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Old 08-25-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=180473&d=1279215782
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

85






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 103 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, English
Starring: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Charlie Creed Miles, David Bradley, Iain Glen, Sean Harris
Directed by: Daniel Barber
Music by: Martin Phipps & Ruth Barrett
Written by: Gary Young
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 31, 2010







"Every man has a breaking point"



Film Synopsis:

Harry Brown is an ordinary, law-abiding citizen, who just wanted to quietly live out his retirement. But in this desolate urban wasteland, the residents live in fear of the drug dealers who rule the streets...and the police offer little protection. When Inspector Alice Frampton can't convict the thugs who killed Harry's best friend, he decides to take the law into his own hands. Using skills honed as a Royal Marine, Harry begins to serve his own brand of justice-- and no one will stop him.



My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=184025&d=1282764026

I personally find vigilante justice to be a heartwarming concept although in my line of work I guess that would be considered wrong. I have a clear recollection of seeing Death Wish during its theatrical run in the early seventies. I was ten at the time and seeing the depiction of violence, how it affected Paul Kersey, and his reaction made an impression on me. In that story Kersey goes on the prowl for criminals but never comes across those responsible for the death of his wife and daughter. In Harry Brown his purpose is more specific as he targets those directly responsible not only for the death of his closest and only friend Len (David Bradley) but for turning the estate (apartment complex/projects) where he lives into a place where ordinary people are afraid to walk the streets. Suffice it to say this is a concept that has seen its share of celluloid and this film sticks to the same formula.

I like its homogeneous plot which isn't watered down by too many variables. Screenwriter Gary Young and director Daniel Barber present a thematically and visually graphic world in Harry Brown. The opening sequence was pretty disturbing and set the tone for the type of anarchy that would eventually drive a soft spoken pensioner to a point where his only perspective is an eye for an eye. Early on Harry is seen as a loving husband/father and devoted friend with compassion, who carries his share of emotional baggage but finds balance in his life by burying the pain of his past. The degradation of safety and the quality of life in his neighborhood doesn't go unnoticed by Harry but as a senior citizen he has little recourse other than to conform, or so it would seem. It's when his close friend Len is viscously and fatally attacked the he sees the malice and depraved indifference to humanity which flips a switch within him that compels action. Those responsible have no idea of the worthy adversary that now stalks them looking to exact revenge using the skills he honed over a half century ago. It will take the work of a sympathetic yet dedicated police officer to put things together before it's too late.

Harry Brown is a taut thriller that is expertly paced and told via a thematically dark, brutal and visceral narrative that some may find disturbing. I found it to be evocative and gripping at times thanks to the superlative performance by Michael Caine and the strong supporting cast of street toughs/ne'er-do-wells, especially Ben Drew who created an air of genuine disdain for their characters. I like Emily Mortimer and found her portrayal of the well intentioned police inspector Alice Frampton to be credible but reminiscent of almost every other role I have seen her in. Harry Brown's brand of vigilante justice may not be inventive but it's an evocative and poignant thriller that makes an excellent addition to the genre.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong language and violence throughout, drug use and sexual content.






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: 86



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&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=109948&d=1210373692

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



Video: 84


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699
attachment.php?attachmentid=184022&d=1282763968

Harry Brown comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.

This video presentation has a filmic quality that doesn't lend itself to bright, high gloss imagery, and the color palette isn't a diverse one and sticks primarily to de-saturated neutral tones that render a cooler appearance that mates well with the subject matter. Flesh tones fit right in with the visual style of the video and offer little in the way of complexional variation. Contrast is spot on and black levels range from punchy to elevated which washes some scenes out. The film uses lots of low light interior and exterior scenes. Detail in backgrounds and staggered lighting is revealing of varying levels of delineation that can be scene dependent. Resolution is stable with appreciable fine rendering during close ups and less definitive long range visuals that offered two dimensional depth.

The is a deceptively good DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that features crystal clear dialogue, powerful dynamics and a subtle, yet strong surround sound mix. I was impressed with the implementation of both spacial dimension and discrete directional sounds that created a realistic and occasionally immersive listening environment. This worked hand in hand with film's music, and source material, to build tension and help drive the story. Be sure to turn this one up when the action kicks in.



Bonus Features:

  • This title includes Sony's Movie IQ feature which requires a BD-Live connection and allows fans the option of viewing continuously updated details on the cast and crew and to explore relevant trivia such as production facts, music, and soundtrack information which are tied into scenes in the movie.


