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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hobo With a Shotgun [Blu-ray]


(Jason Eisener, 2011)


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:


Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Yer Dead Productions

Video: Alliance



Region: A (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:26:11.873

Disc Size: 43,680,868,367 bytes

Feature Size: 16,968,572,928 bytes

Video Bitrate: 19.96 Mbps

Chapters: 13

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.



The Film:

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.

Excerpt from ryan Yentz at MovieWeb located HERE

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.   

















Audio :

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.



Extras :

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.



This is pretty good fun for those keen on the post-genre appeal. Eisener has done a great job in many areas. But to sound contrarian, I think the style could have used some polishing to bring down the appearance - ex. I loved the fake scratches etc. in Grindhouse - as well as the 'Restricted/Limited Admission' openings and, of course, the fake trailers. Hobo With a Shotgun is violent - and not in a nice way - but I guess that is part-and-parcel with the mockery. It's a great concept and follow through - but I'll wager Eisener will improve his technique - honing it to a sharper point if this genre continues to be popular (I sure hope it does!). The Blu-ray does a solid job in replicating the filmmaker's intent and there are plenty of extras in the form of those never ending clips. The audience knows who they are and don't really require an endorsement from me - but for that niche, you have one anyway. 

Gary Tooze

July 2nd, 2011

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:


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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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