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July 30, 2010
Angel Heart Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
6/3/198717/5/2010UniversalAlan Parker
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0R18+Mickey Rourke
Robert De Niro

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Mickey Rourke in his early movie Angel Heart.

Angel Heart isn't your typical catalogue movie Blu-Ray re-release. A lot of films released from the 80's on Blu-Ray have been large theatrical successes, Angel Heart was not. In fact, the film only went on to become a cult hit after the movie was released onto the home video market, theatrically the film only just broke even with a US Box office of $17.1 million, just over the $17 million production cost.

So what is this movie exactly? Well Angel Heart is set in 1955 and sees the recently resurgent Mickey Rourke playing Harry Angel, a private investigator in New York City. Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) hires Angel to locate Johnny Favorite, a big band star who was injured in World War II and hospitalized.

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Robert De Niro in the 1987 movie Angel Heart.
Of course, if that was just the movie then it's likely to have been a very boring film. As Angel starts to investigate witnesses and associates they all turn up dead. The film contains a marvelous twist ending and one which we will not be revealing here in the review.

Angel Heart really is a good film, it makes you think and you'll certainly want to go back and watch it a second time, after the twist has been revealed, it's very cleverly directed and it's easy to see why it became a cult hit.

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The Yankee Diner in Angel Heart.

For a film released in 1987 Angel Heart looks good. New York in 1955 looks dark, gloomy and little details like the fruit on the side market stalls stand out and look excellent. Some of the interior scenes do contain a lot of grain, but overall the transfer is of a really high standard. It's a cliché, but with the quality of Blu-Ray you can see little things included in the film sets that would previously have gone unnoticed, such as old 1955's cigarette packets and cracks in the windows.

Angel Heart is presented on Blu-Ray with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 audio track. Most of the time there is only dialogue throughout the film, but it's clear and sounds good. The soundtrack to the film is eerie and quiet, (which is quite contradictory for a horror film) but the soundtrack really does suit the film well.

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Now that's a nice, flat beach for a meeting!
In actual fact we have to say that the audio release on this disc could be described as disappointing. According to IMDB Angel Heart was released in cinemas with a 70 mm 6-Track audio experience. Surely they could have gone a little more then 2-channels on this disc. Still it is, what it is.

There are no subtitles at all on Angel Heart which is disappointing.

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Angel Heart is on Blu-Ray now.
There are no special features at all included on Angel Heart which is a bit of a disappointment, we were hoping some could have been bought over from the DVD release, but unfortunately not. The American release contains a 5.1 audio soundtrack and special features, so it does seem like the Australian version has been trimmed back a bit.

Angel Heart isn't a Blu Ray that's been given the royal treatment special feature wise. It's a good film and the transfer is up to scratch, it's just a little disappointing that there are no special features included.

Review By: Luke Van Leuveren


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Universal. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.