Sorcerer

Sorcerer ★★★★★

Top 10 of the 1970's

For anyone who hasn't heard of this (I only learned about it a week ago), it was a highly anticipated movie at the time that had the misfortune of coming out around the same time as the first Star Wars movie.

Sorcerer takes a while to get going, but once it does it is incredibly intense. The story is about a group of exiles who get the chance to escape the purgatory of South America with a unique high risk high reward one-time job. When it started I wasn't really sure where it was going because the perspective jumps around a lot, but then there was a moment where all the character strands met with the plot crisis strand and it became very gripping very quickly.

As a visual composition it's also incredibly impressive. Not only has all of it aged really well (i.e. there are no dated special effects or anything), but the sets and shots are all marvelous to look at. You can tell that when it was important for them to shoot on location they did, because all of the environments are genuine and beautiful. Of all the things Sorcerer succeeds in, one of the biggest is atmosphere.

The movie is also absolutely drenched in politics. From the beginning with the central characters all hailing from different regions with different cultures to subtle details like fact that the factory in South America is owned by the United States and can't prosecute rebels because their president needs to maintain a certain image, everything has a slight political inflection. The movie also has a lot to say about class conflict which I can't really get into without spoiling the ending.

What's really exciting and relevant about this movie now is that it recently was re-released on blu-ray in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Until now Sorcerer was always in 1.33:1 on home video because the majority of televisions were full screen anyway, but now that home entertainment has evolved we finally have a wide screen version of this forgotten classic. So whatever you do, don't just go download this. Get it on blu-ray and experience it the way it was meant to be.

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