Edge Of Darkness (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=173940&d=1272222709
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

85






Studio and Year: Warner - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 117 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone, Bojana Novakovic, Denis O'Hare, Jay O. Sanders
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Music by: Howard Shore
Written by: William Monahan & Andrew Bovell - Based on the Original TV Series written by TroyKennedy Martin
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 11, 2010







"Some secrets take us to the edge.."



Film Synopsis:

The bullet that killed his daughter was meant for Boston cop Thomas Craven. That's what police brass and Craven himself think, but that's not what the investigation finds. Clue after clue and witness after witness, the search leads him into a shadowy realm where money and political intrigue intersect. If Craven wasn't a target before, he - and anyone linked to his inquiry - now is.



My Take:

Edge of darkness is a character driven revenge/mystery thriller that doesn't conceptually break new ground but it does play perfectly to star Mel Gibson's strengths and offers fans the opportunity to become reacquainted with him playing a character that has a familiar feel. Based on the 1985 TV mini-series of the same name which also happens to have been directed by Martin Campbell this story focuses on Boston PD Detective Thomas Craven. Craven is a typical everyman among respected cops and appears to be the type that put the job ahead of family which has cost him. He lives alone and has an estranged relationship with his daughter Emma. After a protracted period away she has called and is coming home for a visit. Unfortunately their reunion is cut short when Emma is killed by a shotgun blast as she and Tom exit the front door of their house in Boston. Initially it appears as though Tom was the intended target however once he begins to investigate it becomes clear that Emma was not only the target but that there is something larger and apparently more sinister behind her death. Devastated, Tom vows to uncover the truth by any means necessary. He discovers that Emma's employment at Northmoor, a nuclear research facility, is somehow linked to her death. His steadfast digging uncovers what appears to be a politically driven conspiracy with connections well above his pay grade. As the layers are slowly peeled back the level of danger escalates leaving Tom little choice but to directly confront he believes are responsible. With cover up as a motive Tom becomes a target, the problem is that in this case the bad guys have underestimated the resolve of a father's determination.

It is great to see Mel Gibson back in front of the camera after a lengthy absence. Regardless of whether I approve of his conduct out side of work I do enjoy his films. This is a likeable film mostly because of his performance. The premise is one that we have all seen which is fine but I found that there were just a few too many moments in the story that expediently work out for Tom while leaving the bad guys appearing like incompetent cardboard cutouts without a clue one minute but clever and a step ahead the next. The underdevelopment of the stealthy and mysterious Jedburgh (Winstone), a "consultant" tasked to prevent Craven from discovering Emma's information or kill him was a sticking point as well. Little is explained about his involvement or what he does or doesn't do and why. We are left to surmise his reasoning which quite frankly made little sense to me. Pacing could have been a little smoother but I never found myself bored or checking the time. On a positive note there is ample mystery, intrigue, and suspense and although there isn't much in the way of action there are a few encounters that raise the level of adrenaline. The average storyline coupled with the strong performance of Mel Gibson elevate this to an above average film that while not completely satisfying does make for a decent watch.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence and language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 84



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692



Video: 86


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

The Edge of darkness comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.

This is a solid high definition presentation that features crisp high definition detail and resolute imagery that on occasion borders on three dimensionality. Close up camera shots of the cast can be exquisite as the fine minutia and subtle lines of their faces are obvious. The weave pattern in clothing and the texture of surfaces within the frame are clearly discernible. There are a handful of instances where sharpness wavers but duration is brief and more than likely attributable to the photography. Colors are natural in appearance without over saturation or blooming. Fleshtones appear naturally differentiated and lifelike in depiction. Blacks are dense in appearance with excellent dynamic range and noticeable gradational stages in low lighting. Contrast is strong but not overpowering which provides plenty of pop to colors and whites which yields a dynamic yet pleasing picture. The end result is a great looking high definition video presentation.

