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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 7 February 2010
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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on 25 July 2009
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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on 6 October 2002
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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on 9 December 2001
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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on 13 March 2007
Being one of my all-time favourite films and ground breaking when it was released in the mid-1980's, I was excited when I saw this re-issue of Highlander which looked very promising on the surface. Sadly, it is the epitomy of a lost opportunity and I urge you to avoid it!

After taking the plunge and ordering this 2-DVD set in it's attractive metal tin, I was immensely disappointed when it arrived. As per the previous DVD issue, the soundtrack is still in bog standard Dolby Stereo. I would have liked to have seen a 5.1 re-mix which would have been especially impressive during some of the action scenes and would also have complemented the superb Queen soundtrack no end.

In addition, a noticeable special effects error near to the end of the film is still more than apparent. For those who haven't noticed it, I won't draw your attention to it; for those who have, you will know what I am referring to! In fact, I think it is even more obvious in this new edition and for me, has always spoilt what is otherwise an incredible film. I am sure that this could be easily 'removed' and allowed the film the finale that it rightly deserves.

I understand that a recent acquisition has taken place, joining Optimum Releasing and Studio Canal together. I fear that this edition of Highlander has been hurriedly released and is a blatant 'cash in' using only the outer packaging and an added documentary as bait. It is certainly not an 'Immortal' Edition and my copy is going straight back for a refund.

PLEASE give this film the release it deserves!
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on 29 June 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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on 6 November 2011
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 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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on 7 July 2004
Being a Historian and a film buff i have quite a soft spot for this film.
Highlander is indeed a great picture and fits in quite comfortably with the likes of Bladerunner, The Terminator, and Alien as a retro classic.
Whoever oversaw the DVD release of Highlander did not however, share these sentiments.
What we have here is essentially the VHS edition pressed onto disk.
There is no discernable improvement with the picture and sound quality, no commentary, no worthwhile extra's save an interveiw with Christopher French!, and worst of all, the 15 minutes of film that were brutally hacked off in the editing process are still missing.
That said, Highlander is still a good purchace, and if by some miracle the film gets the attention it deserves and is blessed with a ' directors cut ' , add two stars.
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on 15 March 2001
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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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2015
Highlander's storyline is a fairly standard ‘hero’s journey’ with a twist of Interview with a Vampire immortal existentialist angst and similar time-hopping. It was for a long time my number one film (before The Matrix came along) and I watched it so many times on video the tape wore out and I knew the dialogue pretty much word for word.So I thought it was about time I watched this Blu-ray version.

The special effects now look dated but I still enjoyed the story and had forgotten how darn funny and visually interesting it is. Yes you can still see the wires holding up Christopher Lambert at the end (the film predated digital wire removal) but the final silhouetted sword fighting scene with big camera tracking shots is still as awesome as ever (and much copied – I’m thinking of Skyfall and Kill Bill. But I guess there’s some Japanese films and a few pop videos that used the idea before Highlander) and the bit where he says “there can be only one” directly into camera in his funny accent just before the windows 'pop' is as awesome as ever.

Talking pop, I didn’t realize that the director, Russel Mulcahy, started out doing Duran Duran videos (‘Wild Boys’ for instance) and that Highlander was only his second film. Mulcahy pulls quite a few excellent scene-changing tricks such as moving up ‘through’ a car park ceiling to behind a wall in medieval Scotland to reveal (the now much filmed) Eilean Donan castle on its tidal island and later moving up from an aquarium in Nash’s modern New York apartment to the surface of a loch where Ramirez is teaching the young Connor Macleod to balance in a rowing boat.

For me the film is helped immensely by Sean Connery’s role as mentor to Macleod and Clancy Brown’s turn as The Kurgan which mixes comedy and evilness to great effect. I was recently delighted to recognize him in the film Homefront. The Kurgan of course got the best lines and these were used a bit on Queen’s A Kind of Magic album that contained the songs from the film. Roxanne Hart’s character was unfortunately rather two-dimensional and I would rather had seen more of Heather Macleod or the enigmatic Rachel who Macleod rescues from the ‘master race’ in an excellent WWII scene.
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