The Guard (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 01-04-2012, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=232859&d=1325622939
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 )

82






Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Genre: Comedy/Crime 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, English SDH
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham, Fionnula Flanagan
Written & Directed by: John Michael McDonagh
Music by: Calexico
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 3, 2011







"An unorthodox crime story"



Film Synopsis:

THE GUARD is a comedic, fish out of water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption. Two cops (Gleeson and Cheadle) one an unorthodox Irish policeman and the other, a straitlaced FBI agent, must join forces to take on an international drug-smuggling gang.



My Take:

Sergeant Gerry Boyle is a small-town Irish cop with a confrontational personality, a subversive sense of humor, a dying mother, a fondness for prostitutes, and absolutely no interest whatsoever in the international cocaine-smuggling ring that has brought straight-laced FBI agent Wendell Everett to his door. The Guard is a darkly comedic crime story that revolves around Brendan Gleeson's portrayal of Sgt. Gerry Boyle, an acidic, longtime policeman with his own set of values and little regard for anything that ventures outside of them. When Wendell comes to town with the news of a band of drug traffickers seeking to bring in a half billion dollar load of cocaine, Gerry decides to handle both Wendell and the criminals in his own very particular way.

I really enjoyed this character driven, quirky crime thriller/comedy. I will say that I had a hard time understanding some of the dialogue through the heavy brogue but it was nothing that a little rewinding didn't solve. This isn't a deep whodunit or gratifying crime stopper. It's a wonderfully rewarding and well played character study about a guy who is of the surliest narcissistic order who proves that you can't always judge a book by its cover. Gleeson is clearly the star of the show but watching he and Don Cheadle trade blows is simply a hoot. Equally fun is listening to the cracking banter among the three villains played perfectly by the always reliable Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and David Wilmot. Honorable mention goes out to Fionnula Flanagan in the role of Gerry Boyle's ailing (F bomb) dropping mum. The Guard isn't high brow entertainment, it's a down to earth, funny and well scripted film that is the total sum of its parts. It moves a little slow early on but if you hang in there it pays dividends.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for pervasive language, some violence, drug material, 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: 78



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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&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=109947&d=1210373692

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

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

The Guard comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.

This is an excellent video presentation that boasts plenty of high level detail, boldly applied contrast, rich colors, and appreciable dimensional perspective. Fleshtones are lifelike and exhibit warm yet descriptive complexional tonality. Blacks are punchy and visibility in low lighting/darkened areas is estimable. Images are dynamic, clearly drawn, and well suited for the source material. I noticed a little low level digital noise in a few dark backgrounds but it didn't rise to egregious levels. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack presents the film's soundtrack with aplomb. The sound mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail enhances the detection of less prominent sound effects and the subtle nuance in the music score's instrumentation. The film is essentially driven by dialogue and other than the exchange of gunfire in the final act there is little call for deep bass and room filling sound effects. The surround channels supply occasional rear channel ambience which extends the front soundstage from time to time but otherwise the focus remains front oriented. I didn't feel as though the presentation was lacking in way and thought it sounded fine.



Bonus Features:


  • Commentary with director John Michael McDonagh, Don Cheadle, and Brendan Gleeson

  • (HD) Making of the Guard - 19 minute featurette

  • The Second Death - 2000 short film by writer/director John Michael McDonagh

  • Outtakes - 3 minutes

  • Q&A with director John Michael McDonagh, Don Cheadle, and Brendan Gleeson from the LA Film Fest

  • 3 deleted scenes

  • 12 extended & alternate scenes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=232860&d=1325622939

Final Thoughts:

The Guard is an unorthodox and darkly comedic crime story that isn't high brow entertainment, but makes for a down to earth, funny and well scripted film that is well worth its 96 minute runtime. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and a complimentary assortment of bonus supplements. The Guard is recommended especially if you're in the mood for something a little different.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 20 Old 01-04-2012, 12:38 PM
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I'm going to have to give this one another go. I watched the 20 minutes of it, but between the pacing and "hard to understand" dialog, I turned it off.

Guess I'll give it another go tonight.