The audio presentation is on par with the video and sounds full bodied, articulated, and occasionally authoritative. Lossless sound provides the opportunity to thoroughly appreciate the increased dynamic potential inherent in digital movie soundtracks. Such is the case with this DTS-HD Master Audio mix. This is primarily a dialogue driven film that makes limited use of the surround platform but when it does the result is excellent. I experienced crystal clear sound that is rich in sonic detail and dynamic potential. Excellent tonal balance enables pans across the left, center and right channels to appear seamless. Bass reproduction is clean, taut and when called upon hard hitting. There is a brief but terrific scene in chapter 17 that is sure to get your attention. Gunfire is reproduced with dynamic impact and resonating clarity. My only complaint is that there were times when I had trouble with dialogue intelligibility with the worst offender being Ray Winstone. Between his accent and marble mouthed muttering I found on more than one occasion I had to go back, increase volume and replay in order to discern what it was he was saying. It wasn't only him as it occurred in a few instances involving Gibson as well. I found it both distracting and annoying but luckily it didn't prevail. Otherwise I was very happy with this audio presentation and thought that it sounded great.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD)Focus points (totaling 31 minutes) :

    1. Mels back
    2. Making a ghost character real
    3. Scoring The Edge of darkness
    4. The revisiting The Edge of Darkness mini-series
    5. Adapting The Edge of darkness mini-series
    6. Thomas Cravens war of attrition
    7. Boston as a character
    8. Director profile: Martin Campbell

  • (HD) 4 Deleted/alternate scenes

  • BD-Live enabled

  • Bonus Disc: Digital Copy/DVD version of The edge of Darkness
attachment.php?attachmentid=173941&d=1272222709



Final Thoughts:

Edge of darkness is a film adaptation of the 1985 BBC TV mini-series of the same name which is directed by Martin Campbell who incidentally also directed the original TV production. It is an emotionally charged and character driven thriller that isn't perfectly executed but stimulates with enough mystery, intrigue and suspense to keep things interesting. Add to that the return of Mel Gibson playing a character that fans can easily relate to as it plays perfectly to his strengths and the result is a fairly entertaining film that is worth checking out. Warner brings it to Blu-ray Disc featuring strong audio/video performance and a compliment of bonus supplements that offer a limited but pertinent look behind the scenes at the production, and source material. If you're a fan pick this is worth picking up, otherwise throw it in your rental queue and take it for a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 01:19 PM
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Thanks for another great review Ralph! I wanted to see this in theaters, the previews reminded me a bit of Taken. I've been a long time Gibson fan as well so I'm looking forward to seeing him again in a roll that suits him.

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post #3 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 01:31 PM
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Interestingly enough i didn't know this was a film adaption from a TV version. Thought this was a solid movie with all the makings of a good movie. The story, plot, characters, suspense, drama and action all rolled into one. Also loved how the mystery is around this movie. Great movie flick for saturday night.

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post #4 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 02:48 PM
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"Regardless of whether I approve of his conduct out side of work I do enjoy his films." Ha! Well said. Keep Mel in front of the camera and away from the Fosters.
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post #5 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 03:46 PM
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Ralph, how would you compare this film to "Taken?" More of a mystery-drama and less of an action flick? Just curious because I enjoyed "Taken" for what it was, but never saw this one.
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post #6 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oland View Post

Ralph, how would you compare this film to "Taken?" More of a mystery-drama and less of an action flick? Just curious because I enjoyed "Taken" for what it was, but never saw this one.

Greetings,

I would classify Taken as more of an action/thriller where this leans more toward a dramatic/thriller.


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post #7 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 10:56 PM
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Hey!