  • (HD) 7 deleted scenes

  • Audio commentary with director Daniel Barber, producer Kris Thykier and Michael Caine

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=180474&d=1279215782



Final Thoughts:

Harry Brown is a taut, evocative and poignant thriller that is expertly paced and told via a thematically dark, brutal and visceral narrative that some may find a little disturbing. I found its homogeneous plot and graphic depiction to be very involving and thoroughly entertaining thanks to a superlative performance by Michael Caine. Sony continues to support the Blu-ray Disc format by delivering high quality audio/video presentations and Harry Brown is no exception. The bonus features include an excellent audio commentary and Sony's interactive Movie IQ. Harry Brown isn't the kind of film that reinvents the genre but it makes for great way to spend an evening. Recommended.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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Old 08-25-2010, 01:50 PM
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Thanks Ralph, had never heard of it. Will add it to my netflix queue.

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Old 08-25-2010, 02:21 PM
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I have seen this and I gotta say, one of the best movies this year.

Ah, well, sir, I feel like a, like a slice of butter... melting on top of a big-ol' pile of flapjacks... yeah.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:41 PM
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Looks like an updated version of The Equalizer.
I love The Equalizer.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:10 PM
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watched the trailer months ago, and thought it would be an excellent film, and quite hardy. l so thought this was some kind of an Older Darker Knight Mr. Caine was portraying ..But then I never heard anything else until now...

Must see though

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Old 08-25-2010, 04:26 PM
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Thanks Ralph for the review!
Sounds like a good film to look forward to soon.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:34 PM
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I seen this a couple nights ago and was very impressed. A very dark movie with a lot of intense moments. I thought the acting was very well done in this film, especially by Michael Caine himself. That drug dealer inside the drug house really gave me the creeps. They could not have found someone better to play that part. He looked like something that comes out of a horror movie! The video quality was pretty decent too. Not quite on par with recent new releases, but I have to say 84 is spot on for this film. To me this is a must see movie. Its kind of like Gran Torino in a slight way.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:35 PM
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Great review Ralph, I have had my eye on this one!
Hopefully I can see it soon.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:04 AM
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Enjoyed this movie, not an easy movie though for the more gently inclined. Shootings, stabbings, birkings, it's all here...
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:27 AM
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I've been looking forward to this release, and looking even more forward to it now after reading your review, Ralph.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:28 AM
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I missed this when it first came out of the theaters but from seeing the trailer it looked pretty good. Plus the score isn't bad either. Definitely be collecting this one.

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Old 08-26-2010, 09:54 AM
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Looks like an updated version of The Equalizer.
I love The Equalizer.

I love the Equalizer too.....but could this be another Bronson movie!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:14 PM
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Thanks Ralph - another great review!
Looking forward to seeing Michael Caine again..

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Old 08-26-2010, 08:25 PM
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Ahhhhh...guess I'll give it a whirl !

Thanks King P !
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Old 08-31-2010, 09:26 PM
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I think the audio rating might be a bit low. Incredible gunshots in this one. Subtle effects but very well done.

Once again Caine shows us that less is more. I'm amazed that he's still working, much less turning in a performance like this one. Great film, great actor, and don't mess with Harry.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:04 AM
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Good film and Michael Caine is in top form.

I did find the visual style a bit distracting, mostly with the colorless facial tones. I know people in England don't get much sun, but draining out the color of the actors seemed overdone.

Good rental for sure. I would not purchase due to the dullness of the overall image.
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Old 09-04-2010, 09:31 AM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. Im going to give this a rent when its released over here.

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Old 09-04-2010, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the review Ralph. Im going to give this a rent when its released over here.

Greetings,

My pleasure Frank. I'm sure you'll enjoy it..


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Old 09-04-2010, 05:31 PM
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I never heard of this til I saw it on Attack of the Show....it's good to see that more than one dude recommends it. I'll be seeing it soon
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:16 AM
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Thanks for the review, will put it on my rental queue. Sounds much better than Gran Torino.

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Old 09-09-2010, 12:50 PM
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Thanks for the review, will put it on my rental queue. Sounds much better than Gran Torino.

Much more badass than Gran Tourino

Ah, well, sir, I feel like a, like a slice of butter... melting on top of a big-ol' pile of flapjacks... yeah.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:59 AM
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Thanks for review Ralph! Without reading your take on this film, I may have skipped this one altogether, or placed it low on my queue.

Loved it. Like you said, fantastic pacing, and Michael Caine nails his role. Somewhat dark, but in a very realistic way, and not over sensationalized in any way. It all felt very plausible.

