal taste. These comments are fine but they go without any base value for creating a rating-scale out of them. Technical aspects are a different kind of matter. DNR, edge enhancement, block noise and such things are obvious even on small screens and maybe we can speak more of objectivity and measurability in this area. I think we should be informed about the quality of a product.

All about Ev(m)e:
I am a collector of films for 27 Years, own about 3.000 films (would be far more, but I often sort out transfers I dont like) and watch them in a home-cinema room via bigscreen projection. I am also a hobby musician and photographer with some experience scanning camera negatives in high definitions. I am fascinated by film (from reels) since I am a kid and spent hours for hours in cinemas and visiting film festivals.
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