The original British miniseries "Edge Of Darkness," was set in England rather than America. Bob ("Jurassic Park") Peck and Joe Don Baker played the parts handled in the movie by Mel Gibson and Ray Winstone with the nationalities of their roles reversed. The story's time also shifted from the early 80s on TV to the present in the movie. Eric Clapton wrote a beautiful score and his poetic guitar theme gave the British miniseries a haunting edge. Several charachters and situations have been dropped for the movie. Joe Don Baker's Darius Jedburg (Winstone in the movie) was a folksy, Reagan era, American CIA dude who loved his daring work and carried machine guns around in his golf bag. He starts out as pro government and eventually changes sides, becomes anti-nuke, and sides with Bob Peck as the British SAS and the nuclear industry close in on them. Ray Winstone's Darius Jedburg isn't given the same kind of exposition and that may be the reason his charachter is confusing in the movie.

Martin Campbell is a wonderful story teller and the movie works as well in its own way as the TV series did. Mel Gibson is terrific and holds the story together with his performance compensating for the lapses in logic from the condensing of the story. While his Darius Jedberg part is short changed in the movie, Ray Winstone is also great. Joe Don Baker gave the performance of his life, sort of a redneck Orson Welles, as Jedburg in the original series.

The original 5 1/2 hour, 80's British TV series is now available on regular DVD in America on the BBC label. If you like the movie, you'll love watching Martin Campbell's complete original miniseries on a rainy weekend.
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post #8 of 40 Old 05-06-2010, 11:48 PM
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Good review.

But the movie, which starts out well, just turns into mush later.

The acting is fine at times, but some other scenes are laughably corny.

The ending is so bad, it would make a Lifetime movie embarrassed.
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post #9 of 40 Old 05-07-2010, 02:47 AM
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I made a very random observation and I am sure others have as well. It seems to me that the bit rates on several recent Warner releases have been rather low. I don't want to sound picky, but it seems like a lot of titles released through Warner have had lower bit rates compared to other titles released by other studios. Maybe its just me.
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post #10 of 40 Old 05-07-2010, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

I made a very random observation and I am sure others have as well. It seems to me that the bit rates on several recent Warner releases have been rather low. I don't want to sound picky, but it seems like a lot of titles released through Warner have had lower bit rates compared to other titles released by other studios. Maybe its just me.

For one, it's on a BD-25 and you aren't going to get a 2 hour movie and bonus features on a single layer disc with a high bitrate, it just isn't going to happen. Regardless, the film never looks bitstarved, so it's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.

As for the film itself, I thought the story was well done, but they could have taken a lot of the gore out and still gotten their point across IMHO.

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post #11 of 40 Old 05-07-2010, 08:58 AM
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Good to see that Gibson his back to his more familiar kind of film. I definitely will be adding this to my Blu-ray collection. Thanks for the excellent review, Ralph.
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post #12 of 40 Old 05-07-2010, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

As for the film itself, I thought the story was well done, but they could have taken a lot of the gore out and still gotten their point across IMHO.

Color me confused.

Ralph mentions this is more of a drama than action based. If there isn't action, where does the "gore" come from?

Thanks.
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post #13 of 40 Old 05-07-2010, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne View Post

Color me confused.

Ralph mentions this is more of a drama than action based. If there isn't action, where does the "gore" come from?

Thanks.
Art

People getting shot and showing the graphic results. I feel the movie would have been better served not to gross out the audience, but that's just me.

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post #14 of 40 Old 05-07-2010, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne View Post

Color me confused.

Ralph mentions this is more of a drama than action based. If there isn't action, where does the "gore" come from?

Thanks.
Art

Greetings,

Art, my comments were in reponse to a request for a comparison of this film to Taken. I actually didn't say that there wasn't any action. Sorry for the confusion..

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post #15 of 40 Old 05-07-2010, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

For one, it's on a BD-25 and you aren't going to get a 2 hour movie and bonus features on a single layer disc with a high bitrate, it just isn't going to happen. Regardless, the film never looks bitstarved, so it's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned.

As for the film itself, I thought the story was well done, but they could have taken a lot of the gore out and still gotten their point across IMHO.

