The Film (4.5/5)
Before seeing Altin Cocuk my only exposure to the world of Turkish pop cinema was a VHS viewing of Turkish Star Wars(Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam) over a decade ago. I was a teenager at the time, and thought the whole thing was quite silly, but I enjoyed it. I never really thought too much about Turkish cinema, until a few film fans turned me on to the DVD's of Onar Films. Checking out their website, and the trailers they have posted on YouTube, opened my eyes to Turkish Cult Cinema.
Needless to say I had to dig deeper, and I am glad I did.
Altin Cocuk(Golden Boy) is a film that feels like a juvenile interpretation of a spy film. It feels like a sixth grader watched Kiss Me Deadly and a couple of James Bond flicks, and decided to have a go at making his own version of them. I'm not saying the quality of the filmmaking is bad, on the contrary it is quite good, but the plot of the film itself is so riddled with spy movie cliches that it almost borders on parody.
I may sound like I am complaining, I am not, I loved Altin Cocuk. Altin Cocuk may be a cheesy attempt at a spy film, but it is 100% fun the entire way through. The movie starts with a striptease, and the assassination of the supposed main character, and then unveils a plot twist so absurd (like they're going to kill off the main character in the first five minutes), that it has to be seen to be believed.
The story here is pretty straight forward, the titular character(Goksel Arksoy) most stop a criminal mastermind(Altan Gunbay) from wreaking nuclear havoc on Turkey. The film is well directed by Memdeh Un, who injected the material with a nice streamlined pacing, and a very cinematic eye. The films plot may just be an excuse to tread out spy movie cliches, but the direction helps elevate it beyond the realm of the cheap cash in.
Onar Films has released Altin Cocuk in its original 1:33:1 aspect ratio. According to the DVD Onar sent, this DVD was made using the last surviving materials available, so don't go in expecting a perfect transfer. What we have here is pretty good for what it is, it does have some scratches throughout, and a few spots appear to be slightly washed out, but it never takes away from the film.
The audio is Dolby Digital Mono with both Greek and English subtitles. The audio is passable, and is never in audible. There are minor traces of distortion throughout the track, but as in the video transfer it never takes away from the movie.
Onar Films have included a nice set of extras on this DVD of Altin Cocuk. The main extra on the disc is an interview with Altan Gunbay who played the lead villain in the film. The interview is an interesting overview of his career, and how he became involved with this film. Also included are trailers for other Onar Films releases, a text article on Turkish spy films, a photo gallery, cast bios/filmographies, and an Altin Cocuk mini-poster. There are less obscure films than this one that don't receive special editions this good, and Onar has to be commended for giving an obscure film such as this one, this good a package.
Altin Cocuk is a fun beer movie, don't go in expecting a cinematic game changer, and just plan to have some fun. Onar Films have put together an excellent package with a nice assortment of extras, and pretty good A/V. There are apparently 3 films in this series, I hope Onar gets around to releasing the rest, I know I'd be ready to watch.