Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 12th, 2015
BluRay released: July 7th, 2015
Approximate running times: 104 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Olive Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Ned Kelly was co-written and directed by Tony Richardson whose other notable films include, Look Back in Anger, The Entertainer, Tom Jones and Mademoiselle. Key collaborators on Ned Kelly include cinematographer Jerry Fisher (Malpertuis) and composer Shel Silverstein who is most known for writing the song “A Boy Named Sue”.
When making films based on real life events and people things don’t always translate well to the silver screen. With some events having to be left out due to time constraints or due to said events being to similar to other events in the film. And instead of just letting the protagonist story speak for itself, another way these type of films often get derailed is there over-reliance in translating everything to better fit the cinema form.
Though not as well-known as his American outlaw counterpart Jessie James, Ned Kelly’s story is just as compelling. The narrative for Ned Kelly opens up proper with the revelation of his fate as he is awaiting to hang for the crimes for which he has committed. From there the rest of the narrative is told in a linear way.
From a production stand point the visuals are consistently strong throughout. With the inspired choice of showing the opening set up in black and white. From a pacing stand point things are slow moving at first and things don’t pick up pacing wise until Ned and his gang set up in the woods. Also there are a handful of shootouts in this film and when it comes to carnage things are sufficiently gruesome.
Next up are the performances and though are generally very good. None shine brighter then Mick Jaggers in the role of Ned Kelly. In only his second feature film as an actor he shows tremendous amount of growth and delivers a mesmerizing performance. Another performance of note is Clarissa Kaye-Mason in the role of Ned Kelly’s mother.
First and foremost a bio films main job to present the events as they are publicly known and in this regard this film does delivers a well-rounded account of said events. Another area where these type of films can alienate an audience is when they become heavy handed in their delivery of the events which unfold. Fortunately with this film, this is not the case.
Ned Kelly comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. There are no issues with compression, grain looks natural and when it comes to print debris it is minimal and never intrusive. And though this transfer does a very good job retaining the intended look of the film. It should be noted there are instances of where colors look just a tad off and there is fluctuation in regards to image clarity. Also there is DNR that varies in degree throughout this transfer.
This film comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion and dialog comes through clearly. And when it comes to the gunshots / shootouts things sound appropriately robust. With this film’s soundtrack / score benefiting most range wise from this audio mix. Also there are no subtitle options included with this release.
This release comes with no extra content.
Overall Ned Kelly gets a strong audio / video presentation from Olive Films.
Note: Olive Films are also releasing this film on DVD.