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post #3 of 20 Old 01-04-2012, 12:42 PM
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^ Id like to watch this but I had the same thing you did too. Pacing always is a killer for me but if it pays off maybe Ill give it another go (need more votes!)

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post #4 of 20 Old 01-04-2012, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

I'm going to have to give this one another go. I watched the 20 minutes of it, but between the pacing and "hard to understand" dialog, I turned it off.

Guess I'll give it another go tonight.

Greetings,

As I alluded to in my review it does start out slowly but things pick up (especially when Cheadle enters the picture).


Give it another go.

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post #5 of 20 Old 01-04-2012, 08:54 PM
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Loved both the Blu-Ray quality and the movie. Writer-director John McDonagh is the brother of Martin McDonagh, who gave us the legendary "In Bruges." The actors are all wonderful, particularly Brendan Gleeson in his best role ever. The film is loaded with the unique McDonagh humor that makes it offbeat and special. Thanks for the good review Ralph. I hope it drums up some business for the movie.
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 05:36 AM
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turn on the subtitles
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-05-2012, 07:08 AM
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I'm really looking forward to seeing this one. Thanks for the review!
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-06-2012, 11:21 AM
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Loved the movie. review was spot on.
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-06-2012, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

Loved the movie. review was spot on.

Greetings,

Glad to hear it Randy.


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post #10 of 20 Old 01-07-2012, 01:52 PM
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Ralph... for my tastes, easily the best dialog mix of 2011... suburb job (and I loved the film.)
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post #11 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 09:18 PM
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Just finished watching this on vudu. I had never heard of it before i saw it there. I almost skipped past it until i saw it has a 95% positive rating. Then i recalled seeing the film reviewed here ( i did not read the review until now )I was hooked after the 2 minute intro before the main credits. Superb dialogue between main actors. I usually like action movies but this was one of the best movies i have seen in a while.It was hard to take your eyes off gleason when he was on screen and i could not wait to hear what he was going to say next.
Great review Ralph, as usual.

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post #12 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 09:27 PM
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Thanks once again Ralph, I never would have gotten this gem if it wasn't for you.
Everything just flows so well and is so well done.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Thanks Marc, Dan, and sillsally. Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one too..

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post #14 of 20 Old 01-11-2012, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan webster View Post

Just finished watching this on vudu. I had never heard of it before i saw it there. I almost skipped past it until i saw it has a 95% positive rating. Then i recalled seeing the film reviewed here ( i did not read the review until now )I was hooked after the 2 minute intro before the main credits. Superb dialogue between main actors. I usually like action movies but this was one of the best movies i have seen in a while.It was hard to take your eyes off gleason when he was on screen and i could not wait to hear what he was going to say next.
Great review Ralph, as usual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

Thanks once again Ralph, I never would have gotten this gem if it wasn't for you.
Everything just flows so well and is so well done.

+1 to both of these. This movie was great. One of the best movies I've seen in a while. Thanks for the review. I wouldn't have seen this without it.

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post #15 of 20 Old 01-18-2012, 10:54 AM
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My wife and I watched this last night(w/subtitles on). I have to agree that the accent(s) are very strong and sometimes very hard to understand. With that said we both enjoyed the movie quite a bit. It sure is an F-bomb movie, so those easily offended may want to mute the sound .
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-19-2012, 07:11 PM
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Pretty good movie. Brendan Gleeson did an awesome job throughout. I definitely had to turn the subtitles on. That was the only downside.
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post #17 of 20 Old 01-19-2012, 07:28 PM
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had to watch with subs on...other than that great film! I can trust Ralph on these reviews!

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-23-2012, 07:55 PM
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Two big thumbs up from me. I also broke down and turned on subs. Enjoyed this almost as much as In Bruges.
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post #19 of 20 Old 02-11-2012, 05:37 PM
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Thanks for the review. I have seen this movie at my local video store but always deciding whether i should or not rent it but i will know give it a go.

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post #20 of 20 Old 02-22-2012, 08:25 AM
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Just finished watching this film, I really enjoyed it. Like some of you I had to turn subtitles on.

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