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Hobo With a Shotgun [Blu-ray]
(Jason Eisener, 2011)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Yer Dead Productions
Region: A (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 43,680,868,367 bytes
Feature Size: 16,968,572,928 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.96 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: July 5th, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4206 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4206 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
English (SDH), Spanish, none
• Optional commentary by director Jason Eisener and Rutger Hauer
• Shot Gun Mode (44 clips - 1:46:27)
Description: A train pulls into the station it's the end of the line. A Hobo jumps from a freight car, hoping for a fresh start in a new city. Instead, he finds himself trapped in an urban hell. This is a world where criminals rule the streets and Drake, the city's crime boss, reigns supreme alongside his sadistic murderous sons, Slick & Ivan. Amidst the chaos, the Hobo comes across a pawn shop window displaying a second hand lawn mower. He dreams of making the city a beautiful place and starting a new life for himself. But as the brutality continues to rage around him, he notices a shotgun hanging above the lawn mower... Quickly, he realizes the only way to make a difference in this town is with that gun in his hand and two shells in its chamber.
Hopping from the rusted interior of a train car, Hobo (Rutger Hauer) ventures into a city smothered by the anarchic reign of its populace. Vagrants are ruthlessly cut down in the streets, heads are torn from their bodies via barbed-wire "glory holes" and even a busload of schoolchildren are burned alive from the white-hot belly of a flame-thrower. Ignoring the ever-present chaos around him, Hobo pushes on and panhandles so that he might gain the money he needs for a lawnmower--and in turn--begin his own landscaping business. However, after he saves a hooker (oh yeah, with a heart of gold) from two ruthless individuals by the name of Ivan and Slick, he begins a chain of events which will place him at the giving end of justice. Unable to hold back his frustrations towards the sick society around him, Hobo--with shotgun in hand--begins taking out any and all trash be it pedophile Santas, pimps, thugs and crooks, until an all-out street war erupts between him and the city's tyrannical leader: The Drake.
But at the film's center is a rock, Rutger Hauer as the stoic Hobo, who wants only to pass through and perhaps collect enough scratch to buy a $49.95 lawnmower. Hauer invests the Hobo with a rotgut dignity, even when he's on his knees chewing glass shards for twenty dollars. With Hauer in the role, Hobo's manic gore-streaked hyperbole begins to make sense. Aside from a kindly prostitute he befriends, the Hobo is the only normal character around, and I began to suspect that we're seeing the crime sprawl of Hope City — renamed alternately Scum City or Fuck City in graffiti — through the Hobo's cracked filter. The film's insanity is his insanity. He may not actually be the most normal person onscreen. He might not even have a shotgun.Excerpt from Rob Gonsalves of critic located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Stylistically Hobo With a Shotgun has gone for a heavy grain and color saturated appearance intentionally looking cheap - attempting to replicate the 70's Grindhouse features it is striving toward duplicating. Visually this works - even if it avoids the infused jump cuts, damage and scratches of the action exploitation genre's mimicry previously seen in films like Robert Rodriguez' Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Actually, Eisener's Hobo with a Shotgun was initially made as a fake trailer for an international contest to promote the release of Tarantino and Rodriguez's double feature Grindhouse. So once you submit to the heavy style - as long as there is no digital manipulation (and there is not) - then anything goes with your acceptance of the look. Because the attached extras (44 clips) are all in HD - the supplements are actually larger than the file size of the feature. While this is unusual - it can't deter the feature's look which emulates production limitations. So despite the disc being dual-layered - Hobo With A Shotgun, itself, is single layered with a modest bitrate. I'm a fan of grain and this is wonderfully thick as if projected on a swarm of insects. They may have gone too far with the saturation but it is consistent throughout. There is no notable noise in the darker sequences as the grain it is so rich with grain. It ends up looking fairly unique - and, we presume, all intentional. Hopefully, the captures will bear out the 1080P appearance.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is an intense DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 4206 kbps. There is plenty of actions and sound aggression with depth and range. There may even be some Grindhouse style in exporting the sound with a hollow effect - but this may be my imagination. This avoids the replication of damage sound flaws as heard in the 2007 Grindhouse pair. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region A-locked.
The supplements consist of a fun optional commentary with director Jason Eisener and Rutger Hauer. They cover a myriad of production and behind the scene events. There is also 44 clips entitled Shot Gun Mode running an hour and 3/4s. It can also be seen on the fly while watching the film by accessing the 'Shotgun Mode' when you see a target icon on the screen (hitting 'Enter') and it will (as advertised) '...send you to behind the scenes look at extra blood, guts and bits of awesome glory'. Indeed.
NOTE: It appears as though we have been given the Canadian Alliance version. The US edition has additional extras including a documentary and more. We suggest that version if you have the option.
July 2nd, 2011
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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