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RUSTLERS' RHAPSODY ($15) is a gentle and affectionate, yet very funny spoof of "B" movie westerns and singing cowboys. Tom Berenger stars in RUSTLERS' RHAPSODY as Rex O'Herlihan, a virtuous, singing cowboy hero, with an absolutely amazing wardrobe, who travels the west protecting defenseless common folk from evil robber barons and their endless stream of no good henchmen. Arriving in the latest in a string of generic western towns, Rex finds that the helpless sheep farmers are being driven off their land by the hired guns that work for Colonel Ticonderoga (Andy Griffith), a cattle baron of somewhat dubious sexuality. Of course, Rex outguns all of Ticonderoga’s men, which only causes the villain to join forces with a Railroad baron (Fernando Rey). During the course of this adventure Rex takes on the reformed town drunk (G.W. Bailey) as a sidekick, attracts the attentions of both the saloon hostess (Marilu Henner) and the Colonel's daughter (Sela Ward), plus he faces off against another good guy (Patrick Wayne), one possibly even more virtuous than himself.

Paramount Home Entertainment has made RUSTLERS' RHAPSODY available on DVD in a 1.78:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. RUSTLERS' RHAPSODY has been supplied with a very pleasing transfer that produces a crisp image and a very nice level of fine detail. Colors appear fairly well saturated, and the flesh tones are quite attractive. There are no signs of chroma noise or fuzziness to mar the fine color reproduction. Blacks are accurately rendered, whites are clean and the picture produces smooth contrast. The film elements appear very clean, although a mild grain structure crops up from time to time. Digital compression artifacts are usually well concealed.

For this release, RUSTLERS' RHAPSODY has been upgraded to a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. The pre-matrixed Dolby Surround stems would appear to be the source for this soundtrack, as the mix has a somewhat dated implementation. In 5.1, the sound is cleaner and better defined than it was in matrixed surround, although the forward soundstage remains dominant, as it would in any mid-1980s sound mix. The surround channels provide ambient sound, musical reinforcement and occasional active effects. Fidelity is quite good for a soundtrack of this era, plus the musical content of the track comes across in a rich, full-bodied manner. Dialogue is very cleanly rendered, plus the voices have a strong sense of presence. An English Dolby Surround track is also encoded onto the DVD, as are English subtitles. The basic interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features. No supplemental content has been included on the DVD.

RUSTLERS' RHAPSODY is a sweet and lovingly crafted spoof of the long ago vanished genre of "B" movie westerns featuring singing cowboys. Paramount has done quite well by the film, offering a very fine looking transfer and good sound. Considering its presentation and bargain price, RUSTLERS' RHAPSODY is a DVD that is well worth acquiring.



Rustler's Rhapsody (1985)


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2004 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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