directed by Antoine Fuqua
USA 2007

 

Action movies will always appear in movie theatres as long as there are young boys and men who never quite grow up. I’m not disparaging the action-movie demographic as I readily admit that I enjoy shoot-‘em-ups as much as anyone else. However, lately, most action movies are crosses with other genres like science fiction (The Matrix), spy thrillers (the James Bond franchise), capers (The Italian Job), and even comedy (Mr. & Mrs. Smith). Straight-up action has been largely relegated to the straight-to-video bin, where names like Steven Seagal, Tom Berenger (Oscar nominated!), and Wesley Snipes appear regularly.

2007’s Shooter is a return to respectable pure action--there’s no time-traveling, no espionage, no boosting, no joke-telling. Everyone plays it for “real” without winking at the audience. Mark Wahlberg has come a long way as an actor, and even though his role in this movie doesn’t challenge him much, he is a believable presence.

Wahlberg plays Bobby Lee Swagger, a retired Marine sniper who is framed by shadowy government figures for the assassination of an Ethiopian archbishop. Swagger goes on the run in order to clear his name and to uncover the conspiracy. Shooter avoids asking the audience to suspend too much disbelief by avoiding making Swagger a one-man army; Swagger is aided by a marginalized FBI agent and his best-friend’s widow. The script efficiently reveals exposition in a handful of brief conversations. Otherwise, you get a series of well-executed tense, adrenaline-pumping set pieces.

Unfortunately, the moviemakers took themselves a little too seriously and let a few scenes play beyond necessary marks. At the end, you have to sit through a distended shoot-out even though you know exactly would happen when you get a righteous vigilante taking on immoral capitalists. This is really the only weak point of an otherwise solid red-meat flick.

Yunda Eddie Feng

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Theatrical Release: 23 March 2007

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Yunda Eddie Feng for the Review!

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Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 125 min
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.19 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 French, Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish
Subtitles Optional English
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• audio commentary by director Antoine Fuqua
• seven deleted scenes
• Survival of the Fittest: The Making of Shooter
• Independence Hall (featurette)
• trailers for other movies

DVD Release Date: 26 June 2007
keepcase

Chapters 19

 

 

Comments Video:
The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen picture is rather drab and dark. This is true even of scenes not set in wintry/snowy settings. Also, although the print appears to be in excellent condition, the video transfer is a tad soft and lacking in detail. (To be fair, I might be used to watching movies in high-definition now that I’m also reviewing HD-DVDs.)

Audio:
Shooter is about snipers, so the Dolby Digital 5.1 English is not a continuous cacophony of multi-directional booms. There are plenty of sound effects whizzing across the room, but they are mostly of single bullets being fired with care and precision. In fact, there are times when rear-channel activity is courtesy mainly of the music score. However, there are impressive helicopter fly-bys, and when Swagger booby-traps a ranch with pipe bombs and napalm, you will be immersed in pure devastation and immolation.

You can also watch the movie with DD 5.1 French and DD 5.1 Spanish dubs. Optional English subtitles as well as optional English closed captions support the audio.

 

Extras:
Upon loading, the disc plays trailers for Zodiac and Black Snake Moan.

Director Antoine Fuqua contributed an audio commentary; Fuqua hews mostly to the technical aspects of moviemaking, so the commentary will be of interest mostly to people who already have some knowledge of mounting a physically-complex production.

Next up are seven deleted scenes. Some of these are fairly amusing, though they would’ve prolonged an already overly-long movie.

“Survival of the Fittest: The Making of Shooter” is a run-of-the-mill overview of the production. Though less of a hard-sell than most featurettes, you still get talking-heads interviews with people who think that they’ve made a masterpiece.

Finally, you get the “Independence Hall” featurette that teaches viewers about some aspects of American history.

This release does not have any trailers, though Paramount is in the habit of including trailers on its HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

 - Yunda Eddie Feng

 

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1 - NTSC




 

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