|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Florent Emilio Siri, 2005)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Miramax Films
Video: Miramax Lionsgate
Region: 'A'-locked (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 24,672,931,333 bytes
Feature Size: 21,698,887,680 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.99 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 23rd, 2011
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3814 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3814 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), English, Spanish, none
• Audio Commentary by Director Florent Emilio Siri
Description: Action extraordinaire Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense) stars as Jeff Talley, a big city hostage negotiator who voluntarily trades trauma for house calls when he becomes Chief of Police in a sleepy town. But when a random crime escalates into a deadly standoff, Talley finds himself thrust into a situation far more volatile and terrifying than anything he could ever imagine! Also starring Kevin Pollack (The Usual Suspects, The Whole Nine Yards), Jonathan Tucker (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, The Mechanic), this explosive hit packs the punch in more ways that one.
In the original Die Hard, erstwhile TV star Bruce Willis made the transition to big-screen action hero by convincingly portraying an average man who races against time to overcome almost insurmountable obstacles by virtue of his courage, determination, and resourcefulness. Audiences love him in that kind of role, which is why Hostage works so well. Bruce plays Jeff Talley, a former Los Angles Police Department hostage negotiator turned small-town police sheriff. He's called upon to find and apprehend three teens who, following their robbery of a convenience store, have taken refuge in a private home that's a veritable fortress. These kids don't realize what they've stumbled into: The owner (Kevin Pollak) is connected to New York mobsters who are out to recover the large sum of money he's stolen from them. Adapted from a complex novel by Robert Crais, Hostage is no less intricate than its source, and newly minted director Florent Emilio Siri -- previously the designer of edgy video games -- rates kudos for juggling several subplots while maintaining nail-biting suspense throughout.
The template for all home-invasion movies remains 1955's The Desperate Hours, in which an upper-middle-class family defends its suburban home from a band of three crooks, who hole up in a tense standoff with the local police. Though gussied up by multiple, non-related abductions, Hostage basically recycles the same premise and all the reliable tension that goes along with it, except that modern conventions apparently dictate that the Red Cross deplete its plasma reserves. With Bruce Willis on board, the film works hard to duplicate the streamlined excitement of Die Hard, yet director Florent Siri thinks he's making Straw Dogs, and the appalling gratuitousness spoils an otherwise skillful (though madly implausible) thrill machine.Excerpt from Scott Tobias at The Onion located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
The image quality on Hostage varies from being rather bland to having some striking detail and depth. It can look thick - bordering saturation - and I'd have to say for a single-layered transfer it looks surprisingly strong. Flatness is overcome on the Blu-ray from Lionsgate/MiraMax. It is not at the top-tier for the format but supports the bombastic moments of the film with gusto. Overall, I think it looks okay with some occasionally impressive moments that seem to surface at just the right time. The film has decent cinematography - there was obvious effort but into production and it might have benefitted visually from dual-layering. As it stands I doubt anyone will make a fuss as it is pristinely clean and the 1080P provides a presentation worthy of the film.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3814 kbps is a powerhouse exporting the many aggressive effects and spreading them around room. Bass can be booming and there is ample range. Audio can be drowned out a few times but for those into the soundstage attribute - this should perk your ears up. There are optional English or Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked although is also available in region 'B'.
This offers all the same supplements as the 2005 DVD with the modest commentary from director Florent Siri where there are some star tidbits and a bit of production. Included are the standard Behind-The-Scenes featurette entitled 'Taking Hostage' with a few interviews soundbytes and on-set clips. Tack on 6 deleted scenes and 2 extended scenes (totaling less than 7-minutes) - both offering optional commentary from Siri. There isn't much to talk about regarding the film so the extras have the air of being unnecessary 'filler'.
August 16th, 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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