Enemy Mine

Available Exclusively Online From Screen Archives Entertainment

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

Twentieth Century Fox/1985

Running Time: 108 minutes

Region Code: Region Free

Video: 1080p High Definition/Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Audio: English 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: Optional English SDH

Adapted from Barry B. Longyear’s 1979, Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella of the same name, Wolfgang Petersen’s important, emotional and often disregarded, 1985, science fiction film ‘Enemy Mine’, is now brought to us in a beautiful new, limited-edition, blu-ray release from Twilight Time.

Drawing clear parallels with John Boorman’s 1968, World War II drama ‘Hell in the Pacific’ (starring Lee Marvin and Toshirō Mifune), ‘Enemy Mine’ is a powerful, moving and enduring study of character, values and humanity, with a significant overall message that is entirely relevant in the world of today.

Set towards the end of the 21st century (2092 to be precise), the film follows the human pilot Willis E. Davidge (Dennis Quaid) and the Drac pilot Jeriba Shigan (Louis Gossett, Jr.) who, after an ill-fated, spacecraft battle, crash land and find themselves stranded on the dark, hostile planet, Fyrine IV. After the initial antagonism between these two sworn enemies, they realise that they must learn to respect one another and overcome their animosity if they are to ever survive in this alien environment. As we witness their intense, reluctant collaboration develop into a close, almost brotherly relationship, the film begins a subtle and emotional exploration of race, prejudice and what it takes for two contrasting cultures to ultimately coexist in peace and harmony.

The success of the film rests on the strength of the two excellent central performances from Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. Quaid is on brilliant form and gives us a cleverly nuanced, brooding display, effectively contrasting the sensitivity which is eventually drawn out, but special merit must go to Louis Gossett, Jr. who delivers an outstanding performance and still manages to convey such a great power and depth of emotion from underneath the tremendous work of the prosthetics team. The pairing of Quaid and Gossett, Jr. proves a perfect blend and their natural chemistry is powerfully conveyed onscreen. Their developing relationship is heartfelt and wonderful to see, and we are presented with some memorable and truly touching moments. Bumper Robinson provides strong support and adds a fresh, vibrant energy as the young Drac, Zammis and Brion James proves suitably effective as the villain of the piece, the Scavenger captain, Stubb.

Originally beginning shooting in 1984, under the direction of Richard Loncraine, the film was shut down only one week into production due to a major falling out between Loncraine and the film’s producer Stephen J. Friedman, so Wolfgang Petersen was eventually brought in to take over the director’s seat. Two time Academy Award nominee Petersen (Das Boot – 1981) brings his excellent director’s touch to the film, drawing out some beautifully realised and well-balanced set-pieces, but, though the film is well crafted and effectively develops a strong level of emotional intensity, the concluding battle scenes are slightly anticlimactic and the finale doesn’t really do justice to the stronger, preceding scenes. Edward Khmara’s adapted screenplay is very well composed and cleverly develops the initial, slightly obvious clichés into something much deeper and meaningful, leaving us with a variety of thought provoking themes and Toni Imi’s sumptuous cinematography beautifully depicts the inventive sets and landscapes of the design team, creating a visually stimulating piece of film.

The picture quality on this blu-ray release looks generally superb, beautifully depicting the stunning landscapes, set design and special effects presented. On the whole, textures and details appear crisp, wonderfully depicting the stunning work of the special effects and prosthetics teams, the rich, artistic colour palette is beautifully rendered and the contrast levels appears strong. However, I did notice one or two instances in some scenes where the image appeared slightly softer and lost some of the pinpoint sharpness previously seen, but on the whole the print is excellent and the original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio has been well respected, enhancing the overall experience and authenticity of the piece. The 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track sounds very strong and delivers clear, natural sounding dialogue and striking and immersive sound effects. Three time Academy Award winner, Maurice Jarre (Lawrence of Arabia – 1962, Doctor Zhivago – 1965 and A Passage to India – 1984), does not disappoint and the audio track effectively brings to life his sweeping and wonderfully constructed score. We are also presented with a 2.0 stereo track, which delivers a much thinner, slightly superficial sound, so the former, 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is definitely the one to go for to ensure the full experience.

Special Features:

Isolated Score Track – A dialogue free, DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 track featuring the film score by the great Maurice Jarre.

Booklet – A 6-page booklet featuring beautiful production stills and liner notes by Julie Kirgo and, as always, features the original film poster artwork on the back cover.

Overall:

The is a wonderful new release of a neglected, yet highly relevant sci-fi film and, as always with Twilight Time, there are only 3,000 copies available, so I suggest you act quickly for the opportunity to see this visually stunning film in a beautiful, blu-ray presentation!

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