The natural beauty of Bo Derek in her screen debut and the supernatural spectacle of Dino De Laurentiis' (King Kong) masterful use o f special e ffects on a gigantic scale highlights this rousing adventure story. It's the epic tale of one powerful being against anot her; a strong, determi ned fisherman (Richard Harris) versus an equally determined whale. When the giant whale's pregnant mate is mai med and killed by Harris, in a va riation on Moby Dick, the whale seeks revenge on the man. Orca smashes b oats, collapses buildings, and even manages to cause enormous destructio n by fire. A suspenseful action drama.]]>
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The film is 5 star; I took one star off for the following reasons: There are more and more movies that are labeled as "Region Code B/2: This disc will not play on most American Blu ray players...." and yet they do actually play on American Blu-ray players. Even though they have region code B/2, somehow they must be coded in such a way to allow playback on American Blu-ray players that are normally designed to play only Region A Blu-ray discs. As the Blu-ray market is getting competitive, I think distributing companies should be very clear about the information they provide on their products as it could be confusing to the average consumer. For instance, on the back of the case, it says "None" for subtitles but there is actually subtitles coded on the disc. I own two 4K Blu-ray players. Sony Ubp x800 4K player remote control has "subtitle" button. When I press the subtitle button, English subtitles comes on. Just by chance, the other day, I decided to play the film on my Samsung 4K player UBD-KM85C whose remote control does not have "subtitle" button. I was not able to put the subtitles on because there is no "language" selection on the film's menu. If your Blu-ray player's remote control has "subtitle" button, then you are lucky and can put the subtitles on. If not, then you are out of luck. If they coded the subtitles, when why would they not put a "language" selection on the menu?
The Blu-ray transfer of the movie is amazingly good (some less-known movies sometimes get lousy transfers but this one is fantastic). With that said, there are artifacts early in the beginning of the movie and in the end of the movie, and some frames towards the end are quite grainy.
First of all, Richard Harris' performance blew me away. He poured so much heart and depth into his role as the Irish fisherman Captain Nolan, it was a top notch acting job that sucked me right into the film and refused to let me go. His lines are delivered in ways you can hear the thoughts and motivations, the past actions and regrets of his character with every syllable, a truly emotional role that makes you sympathize whole heartedly with the "villain".
That said, there is no true villain of this tail. Orca is a film all about the act of revenge and the feeling of grief, the Orca and Captain Nolan serve as two peas in a pod, mirrors of each other, and it does an amazing job at going into the mindset and morality of vengeance. I honestly was not expecting to get this level of depth (no pun intended) out of a killer animal movie.
The orca's special effects are incredible as well. PETA got involved because when they saw the animatronic being transported on a highway they thought it was a live orca. Live killer whales are used as well.
The only problem are the sound effects.. orcas screaming or roaring like dinosaurs is distracting, but I can understand the directing decision here.
The film is not without other flaws, though. There's a scene in the latter bit of the film where a character randomly decided to act out of character for one particularly jarring scene that is promptly dropped and forgotten about, as well as there being a constantly recycled green screen shot of the orca breaching shown over and over again to the point I would let out a chuckle by the 8th time and after.
I highly recommend this film.
Richard Harris was fun to watch but costar Charlotte Rampling was very stern and dour. A young Bo Derek got her leg bitten off. Orca-The Killer Whale has it's moments and it's an OK time killer for a rainy and "I'm too bored to do anything" Saturday afternoon.