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The Five Days (Severin Films) UHD/Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • The Five Days (Severin Films) UHD/Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: November 25th, 2022.
    Director: Dario Argento
    Cast: Adriano Celentano, Enzo Terascio, Marilù Tolo, Glauco Onorato, Salvatore Baccaro
    Year: 1973
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    The Five Days - Movie Review:

    Dario Argento is known the world over for stylish horror films and tense giallo pictures, so it’s odd that in 1973 he’d direct and co-write The Five Days (also known as Five Days Of Milan), a historical comedy set against the backdrop of Milan in 1848 during the midst of a rebellion gripping the city wherein the Italians pushed back Austrian Marshal Radetzky and his forces from their city.

    Here we meet Cainazzo (pop singer Adriano Celentano), a thief by trade who winds up escaping from prison when a cannonball blows open a hole in the wall of his cell. Now a free man, he decides to go look for an old friend who, since the revolution has begun, is now lauded as a hero by the masses. Along the way, he winds up striking up an awkward friendship a dopey young baker named Romolo Marcelli (Enzo Terascio). Together, they hope to help one another survive the intense fighting taking place in their home town and, along the way, get into a series of strange misadventures and wind up helping to deliver the baby of a pregnant woman (Luisa De Santis) in trouble, provide the food at a party and then, ultimately, fight alongside a militia group.

    Made directly after Four Flies On Grey Velvet, The Five Days is most definitely a very different type of Argento movie than most will be used to. It starts off fairly light and breezy but as the story progresses, the humor gets darker and the film gets considerably more violent. The shifts in tone are odd and the film feels a little disjointed for this reason, but the movie remains an interesting, if uneven, watch, especially for those who only know Argento for the horror pictures he’s best known for. At times the drama and the humor don’t always mix perfectly, but even when this happens, you do find yourself wanting to know where it’s all headed, and the ending, which is remarkably cynical, makes it worth sticking it out.

    Full credit goes to Argento and his team for crafting an excellent looking film. The cinematography in the film, from Luigi Kuveiller (who not only shot Deep Red for Argento but also worked on Blood For Dracula, Flesh For Frankenstein and New York Ripper), is truly top notch and the picture also benefits from an effective score from composer Giorgio Gaslini (who scored Deep Red as well as So Sweet, So Perverse and more recently Gaspar Noe's Love). The locations used for the film are pretty much the perfect backdrop for the story and the costume work is also very good. The action scenes are also well staged and surprisingly complex. Much of the time the film feels like a sibling to Leone’s A Fistful Of Dynamite, with its revolutionary setting, social commentary and odd comedic elements.

    As far as the performances go, Adriano Celentano is pretty decent in the lead. He’s likeable and interesting and perfectly believable. Enzo Terascio doesn’t fare as well, but it’s tough to say if that’s because of the quality of his acting or simply the fact that his character is written to be somewhat annoying. Lovely Marilù Tolo has a supporting role in the film as the alluring ‘Contessa’ and The Beast In Heat himself, Salvatore Baccaro, also shows up in the movie as a brute named Garafino, both casting choices adding to the film’s entertainment value.

    The Five Days – UHD Review:

    Severin Films brings The Five Days to UHD with scanned in 4K from the original negative and framed at 2.35.1 widescreen and presented in HEVC / H.265 2160p with HDR10, the picture looks really strong. Keeping in mind that it’s a pretty grainy image, the transfer is otherwise in beautiful shape showing virtually no print damage. Color reproduction looks really good, the reds and greens in the Italian flag popping nicely, and there’s loads of detail and texture to take in, especially (but not limited to) in the close up shots. You can make out all of the fibers in the clothing and bullet holes in the walls as the movie plays out. The image always looks like a proper film transfer, showing no noticeable issues with compression, noise reduction or edge enhancement.

    Audio chores are handled by an Italian language 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track with optional subtitles offered up in English only. Audio quality is quite good. The track is properly balanced and free of any hiss or distortion and both the score and the sound effects used throughout have solid depth and presence.

    Special features for this release are spread across the three discs in the set as follows:

    Disc One: UHD

    Extras on the UHD start off with an audio commentary with Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson that notes early on the influence of Sergio Leone on the opening shots. From here, they talk about whether or not the opening scene in the prison is a fly POV shot or not, how the film compares to many of his other films and the farcical elements of this and some of his other pictures, the effective comedic elements on display in the movie, where Argento's career was at during this period in time, the importance of his Door Into Darkness TV series, where the film takes jabs at the Italian political system, Argento's thoughts on Fulci's work and career, details on the different cast and crew members that worked on the movie, the quality of the film's production values and the importance of seeing it in a proper presentation such as this one, the attention to period detail on display and plenty more. It's a good talk, occasionally going a bit off topic but always interesting, providing a thorough breakdown of the movie.

