Reviews on Blu-ray, DVD, movies, and all tech gadgets

Percentage of Proceeds Fast & Furious 6 will Be Donated to Paul Walker’s Reach out Worldwide

In a press release today, Universal announced that a portion of the proceeds from Fast & Furious Blu-ray and DVD release will go to Paul Walker’s organization, ROWW.org. Paul Walker recently was in a car accident where he lost his life.

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Blu-ray Review: Bullet To The Head

Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Warner – 96 min – 2013 – Rated R -1080p – 1.85:1 widescreen – DTS-HD 5.1 Audio – DVD – Ultraviolet

Sylvester Stallone will go down in history as the king of the action genre, and even well into his 60’s he’s still kicking ass. With the success of the two Expendables movies, audiences have become nostalgic to the grand old times of the 80’s where action heroes were all muscle and bullets. Stallone’s most recent film, Bullet to the Head is a throwback to those days where the plot is not as important as the action, and having pioneer action director Walter Hill in the driver’s seat makes the ride even crazier. Bullet in the Head arrives on Blu-ray from Warner, and if you’re a Stallone fan you know what you’re getting yourself into.

THE MOVIE

Stallone plays Jimmy Bobo a New Orleans hitman, who is out for revenge when he and his partner Blanchard (Jon Seda) are set-up by their employer during a job gone bad resulting in Blanchard’s death. Having no other choice, Bobo must team up with a street detective named Kwan (Sung Kang) to hunt his partner’s killer, a ruthless maniac called Keegan (Jason Momoa). When Bobo learns that his daughter has been kidnapped, the situation goes from bad to deadly as Bobo leaves a pile of bodies behind to settle the score.

The film is loosely based on the French graphic novel ‘Du plomb dans la tete’ by Alexis Nolent, but just because it has a French origin, the on screen result is total American carnage. Walter Hill directed one of the premiere buddy action films of the 80’s with the Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte classic 48 Hours. He attempts to tap on that buddy film button with Stallone and Kang, but even though there are a few good moments. The two don’t have the on screen chemistry needed to make it work. Knowing this, the focus of the film goes to the action scenes, and here there are plenty.

The violence is a cross between hardcore 80’s action and 90’s Hong Kong action, and when it works it works well, taking your mind off of everything else that is wrong with the movie. Jason Momoa is having fun as the big bad villain, and pitting him against Stallone in an axe fight is the cherry on top. For a guy in his mid 60’s, Stallone’s body is diesel, almost like a character from a Sin City comic. Unlike most older action heroes, he still looks convincing in a fight, and even when taking on someone much bigger than him like Momoa, you get that Rocky vs. Drago adrenaline rush.

Bullet to the Head is for guys who grew up watching Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Norris and Willis movies, and almost crapped their pants when they learned that all of these guys were going to be together in a movie. This latest stand alone Stallone film fizzled at the box office, but fans of the genre watching this at home may get more a kick out of it. Maybe Stallone and Walter Hill could work together on a better project in the future, because with the right script and their dedication to the action genre, it could be like opening a can of whoop-ass.

VIDEO

With a 1080p image in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Bullet to the head has a great gritty look, emulating a cross between a graphic novel and an 80’s action film. Details are sharp and the sweat can be seen glistening off of everyone. Stallone’s veins that cover his muscular upper body are three dimensional, and the lines on his face are hard not to notice, but hey after 30 plus years in the industry, he’s earned them. Colors are muted, but this is purposely done to match the tone of the film. Overall, this is nice a solid transfer that will not disappoint.

SOUND

The film makes good use of its DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix, and if you have a home theater set-up you will get the most out of it. Dialogue is clean, but the action sounds of gunfire, car chases, glass breaking and axes clanging are the real star of the show. This film will give your rear speakers a workout and make your subwoofer bounce across the floor, but that’s the experience you want when you watch a film like this.

EXTRAS

Unfortunately there is only one bonus feature offered, which is a total letdown. ‘Mayhem Inc.’ is barely ten minutes long and only scratches the surface about the making of the film.

BOTTOM LINE

Bullet in the Head is for a target audience; primarily Stallone’s action fans from the 80’s and 90’s. The Blu-ray itself offers a solid video transfer and ear shattering sound, but the bonus features are anemic. It is recommended that you rent this one first to check it out, but if you’re a hardcore fan, it’s a buy.

