Blu-ray Review: Salvador

One word you would never use to describe Oliver Stone is ordinary. He’s made a reputation for his wild, crazy and testosterone-driven antics, both behind the camera and in real life. Never too far from controversy, his films are often abrasive, angry and purposefully confrontational. The Vietnam War veteran first came to prominence for writing Midnight Express and Scarface. However, it wasn’t until his third film Salvador that he made his mark as a director.

Richard Boyle (James Woods), a veteran photojournalist with over twenty years of experience, has fallen on hard times. A predilection for booze and drugs, combined with his mammoth arrogance, have left him broke and virtually unemployable. On a false promise, he persuades a friend, Doctor Rock (Jim Belushi), to join him on a trip to El Salvador where he believes he’ll be able to pick-up freelance work. They arrive in a country gripped by a dangerous political upheaval and on the brink of a (US sponsored) civil war.

Despite being a box office flop on release in 1986, Salvador remains a powerful, masterful and unhinged piece of political film-making. Its success is largely down to a livewire and erratic central performance by James Woods. Stone isn’t shy in sharing his opinions about his country’s involvement in the massacres or depicting both sides of the conflict as being culpable for atrocities. Salvador is a sprawling and brutal depiction of life within a central American dictatorship and an unnerving character study.

Special Features:

  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray (with a progressive encode on the DVD)
  • Optional 5.1 or uncompressed LPCM mono soundtracks
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Feature length audio commentary with director Oliver Stone
  • An extensive archival interview with Oliver Stone at the BFI
  • A rarely heard, lengthy audio interview with Oliver Stone from 1986
  • “Into The Valley of Death” (62 mins) – A documentary on the making of Salvador
  • Deleted and Extended scenes
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A collector’s booklet featuring a new essay by critic and journalist Barry Forshaw; extracts from the films original pressbook; and archival imagery

Salvador is released on dual format DVD and Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 17 September

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