    This disc also includes a trailer, menus and chapter selection options.

    Disc Two: Blu-ray

    The included 50GB Blu-ray disc includes a 1080p version of the feature as well as the same commentary as well as quite a few featurettes, starting with Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution, which interviews Director Dario Argento. Here, over thirty-five minutes, he speaks about wanting to do something different after directing the Animal Trilogy, what went into writing the script for The Five Days and who worked on it with him, moving to Milan, how he came to direct the film, where some of the inspiration for the story came from, the anarchist and revolutionary movements in Italy and how they factored into things, getting the cast and crew together for the project and working with his leads, the complexities of staging and shooting some of the larger scale scenes in the movie, the use of music in the film, the picture's ending and how the film was received when released and how it has since been reevaluated.

    The Battle For Freedom gets Screenwriter Luigi Cozzi on camera for half an hour to go over the history of the events depicted in the movie and how they affected Italy and Europe as a whole. He also talks about the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, how Milan became the first Italian state to gain independence and what led to the unification of Italy before then going on to talk about how he came to work on the script for the movie, how Dario and Salvatore Argento went about putting the project together, the casting choices, turning the treatment into a screenplay, social issues plaguing Italy during its making and quite a bit more.

    Executive Producer Claudio Argento is up next in For The First Time, a ten minute piece where he talks about how his career in the movie business started, how he became a producer, some of the early titles he worked on, going on to work with Dario and Salvatore Argento, how he came to work on The Five Days, shooting on location, memories of the cast and crew and how it is a shame that the film didn't initially find much of an audience.

    An Italian Story is an interview with Actress Carla Tatò running sixteen minutes and covering how she first met Argento and how she was a fan of his work, what he was like to work with, how she became involved with the project, working with co-writer Nanni, the careful preparation Argento put into this project, her thoughts on acting and dealing with actors and how she feels about the movie and her work in it many years later.

    Home Delivery interviews Actress Luisa De Santis in an eighteen minute piece that lets her speak about how she came to know Argento after seeing Bird With The Crystal Plumage, the casting process for The Five Days and how that has changed over the years, how everyone involved was very young but very professional, Argento's directing style, memories of shooting her scenes and getting along with her co-stars and how, overall, working on this movie was just a whole lot of fun.

    Production Manager Angelo Iacono speaks about his work on the movie in 174 Years Ago. This twenty-eight minute interview goes over his appreciation of The Five Days as a history buff, working with Salvatore and Dario Argento on the picture and how he first came to know them, how different Nonni Loy and Dario Argento were personality wise, how he was essentially acting as Dario Argento's right hand during most of the production, staging some of the film's more complex moments, working with different cast and crew members, what went into getting a lot of the period detail right, the response to the film upon initial release and plenty of other details related to the making of the movie.

    Last but not least, the thirteen minute Dario Argento: The Man, The Myths & The Magic is an interesting piece with Author Alan Jones on The Five Days. He speaks about how Argento moved from Four Flies On Grey Velvet and Door Into Darkness into The Five Days, how Door Into Darkness cemented his status as 'The Italian Hitchcock,' how this film came to be known as 'Five Days In Milan' despite always being called 'The Five Days,' how the project started, initial casting choices and how some of those choices changed and why, why certain elements of the humor and farce in the movie don't translate so well outside of its homeland, the film's score and the film's less than warm reception and how it went on to shape the rest of the director's career.

    Finishing up the second disc is a theatrical trailer, a TV spot, menus and chapter selection options.

    Disc Three: CD

    The third disc is a CD titled ‘Giorgio Gaslini For Dario Argento’ and it features not only all eighteen tracks comprising the full soundtrack for The Five Days but also two tracks that the composer created for Door Into Darkness and seven tracks composed for Deep Red. The track listing is included on a postcard-sized insert included inside the case alongside the three discs.

    This release also comes packaged with a sturdy, embossed slipcover.

    The Five Days - The Final Word:

    The Five Days isn’t the film that Argento is going to be remembered for but it is an interesting and well-made entry in the early part of his filmography that fans should appreciate quite a bit more now that it exists in a properly restored edition. The extras, which are plentiful, provide valuable context here and the presentation is excellent.



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    Ian Jane
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    Last edited by Ian Jane; 11-28-2022, 02:44 PM.
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