THE RAINBOW THIEF blu-ray review

Germany Region B blu-ray

1080i Widescreen 1.78:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (original)

German: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (dub)


MOVIE: 8.5





I’ve never seen The Rainbow Thief until blind-binding this German blu-ray, and it’s surprisingly an exciting movie starring a bunch of old timers! If no one had told me this was an Alexandro Jodorowsky film, I would have thought it was a Terry Gilliam film.

One of my all-time favorite films is The Holy Mountain, so I was expecting some outrageous weirdness that would need to be interpreted after many viewings. Just the opposite, I felt like I was watching a better version of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, minus the CGI fantasy scenes. The movie is just a nice, slightly wacky Dickens-type story about the adventures of a thief, played with serious intensity by Omar Sharif. Peter O’Toole is good as his usual weird flamboyant self, and Christopher Lee is great in his short crazy role at the beginning of the movie.

The Rainbow Thief is filmed so well and it’s surprisingly one of my favorite edited films now, because Omar Sharif was chugging all over the place as if he was 20 years old. The directing and editing was just amazing because it was really impossible to tell the stunt man from Omar. That’s great editing. If this movie had cast a younger thief copying the style of Omar Sharif’s intense acting, I was thinking that the role could have been played by Robert Downey Jr.

The music was also excellent, great gypsy and classical infused with the funny visuals in the film.

I remember how exciting it was to see DeNiro and Pacino reunite for their Michael Man film, Heat. Well, I feel the same for the reuniting of Sharif and O’Toole in this film, since they played so well together in Lawrence of Arabia. It’s sort of sad watching them old in this film since they were so young in Lawrence of Arabia. But their age does not slow them around in this film – they are just a bunch of old timers chugging around as if on speed. It’s amazing how O’Toole and Sharif still look the same as well – for the past 30 years, they have always looked like they are 65 years old!

I now rank The Rainbow Thief right under The Holy Mountain, then El Topo, and then Santa Sangre. The movie is certainly worth it for the amazingly-filmed rainstorm/flood scene in the climax of the film – it was something like out of a Rolland Emmerich or James Cameron film.

The German blu-ray has perfect video and audio quality. For such an obscure title, Ascot Elite Home Entertainment gave this film a very generous make-over. The well-lit and dark scenes all look equally crisp and clear. Great colors, no DNR – just a perfect video presentation. The English DTS-HD 2.0 is very impressive, especially during the climactic flood scenes. The subwoofer was certainly active in the film, which was a nice surprise. The only extra is the trailer with original English audio.

Very nice film – it’s just a crime that Jodorowsky hasn’t directed more films, because he is a masterful director. It’s too bad he doesn’t direct any of those Euro sci-fi comics he had written over the years. And I can’t wait till The Holy Mountain gets a blu-ray release somewhere in the world.

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