I watched this tonight and I agree. It never did looked bit starved so that is a good thing. To see the amount of gore in this movie was a bit of a shock to me. Gore should be left for horror movies. I didn't really mind it, but this may bother a lot of people who do not like gore. Many people may be caught off guard.
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post #16 of 40 Old 05-08-2010, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

I watched this tonight and I agree. It never did looked bit starved so that is a good thing. To see the amount of gore in this movie was a bit of a shock to me. Gore should be left for horror movies. I didn't really mind it, but this may bother a lot of people who do not like gore. Many people may be caught off guard.

Matt,

My wife didn't want to watch it initially because of the "strong graphic violence" warning. I don't see why they need to make it so graphic. Hitchcock was one of the greatest movie makers ever and he did it the right way...let your imagination run wild (like the shower scene in Psycho).

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post #17 of 40 Old 05-08-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Matt,

My wife didn't want to watch it initially because of the "strong graphic violence" warning. I don't see why they need to make it so graphic. Hitchcock was one of the greatest movie makers ever and he did it the right way...let your imagination run wild (like the shower scene in Psycho).

In those days, a director didn't have any choice! In decades past, if someone got shot, the result was the actor grabbing his stomach and falling down, as though he had a bad case of indigestion! Anyone who has actually seen anyone get shot will tell you two things...there's a LOT of blood, and that it usually takes quite some time for a person to die. (They don't just fall down and expire.) I think showing the unpleasant results is not only more accurate, but hopefully shows violence with more consequences than one would get from the typical cartoon violence without consequences) found in most films. Imagine how much carnage there would actually be in a movie like, say IRON MAN, if it were not fantasy!!
Although I've yet to see EOD, the end-results of violence should be a turn-off, and that is its own virtue. To say that blood or gore only belongs in horror films does a disservice to filmmaking and filmmakers, I feel. Sometimes it's a plus to viscerely feel and experience what a character is going through, rather than just being told. But then, I don't want movies any more sanitized than they already often are.
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post #18 of 40 Old 05-10-2010, 08:02 AM
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Good to see Mel Gibson back. Im definitley picking this one up

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post #19 of 40 Old 05-10-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

Many people may be caught off guard.

I can honestly say I was caught off guard by the two major scenes, not by the gore, but just by the incidents themselves. Both times I actually thought, "Didn't see that coming!", especially at the scene in the beginning.

And this is a typical Mel flick (which is a good thing, imo).

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post #20 of 40 Old 05-11-2010, 08:23 AM
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I saw this movie right after avatar in the theaters. I enjoyed Edge of Darkness much more (I actually almost fell asleep during avatar). Mel Gibson is great as always, and the story took you to places that you least expected.

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post #21 of 40 Old 05-12-2010, 08:23 AM
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One of the few times I disagree with Ralph. I found Gibson's performance dragging, his acting contrived and I could not relate to the character at any level. His continued "hang-dog" look throughout the film was laughable.

Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

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post #22 of 40 Old 05-12-2010, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

His continued "hang-dog" look throughout the film was laughable.

There was a pretty big reason for that look.

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post #23 of 40 Old 05-12-2010, 02:47 PM
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Ralph -- Thanks for your review. I agree that it was great to see Gibson back in action again. Nobody has ever played semi-crazed men of action roles better than Gibson. Although Ray Winstone's part, as the enigmatic Captain Jedburgh, was seriously underwritten, the always effective Winstone managed to breathe life into it anyway. The many surprises along the way were a lot of fun, too, and I ended rather liking Edge of Darkness. My only quibble was the casting of two young actors, one as Detective Craven's Daughter's boyfriend, and the other as a young woman who had enlisted the daughter in the semi-terrorist organization that had raided the evil arms manufacturer's plant. Both ate the scenery and could hardly have been worse, or so it seemed to me. Nevertheless, the equally young actress who played the daughter, did an excellent job, I thought.