The story was written, and the location filmed, in such a way as to make it all feel intimately relevant. The entire story takes place in a very small area, and delves deep into the fear and dynamics that can occur in a highly populated multi-family area.

The "bad guys", and how they took over the tunnel, reminded me of schoolyard bullying. (as evident in their rebellious, cocky, and violent attitudes) Albeit, but on an adult scale.

I also liked the dynamics of the police force, which was another storyline altogether.

The picture quality was just fine for me. I didn't really notice the desaturated tones. It just lent itself to the story so well, I guess I didn't pay attention. The dialogue was very clear, and the soundstage had good imaging for effect placement.

PQ: 4 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5, Film 4.5 out of 5

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

Thanks for review Ralph! Without reading your take on this film, I may have skipped this one altogether, or placed it low on my queue.

Loved it. Like you said, fantastic pacing, and Michael Caine nails his role. Somewhat dark, but in a very realistic way, and not over sensationalized in any way. It all felt very plausible.

The story was written, and the location filmed, in such a way as to make it all feel intimately relevant. The entire story takes place in a very small area, and delves deep into the fear and dynamics that can occur in a highly populated multi-family area.

The "bad guys", and how they took over the tunnel, reminded me of schoolyard bullying. (as evident in their rebellious, cocky, and violent attitudes) Albeit, but on an adult scale.

I also liked the dynamics of the police force, which was another storyline altogether.

The picture quality was just fine for me. I didn't really notice the desaturated tones. It just lent itself to the story so well, I guess I didn't pay attention. The dialogue was very clear, and the soundstage had good imaging for effect placement.

PQ: 4 out of 5, SQ 4 out of 5, Film 4.5 out of 5

Dan

Greetings,

You're welcome Dan.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed this as much as I did..

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Old 09-14-2010, 12:27 PM
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Saw this at the theater when it came out here in Ireland and immediately picked up the bluray when it was released earlier this year- love Michael Caine and this film. If you like this I would recommend "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" with Clive Owen- not available on blu yet only on dvd but another great British flick.
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:47 PM
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Thanks hsinnott, I just put that one in my Blockbuster queue. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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Much more badass than Gran Tourino

Yep, although, aside from both Eastwoood and Caine being gentlemen who are up in years, the two films have absolutely nothing in common. Eastwood was all bark and no bite. Caine had no bark but bit hard!
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:09 PM
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Thanks hsinnott, I just put that one in my Blockbuster queue. Thanks for the suggestion.

Dan

....you're welcome...strange coincidence this but I just discovered that the director of 'I'll Sleep When I'm Dead', Mike Hodges, the first ever movie he directed was the original early 70's classic 'Get Carter'...starring Michael Caine...
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:47 PM
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Wow, this was possibly the best movie I've seen in 2010. I wouldn't have put it in my queue if not for Ralph because I'd never even heard of it until I read his review.

This was quite dark, bloody, violent, etc. but a great movie. The tension in the "buy a gun" scene was incredible. I had to look up who the skinny guy is.....Sean Harris....he had a short, but excellent performance. I wonder to what extent he went to get into character for this movie? He surely isn't that skinny normally?

Anyway, that was just some random ramblings. Thanks for the review, Ralph.

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Old 09-21-2010, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Chad T View Post

Wow, this was possibly the best movie I've seen in 2010. I wouldn't have put it in my queue if not for Ralph because I'd never even heard of it until I read his review.

This was quite dark, bloody, violent, etc. but a great movie. The tension in the "buy a gun" scene was incredible. I had to look up who the skinny guy is.....Sean Harris....he had a short, but excellent performance. I wonder to what extent he went to get into character for this movie? He surely isn't that skinny normally?

Anyway, that was just some random ramblings. Thanks for the review, Ralph.

Good to hear I bought this on a blind buy which I will be watching tomorrow night.

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Old 09-22-2010, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad T View Post

Wow, this was possibly the best movie I've seen in 2010. I wouldn't have put it in my queue if not for Ralph because I'd never even heard of it until I read his review.

This was quite dark, bloody, violent, etc. but a great movie. The tension in the "buy a gun" scene was incredible. I had to look up who the skinny guy is.....Sean Harris....he had a short, but excellent performance. I wonder to what extent he went to get into character for this movie? He surely isn't that skinny normally?

Anyway, that was just some random ramblings. Thanks for the review, Ralph.

Greetings,

You're welcome Chad. I have to admit to finding Sean Harris' performance almost "too" credible.


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