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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

End of Watch [Blu-ray]

 

(David Ayer, 2012)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Universal Studios

Video: Universal Video

 

Disc:

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

Runtime: 1:49:16.550

Disc Size: 42,106,554,128 bytes

Feature Size: 31,734,128,640 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.81 Mbps

Chapters: 20

Case: Standard Blu-ray case inside cardboard slipcase

Release date: January 22nd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3612 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3612 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Commentary with Writer/Director David Ayer

17 Deleted Scenes (46:41)

• Featurette: Fate With a Badge (2:10)

• Featurette: In the Streets (2:10)

• Featurette: Women on Watch (2:01)

• Featurette: Watch Your Six (2:36)

• Featurette: Honors (2:04)

• DVD and Digital Copy Included

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: From the writer of Training Day comes a gripping, action-packed cop drama starring Academy Awardr nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. In their mission to abide by their oath to serve and protect, Officers Brian Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Pena) have formed a powerful brotherhood to ensure they both go home at the end of watch. But nothing can prepare them for the violent backlash that happens after they pull over the members of a notorious drug cartel for a routine traffic stop. Seen from the point of view of the officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, dash cams and citizens caught in the line of fire, a 360 perspective creates a gritty, compassionate and intense portrait of the city's darkest streets, and the brave men and women patrolling them.

***

David Ayer's End of Watch stars Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal as a pair of L.A. cops and close friends who work to keep the streets safe. Shot in a found-footage style, the movie follows the duo as they make enemies with a major drug cartel and attempt to lead happy personal live

 

 

The Film:

"End of Watch" is one of the best police movies in recent years, a virtuoso fusion of performances and often startling action. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are Taylor and Zavala, two Los Angeles street cops who bend a few rules but must be acknowledged as heroes. After too many police movies about officers who essentially use their badges as licenses to run wild, it's inspiring to realize that these men take their mission — to serve and protect — with such seriousness they're willing to risk their lives.

Excerpt from the Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

An ode to beat cops and the expansive literature on them, David Ayer’s “End of Watch” is a muscular, maddening exploitation movie embellished with art-house style and anchored by solid performances. As visually kinetic as it is politically dubious, it sings the song of two Los Angeles police officers, Brian (a good Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike (an equally fine Michael Peña), brothers in blue who roll in a black and white. Like the cops in Joseph Wambaugh’s 1970 novel “The New Centurions” they are soldiers amid, in Mr. Wambaugh’s roll call, “whores, flimflammers, paddy hustlers, hugger muggers, ex-cons of all descriptions, and anybody else with a kink of some kind or other.”

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

End of Watch arrives on Blu-ray from Universal. Shot on HDV - documentary style with a 35mm printed format - the 1.85:1 visuals are via a kinetic, fast-cut style supporting some verité impressions. It may have a bit too much motion for some although it settles during important scenes - with the cinematography running -in-line with the narrative.  It worked on this reviewer.  This is dual-layered and has some of the weaknesses of the HDV format with light flares (noticeable in the evening patrols) but very little noise issues. Characters can tend to carry that waxy appearance of HDV but I would say its overly noticeable. Daylight scenes are more impressive with a crispness to the detail. This Blu-ray with its high bitrate - does a very accurate job of replicating the theatrical experience. The transfer has no flaws that I can discern.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is via a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3612 kbps. It handles all the intensity and canon-like gunfire extremely well. The bass is solid and punchy. David Sardy's original score as well as a soundtrack cornucopia of musicians like Public Enemy, Puscifer, Golden Earring, and Chalino Sanchez come through with in-your-face appeal suitable to each scene. Like the film this track can overwhelm with its impact-ful nature - bombing your eardrums with the realism of the situations. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Plenty of extras starting with a forthright commentary with Writer/Director David Ayer discussing production details and specifics relating to his story. There are a whack of 17 Deleted Scenes running over 3/4 of an hour and it is interesting to see what made it into the film... and what did not. There are five short featurettes (all with the same opening) dealing with the realism, detail and time spent with real officers in establishing the film's characters. The package contains a DVD and access to a Digital Copy. This is an UltraViolet Blu-ray..

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Wow - visceral, intense... "End of Watch" is quite the experience. Ayer pieces this together extremely well. He crafts the character development and danger elements to give maximum effect. I was very pleased with this film - so much better than I was anticipating. This is a very worthy expereince and the Blu-ray provides a solid, immersive presentation. This will be worthy of multiple repeat viewings. Strong thumbs skyward. 

Gary Tooze

January 16th, 2013

 


 

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 5000 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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