RED SONJA 4K Restoration Classic SCHWARZENEGGER Movie Review
By Andrew Staton
RED SONJA has just had a fantastic release from STUDIOCANAL and is the first ever 4K restoration of Richard Fleischer’s 1985 movie which was his last big hit after firmly establishing his directorial credentials with such epics as The Vikings (1958), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Barabbas (1961). The movie features excellent cinematography and great visual effects, with matte paintings courtesy of the master, Albert Whitlock.
The film sets itself in another league from the Conan movies, although it has to be said this film would be not be as noteworthy were it not for Schwarzenegger and the music of Ennio Morricone. Red Sonja features some of the best swordplay of the Schwarzenegger Sword & Sorcery films.
This is a terrific release for all fans of Schwarzenegger and Sword & Sorcery movies.
The movie centres on the tyrant Gedren who seeks total power in a world of barbarism. She attacks and kills the keepers of a powerful talisman just before it is destroyed. Gedren then uses the power of the talisman in her raid on the city of Hablac. Red Sonja, sister of the keeper, sets out with her magic sword to overthrow Gedren. The talisman’s master Kalidor follows to protect her. Of course, they fall in love – however she has taken an oath to never give herself to any man…
Brigitte Nielsen (ROCKY IV, BEVERLY HILLS COP II) stars as the iconic, flame-haired heroine who sets out to avenge the death of her family after being granted extraordinary powers by a mysterious vision. However martial artist Ernie Reyes Jr. steals the show. His portrayal of the rich spoiled brat is outright hilarious. Not to mention his guardian Falkon. The interactions between him and Red Sonja deliver much of the comic relief in the film. Sonja and Tarn are the two characters with major flaws that are resolved as the movie progresses. Tarn is a selfish little brat that at the end is willing to die so that his friends can make their escape from the crumbling palace around them. Sonja, in the beginning, will not allow anyone born with a Y chromosome touch her. In the end, she allows herself to fall in love with Kalidor.
The release company have commissioned legendary Italian artist, Renato Casaro, to create a brand-new artwork that will celebrate “Red Sonja” as the titular heroine. Casaro designed the original 1985 RED SONJA poster and is considered one of the most important illustrators in film history. His hand-drawn art has enraptured film fans since the 1950s, developing iconic posters for directors like Sergio Leone, Francis Ford Coppola and most recently working with Quentin Tarantino, where he realised the Spaghetti Western posters for the fictitious films of “Rick Dalton” in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The 2020 documentary, The Last Movie Painter, that details Casaro’s illustrious career, will be included as a bonus feature on the Blu-Ray, the 4K Ultra HD™ and Limited SteelBook editions. A new trailer has also been developed for this special release.
SPECIAL FEATURES available on Blu-ray and a 4K Ultra HD™ Limited SteelBook Edition: Feature-length Documentary about Renato Casaro: The Last Movie Painter, Documentary Feature: “Arnold Schwarzenegger – The Man who raised Hollywood “Interview with Assistant Director Michel Ferry: “Red Sonja vs. Kalidor – The Making of a Misunderstanding”, Renato Casaro: Photo Gallery and Original Theatrical Trailer
Available on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD™ and 4K Ultra HD™ Limited Steel Book Edition from the 18th July 2022.
In the USA get it on AMAZON Prime here
In the USA get it on Blu-ray at AMAZON here
In the UK get it in 4K on AMAZON.co.uk here
#RedSonja #Schwarzenegger #BrigitteNielsen
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