Marginally recommended, I give it 6.5 out of 10 Stars.
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Although I haven't seen the original series, I certainly enjoyed this. GFlad that they didn't go the TAKEN route and have him be a superman. It made the moments of violence that much more effective. Deliberately paced, it reminded me of political thrillers from the 70s. Gibson did a sterling job...what someone described as "hangdog" was more in keeping, not just with having experienced such a loss, but also that he was literally haunted as well. Yet he was able to erupt and snarl when called for. Yeah, sometimes the accent was more pronounced than others...but that seems to be the case with nearly any actor I've taking on different speech patterns. Remember, movies are editied from multitudes of takes...I'm sure there were some in which the accent was more consistent, but the director and editor opted for whatever gave them the dramatic effect and coverage they were looking for. Makes me even sadder that Mel felt he's too old to handle the required action for MAD MAX 4.
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post #25 of 40 Old 05-12-2010, 11:32 PM
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Just finished watching this and was a bit underwhelmed. I'm a big Gibson fan and own most of his movies but there just seems to be something missing from the classic Gibson character (even given the role for this film).

I thought the movie started strong but just didn't deliver when it came time to unravel the mystery and the ending did feel quite corny. At times Gibson was great and I could kinda see the old Mel that I love in so many other films. Winstone was great as always and I agree his role was underwritten but with more more screen time he could have stole the show. The movie was a bit more depressing than I expected and fell short in the second half. I'm glad I checked it out, always nice to see something new with Mel in the lead but I can't help but wonder if all the downfalls of his life have taken their toll on his character on screen and off.

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post #26 of 40 Old 05-13-2010, 04:01 AM
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+1 to "Started strong, ended week".

I just watched 'Taken' last night... Similar story (must kill anyone to get revenge / daughter back). A much better film with 4X the amount of carnage and hand to hand deaths.

Not a great film here. PQ / SQ fine.

I found the dialog at times a bit hard to make out, particularly with the European assassin (as Ralph eluded to in his review)..

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post #27 of 40 Old 05-13-2010, 09:26 AM
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I failed to mention in my earlier post that Gibson, who is now in his mid-50s, looked eerily like my father did at the same age. Although Gibson is thinner and much shorter than my father was, his hairline, blue eyes, and square jaw looked nearly the same as my father's did in those years. Eery, indeed, a guy playing a father who looks like your father.
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post #28 of 40 Old 05-14-2010, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

I found the dialog at times a bit hard to make out, particularly with the European assassin (as Ralph eluded to in his review)..

Ray Winstone's mumbling and thick Australian accent was also too much for me to bear so I put the subtitles on and left them on for the remainder of the movie. Funny since I did this recently while watching Imaginarium. My expectations were low going in so I was somewhat surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. The City of Angels ending seemed out of place with all of the preceding violence but the rest of the story held up well especially compared to Taken's super-human heroics. As others have mentioned it was good to see Mel Gibson back in front of the camera, older and wiser I hope. Will probably buy this BD when the price drops.

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post #29 of 40 Old 05-14-2010, 09:07 AM
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Ray Winstone's mumbling and thick Australian accent was also too much for me to bear so I put the subtitles on and left them on for the remainder of the movie.

That was Winstone's native working class English accent we were hearing. He was born in London and grew up in England. So far as I know, Winstone has never lived in Australia. That said, I agree that Winstone's brogue was pretty hard to decipher. I, too, used CCs. I also cranked the gain on my receiver up to an unusually high level.
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post #30 of 40 Old 05-14-2010, 11:02 AM
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That was Winstone's native working class English accent we were hearing. He was born in London and grew up in England. So far as I know, Winstone has never lived in Australia. That said, I agree that Winstone's brogue was pretty hard to decipher. I, too, used CCs. I also cranked the gain on my receiver up to an unusually high level.

Thanks gwsat, Winstone did such a great job in The Proposition (2005) that I came away from the impression he was Australian! My mistake.

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