Movie Review: HICKOK (4K Ultra HD Combo Pack)

HICKOK was directed by Timothy Woodward Jr. from a screenplay by Michael Lanahan and stars Luke Hemsworth, Trace Adkins, Kris KristoffersonBruce Dern, Cameron Richardson, Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereasu, Robert Catrini and Hunter Fischer. In the hopes of escaping his past as a notorious outlaw, “Wild Bill” Hickok seeks redemption as a small town lawman. Unfortunately, as the titular gunslinger discovers, the past always has a way of catching up with him.

The story of the West’s most notorious gunslinger and his road to redemption, HICKOK finds the infamous, hard-drinking outlaw (Hemsworth) in 1870’s Abilene, Kansas, seeking to start a new life.  Captivated by Wild Bill’s unparalleled gun skills, the mayor, George Knox, (Kristofferson) quickly ropes him in as the town marshal.  Recognizing the need to clamp down on the wildest cow-town in the west, Hickok soon finds himself at the center of a controversial ordinance while dispensing his own brand of frontier justice.  His attempts to protect Abilene, however, are quickly challenged by a band of outlaws led by powerful saloon owner Phil Poe (Adkins).  And when Poe places a bounty on Wild Bill’s head, the marshal, with the help of outlaw turned lawman John Wesley Hardin, makes a stand for Abilene and his new life, while putting his reputation as the fastest draw in the west on the line.

“Wild Bill” Hickok starts out as a soldier, he then becomes a gunslinger, and later ends up as the accidental marshal in the small town of Abilene, Kansas. Mayor George Knox talks him into taking the job that nobody else wants simply because the previous lawmen were all killed. He goes from a life of hard drinking, thievery and womanizing to upholding the law in the violent small town he’s now settled in. Bill is already famous for being a gunslinger with precise aiming and now he quickly makes a name for himself as the lawgiver and of course it doesn’t set well with some of the locals, especially Phil Poe. The outlaws don’t like Hickok’s new ordinance so they rebel.

Not only does Hickok have a target on his back but he gets some bad news about his eye sight and tries to keep it a secret from his enemies. Even with his failing vision, he doesn’t back down from a gun fight even if he’s outnumbered and the odds are against him. Hickok ends up recruiting the help of fellow outlaw and gunslinger John Wesley Hardin who he nicknames “Arkansas” to help even up the odds on the playing field and bring justice to those who break the law. Hickok ultimately takes down Poe and his henchmen to free the small town of Abilene from the law breakers and corruption. In the end, Hickok finally retires from the dangerous life as an outlaw and marshal.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. These Ultra HD movies all come in black keep cases which helps them easily standout from the popular blue cases that have been around since day one. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each disc is color coded (4K is red and Blu-ray is black) and only features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this release. Fans will be able to experience this gritty western like never before with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray) release. This features four times the resolution of Full HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR) that delivers the brightest, most vivid and realistic color and greatest contrast.

Bottom line is, Hickok is a movie that I thought I didn’t like too much after I watched it for the first time a while back, but after checking it out again for this review, I’ve really ended up liking it for a number of reasons. This Wild West frontier thriller was shot on the dusty, turn-of-the-century sets like Melody Ranch, which is also home to HBO’s hit series “Westworld” and the accuracy and authenticity were all spot on. I really enoyed Woodward’s last movie, Traded (starring Trace Adkins and Kris Kristofferson), which was also a western and this one here has ended up being an action-packed and entertaining followup. He did a good job bringing this gritty world to life and putting it all on screen. The story for this legendary gunslinger was interesting and the impressive cast all did an amazing job with their characters. This also happens to be Luke Hemsworth’s first leading role in a feature film and he delivered a standout performance as “Wild Bill” Hickok. Hemsworth’s appearance, mannerism, gun handling ability, and southern accent were all impressive. Movie fanatics that have already upgraded their home entertainment centers (screens and players) to watch 4K movies are sure to enjoy the experience, but this is also for the high-def loyalists because there’s a Blu-ray disc included for them as well. Hickok will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray) on August 15th and is definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Cinedigm and Status Media

Run Time: 88 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

4K Ultra HD Video: 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

4K Ultra HD Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include a featurette that takes the viewer behind-the-scenes of the film, three deleted scenes and a trailer.

  • “The Road to Abilene: The Making of Hickok” Featurette (14:36)
  • Deleted Scenes (02:50)
  • Trailer (02:33)




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