SCORES (Out of 5):

The Movie: 2.5

Video: 4.0

Sound: 4.5

Extras: 2.0

Bottom Line: 3.0

Blu-Ray Review: Lincoln [2012]

Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Disney/Buena Vista – 150 min – 2012 – Rated PG-13 -1080p – 2.40:1 widescreen – DTS-HD 7.1 Audio

If you qualified as an academy award voter, halfway through watching the movie Lincoln you would stop and just think to yourself “And the Oscar goes to Daniel Day-Lewis.” Lewis is one of the few actors on the planet who can ‘really act’ meaning that when you watch a film he’s in you are one hundred percent convinced that he has transformed into someone else. Now combine his acting talents with the directing skills of Steven Spielberg and you’ve captured lightning in a bottle. Lincoln is available on Blu-ray from Disney/Buena Vista and despite its lack of bonus material this one is a must for your collection.

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Blu-ray Review: Freelancers [2012]

Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Lionsgate – 96 min – 2012 – Rated R -1080p – 2.40:1 widescreen – DTS-HD 5.1 Audio

The first thing you will say when you see the box cover for this Blu-ray is why are Oscar winning actors like Robert De Niro and Forest Whitaker in this D-List movie? The obvious answer is money, but there must have been better projects out there. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson is a talented musician, and his desire to transition into motion pictures is normal for anyone in his position, but if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor like De Niro and Whitaker, he’s going to have to stay away from projects that have straight-to-video written all over them. Freelancers arrives on Blu-ray from Lionsgate, and though it attempts to be gritty and deep, it comes off like a watered-down Training Day.

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Blu-ray Review: 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded [2013]

Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Fox – 95 min – 2013 – Rated R -1080p – 1.78:1 widescreen – DTS-HD 5.1 Audio

The first 12 Rounds movie starred WWE superstar John Cena who played a detective who has to save his kidnapped girlfriend from a madman by completing 12 dangerous challenges. The concept has been revamped for the film’s sequel, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, and this time stars another WWE badass, Randy Orton, who hopes to one-up Cena in his film debut for the crown of being the next big action star. 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded is a straight to video release from Fox that delivers a 95 minute thrill ride to keep your adrenaline pumping.

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12 Rounds: Reloaded on Coming June 4th to Blu-ray

Many action films start with a deadly phone call and 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded capitalizes on that form of communication. Let’s take a look at other suspense films using the gripping hook of kicking off the action with a tense phone call.

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Lincoln Announced for March 26th on Blu-ray

Today we received word that Lincoln will be shipping on Blu-ray later this month. Look for our review soon!

 

 

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Blu-ray review: The Dark Knight Rises [2012]

Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Warner Brothers – 165 min – 2012 – Rated PG-13 -1080p – 2.40:1 widescreen / IMAX 1.78:1– DTS-HD 5.1 Audio – UltraViolet Copy

No matter what happens next in his career, Christopher Nolan has made history by breathing new life into Batman after he was left for dead in the abysmal 1997 Joel Schumacher film Batman & Robin. Nolan’s 2005 vision of the caped crusader in Batman Begins got people interested in the character again; the 2008 sequel The Dark Knight literally shook the world; and now finally the trilogy wraps up with The Dark Knight Rises, which arrives on Blu-ray from Warner just in time for the Christmas rush. Though not as well executed as The Dark Knight, this finale is still a solid and very entertaining motion picture event.

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Blu-ray Review: Men in Black 3 [2012]

Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Sony Pictures – 106 min – 2012 – Rated PG-13 -1080p – 1.85:1 widescreen – DTS-HD 5.1 Audio – UltraViolet Copy

Let’s get this out right up front, Men in Black 3 is a forced sequel. By that I mean it really did not need to be made and no one was saying “hey, are they ever going to make another MIB movie?” There are three reasons it was made; one is because Hollywood loves the word trilogy; two is due to the fact that the second Men in Black movie sucked; and three is the easy one…more money (especially for Mr. Smith). Men in Black 3 was one of the biggest hits of the summer, so the gamble paid off. Sony has released MIB3 on glorious Blu-ray just in time for the Holidays, and while it will never match the level of the original film, it’s not so bad.

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Blu-Ray Review: Silent House [2012]

Reviewed by Johnny McNair

Universal Studios – 86 min – 2012 – Rated R -1080p – 1.85:1 widescreen – DTS-HD 5.1 Audio – Digital Copy

Silent House is not a great horror/thriller, but it is incredibly ambitious and worth watching just because it attempts to display the entire movie in real-time. That is one continuous shot from beginning to end. This technique has been used in various films, but it’s usually just one scene, such as the famous shot in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas where Henry and Karen enter the nightclub from the back and walk all the way through the interior to the main area as the camera follows them without a single cut. To date, Alfred Hitcock’s film ‘Rope’ is the most successful attempt at making the one continuous shot movie, and Silent House tries to use that as film as its template. Silent House comes to Blu-ray from Universal, and though it may not scare you, if you’re a filmmaker you will appreciate the method used.

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