The Outsider – Blu-ray Review

A 1980 thriller that, for the most part, takes place in Belfast during a time of extreme guerrilla warfare, The Outsider was the first film that was directed by Tony Luraschi. Based on the novel The Heritage of Michael Flaherty written by Colin Leinster, we have the opportunity to be exposed to the fictional experience of an idealistic Irish-American who makes his way to Ireland to join the Irish Republican Army in the 1970’s.

The Outsider created quite the critical stir upon its initial release. According to The New Yorker, this film had caused a minor scandal in London when government officials were outraged at a specific scene that presented a British officer participating in the torture of an Irish prisoner. Others are quoted saying that this film should be considered a thoughtful terrorism drama. Due to the reactions that were received, The Outsider was ultimately dropped from the 1979 London Film Festival.

The Movie Itself (4.5/5):
Never did I expect to feel the way that I did after watching The Outsider. Sure, I went into this film with little to no notion of what it was about outside of reading some of the general feedback on IMDB. However the amount of power that is conveyed through the story line really makes you think about the life that goes on outside of your personal bubble of space.

As I progressed through The Outsider, I couldn’t help but relate to the main character, Michael Flaherty. I say that loosely though as we all at one point in our lives felt that our thoughts and beliefs were a way of life and may have been a little quick to jump the gun on some potentially life-changing decisions. Sure, the end result of said decision has a chance of having things work out for the good, however when you’re quick to act; more often than not it will result in a bad time.

The Outsider really does a great job at capturing those moments where we as humans make these mistakes and act before really having an understanding of the potential side effects.

Picture Quality (5/5):
The overall picture quality for The Outsider continues to be on par with my experience with Olive Films releases. As I’ve mentioned in my earlier reviews of their work, you can tell that Olive puts a good bit of tender, love and care to the video presentation in their releases.

While watching this film, there was the occasional grainy spot, however this is something that I would expect with a film like this. It helped in portraying the “horrible” undertones of the overall environment that Michael was involved with. As the storyline progressed, I was able to make out every little detail clearly. With the crisp colors, it allows you to achieve a similar feeling that Michael has as he comes to the sudden realization that he acted a little too abruptly.

Audio Quality (2.5/5):
Very much like my previous experiences with Olive Films releases, they continue to use a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. It doesn’t sound bad if you really enjoy having to listen to your movie through 2 speakers. But, seriously if you’re going to go through the time and effort to remaster a films release, take the time to beef up the audio quality too and give your audience the opportunity to not only appreciate the films presentation as it should be seen, but to appreciate the work that you and your company had put into re-releasing this film to the masses.

I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the original source material, but we do have the necessary technology that allows us to remaster audio tracks too. If it is in fact an issue with the original source material, I am curious to see how newer films sound from Olive as I have grown to really appreciate some of their selections they’ve made to work on putting into their catalogue.

The Packaging (3/5):
This release of The Outsider comes packaged in your typical Blu-ray amaray case. Included with this release is your standard Blu-ray disc. There is no slipcover for this release, no DVD copy and no digital copy. It was really nice to see this film get the extra care and love that it needed to allow for a Blu-ray release, however I would have loved to add this to my personal Ultraviolet library for streaming on the go.

Special Features (1/5):
This release of The Outsider doesn’t come with any special features or bonus content. There is a copy of the films theatrical trailer on the disc, however it isn’t labeled as an additional feature. With this release being a remaster from its original source, I would have loved to see some additional content.

Technical Specs:
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

English SDH

Original Film: 128 Minutes

Final Thoughts:
Generally, I was really glad that I had the opportunity to experience The Outsider and the great story that is has to offer for audiences. After this film had shown up at my doorstep, I was genuinely curious so after doing some light reading into what the film covers, I knew that I had to put this into my player and explore it further. After having the opportunity to go through this film, I completely understand some of the negative connotations that people walked away with; however I felt that the production crew of “The Outsider” wanted to tell a story and that they had done an absolutely phenomenal job in doing so.

Right now, this release of The Outsider is available on Amazon for $18.00. While it may not really provide much in terms of overall quality and packaging, this film is one that I would personally recommend checking out.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.