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RENEGADE

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 124 minutes, trailers

STUDIO: COLUMBIA

RELEASE DATE: 11/2/2004

PLOT: Marshal Michael Blueberry comes face to face with a killer who almost killed Mike years ago. This killer wants to find a sacred treasure on Indian land.

ANALYSIS: The impression I get from watching RENEGADE is like I have been through an acid trip. The movie is loosely based on the BLUEBERRY graphic novel series drawn by Jean "Mobieus" Giraud. In addition to RENEGADE to being to bizarre for it's own good, it suffers from an overlong running time and cutting 15-20 minutes from Jan Kounen's film would have done RENEGADE wonders.

To understand how RENEGADE became what it was, you go back to Jan Kounen talking with actor Vicent Cassel (one of the luckiest men in the world because he is married to Monica Bellucci) about his shamanistic experiences in Peru. I just wonder what people in this United Kingdom/French/Mexican co-production were thinking when they gave Jan $45 million to make this movie.

RENEGADE is loosely based on two story arcs ("The Lost Dutchman's Mine" and "The Ghost With The Golden Bullets") in the Lieutenant Blueberry graphic novel series drawn by Jean "Moebius" Giraud. The storylines for the comic books sound very interesting, but RENEGADE would have been embraced by a wider audience if director Jan Kounen toned down the shamanistic trips in the second half of the movie. The movie does start as a pretty good Western only to be eaten too much by the acid trip nature of the second half (especially the last 20 minutes). I love the casting and I think every actor did a great job including Vincent Cassel, Juliette Lewis, and Michael Madsen.

VIDEO/AUDIO: RENEGADE is shown in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture has lots of grain (some scenes with more grain than others). The whites are washed out and too bright, and the blacks are horrible. General colors look OK. Image detail is good. I was watching the title credits at the beginning and see the titles that appear on the right are slightly cut off which makes me wonder if this movie should be 2.40:1. I wish this movie had a better transfer.

Langauage tracks are Englsih 5.1 and French 5.1 Dolby Digital with the option of English, French, or Spanish subtitles. Dialogue can be heard clearly. Lots of distinct sound elements can be heard. The music is dynamic at times. I have heard better 5.1 tracks, but this isn't the worst 5.1 track.

TRAILERS: RENEGADE, ANNACONDAS, FRANKENFISH, STANDER, and BOOBY JONES- STROKE OF GEINUS (forced trailers for FRANKENFISH and STANDER).

FINAL ANALYSIS: Unless you are looking for a weird metaphysical Western or a bizarre movie, I have to say RENEGADE should be skipped. Too bad this movie might turn off other studios/producers from making a future Blueberry movie that could be closer to the graphic novels. I will probably watch RENEGADE again as I try to understand it some more.

this DVD review is (c)10-26-2004 David Blackwell and this review cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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