Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 1st, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Australia, 1995
Director: Michael Jenkins
Writer: Ian David
Cast: Richard Roxburgh, Tony Martin, Steve Bastoni, Gary Day, Steve Jacobs
DVD released: November 15th, 2005
Approximate running time: 200 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo
DVD Release: Subversive Cinema
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $34.95
Blue Murder is based on the true story of about hardboiled detective named Roger “the Dodger” Rogerson and his shady dealings with notorious criminals like Arthur “Neddy” Smith.
Blue Murder is not like your typical film about law enforcement in which good prevails over evil. Most of the characters including the police are corrupt. Blue Murder bears a strong resemblance to the Martian Scorsese mob film Goodfellas. Both films main focus is on organized crime with the main difference being that in Blue Murder that the police are now on the other side of the law.
Ian David’s screenplay is nearly flawless as he clearly knows his subject inside and out. All the major characters are fully flesh out and the film moves along briskly as there is never a dull moment. Each scene builds upon the last which keep me riveted tell the very end. Michael Jenkins direction and the use of hand held camera shots add to the realistic/documentary look of Blue Murder.
The acting is first rate as every one in Blue Murder even the most minuscule role is performed with the utmost professionalism. The films too leads Richard Roxburgh and Tony Martin as Roger “the Dodger” Rogerson and Arthur “Neddy” Smith are nothing short of brilliant in the flawless performances. They are the most dynamic duo to explode upon the sliver screen since Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas.
Blue Murder is an amazing piece of cinema in which everything just seems to fall into place and click on full cylinders making it an instant classic.
Blue Murder was shot on 16mm for Australian television and Subversive Cinema’s release presents this series in its original full frame aspect ratio. The colors and flesh tones look solid. There is some mild blurring that pops up through out and mostly during action sequences; still this blurring while noticeable never becomes distracting. There are no problems with compression, artifacts or edge enhancement.
This release comes with two audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital stereo. Both are presented in the films native English language. Both mixes sound clean and the music and effects sound evenly balanced. Overall The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix sound fuller of the two mixes. Unfortunately no subtitles have been included for this release as the Australian accents tend to be a bit too thick at times.
Extras for this release include trailers for the following Subversive Cinema releases Blue Murder, Metal Skin, Blood Bath, The Gardener, The Candy Snatchers, The Freakmaker, Battlefield Baseball, The Witch Who Came from the Sea, and Living Hell. Other extras include text biographies for the cast and crew, a gallery of stills, three lobby cards and a poster. This release comes with two featurette’s the first one titled “Blood Brothers” which includes interviews with most of the cast and crew. A lot if ground is covered and virtually no stone is left unturned during the featurette’s twenty three minute time length. The second featurette is simply titled “Editing Blue Murder” and it is essential a one on one interview with the films editor Bill Russo who gives an in-depth look into how Blue Murder was assembled. Rounding out the extras is a feature length audio commentary with Director Michael and Editor Bill Russo. Both men know their craft and over the course of the audio commentary they discuss in great detail the making of Blue Murder.
Subversive Cinema’s Blue Murder release is a slickly designed package that is loaded with informative extras and a first rate audio/video presentation that is befitting of controversial mini series.
For more information about Blue Murder visit Subversive Cinema here.