Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif


Studio: The Criterion Collection
Year: 1970
Cast: David Bradley, Colin Welland, Lynne Perrie, Freddie Fletcher, Brian Glover, Bob Bowes
Director: Ken Loach
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations)
Run Time: 01h:51m:07s
Genre(s): foreign

ďI Ė I havenít been nicking for ages now.Ē - Billy Casper (David Bradley)


Buy Now @ Amazon


The great British filmmaker Ken Loach sees one of his best films come to Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. This uniquest of the now-tired coming-of-age films is a truly unforgettable masterpiece.

Movie Grade: A

DVD Grade: A

Director Ken Loach has spent most of his career making films that focus on a wide variety of horrible social and political situations. Heís done this by focusing his films on specific, intimate subjects, rather than going the route of the docudrama or recreating a tragic, socio-political event. While not a household name in the United States, Loach is beloved on an international front, mainly for films such as 1991ís Riff-Raff, 1993ís Raining Stones, and 2002ís Sweet Sixteen. However, his best known, and most popular film is 1970ís Kes, a movie that also sits at #7 on the British Film Instituteís Top 20 Films of the 20th Century list. Loach formed an independent company just to come up with the small (even by todayís independent film standards) amount of funds needed to make Kes, but such a commitment has paid off in waves, essentially leading the way to the rest of Loachís filmography, and also to the filmís staying power and, this, itís subsequent Blu-ray release from The Criterion Collection.

Billy Casper (David Bradley) is a 15-year-old boy growing up in Northern England. The product of a working-class family, Billy might as well live on his own, as his mother (Lynne Perrie) never has any time for him, while his older brother, Jud (Freddie Fletcher), spends too much time beating him. With the other kids at school constantly giving him a hard time and even the teachers seeming to want him out of their lives, Billy finds solace in a small kestrel hawk that he finds on the nearby moors. He soon gives the bird the name Kes, and it isnít long before Billy is spending all of his time with him. Unfortunately, he still has to face his problems in the real world, and before long, those and his life with Kes interact in potentially tragic ways.

For those not accustomed to Loachís relatively slow, languid pacing style, Kes could require some patience. Heís clearly in no hurry to tell this story, but, fortunately, the material lends itself to such a pace. With the focus firmly planted on the main character of Billy, Loach approaches this, and most of his other works in an almost documentary-type way, using a cast of mostly first-time actors, many of which werenít professionally trained. Fortunately, each and every performer is quite good, yet extremely authentic, only adding to the realistic feel of the film. Itís this intimate storytelling style that has kept Loach so endearing, and itís also what makes the ending of Kes so difficult to stomach. Keep tissues close by for this finale, but rest assured, Loach doesnít force-feed this emotional material to his audience like so many of todayís Hollywood hack filmmakers do. Loach has us emotionally connected to the relationship between Billy and Kes from the moment they meet, so regardless of where the pairís story winds up, we, the audience, is going to continue to feel that connection; the sign of a classic film and an exceptional filmmaker to say the least.

Professional actors or not the true success of Kes relies, in large part on the work of David Bradley. As Billy, heís on-screen in almost every scene; a huge challenge for any actor, especially a teenage boy acting for the first time. Bradley is more than up to the challenge though, acting like a pro, yet still coming across as the innocent, naÔve youngster that he assumedly was at the time of filming. He also works extremely well with Freddie Fletcher, who, as his older brother, abuses him constantly, both physically and mentally. This strenuous relationship requires some very tough scenes together, but thereís natural, even brotherly on-screen chemistry between the two inexperienced actors that might not have been there with another pair.

After decades of relative home video unavailability in the U.S., Kes is not only now readily available on DVD and this stunning Blu-ray release, but itís from the best in the business, The Criterion Collection. Iím happy to report that the film has never been available in a better collection than this, beginning with the new 1080p video transfer that presents the film in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. This gorgeous transfer was approved by director Ken Loach and cinematographer Chris Menges, and everything looks great, from the pristine image detail to the near total lack of dirt and debris. The audio isnít as revelatory as the video, but the disc offers a pair of tracks: and LPCM 1.0 mix that is the directorís original soundtrack and the internationally released track in Dolby Digital 1.0, complete with post sync dialogue. A great collection of extras makes this release even more of a gem, including nearly hour-long pieces regarding the making of Kes, and a chronicle of Ken Loachís career, as well as Cathy Come Home, a 1966 Loach film. Rounding out the set is the original trailer for Kes and another great Criterion Collection booklet featuring an essay by film writer Graham Fuller.

Posted by: Chuck Aliaga - June 18, 2011, 11:03 am - DVD Review
Keywords: working-class, sociopolitical, coming-of-age

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store