Sabotage (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Sabotage (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our Blu-ray coverage of this Arnold Schwarzenegger action/thriller that features members of an elite DEA task force that find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house.


The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89



Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2014
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 110 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello, Harold Perrineau, Martin Donovan, Max Martini, Josh Holloway, Mireille Enos
Directed by: David Ayer
Music by: David Sardy
Written by: David Ayer & Skip Woods
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 22, 2014


"Leave no loose ends"


My Take:

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the pulse-pounding action film Sabotage, from the director of End of Watch and the writer of Training Day. When DEA task force leader Breacher Wharton (Schwarzenegger) storms a heavily armed cartel safe house, rogue members of his team use it as a cover to steal $10 million in cash. But just when they think their secret is safe, agents are killed off one-by-one, and everyone is a suspect, including the squad itself.

As an action film junkie I remain an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan and was keenly interested in seeing Sabotage after catching the trailer. The cast looked great and the premise seemed like a decent fit. The synopsis above essentially lays out the basis for the plotline although there is a little more going on both with the character of Breacher, his team and their interrelation. I think the script shoots for a mystery/crime action/thriller which in my book would require solid character development and a fairly well rounded narrative in order to draw the audience in as the layers of the storyline are peeled back.

Unfortunately that isn’t what you get here. In the opening sequence little is explained about who and what as Breacher watches a video followed by the cartel raid which takes place 8 months later. The cartel raid/money theft is oddly carried out which right away raises questions regarding plausibility not to mention the investigation that follows. Clearly the opening sequence was to have significance and while we do get to see what that is later on its impact comes so late in the game that it’s diminished to the point that it really matters little. Much of this is owed to how poorly the characters are drawn. None of the primary members of the cast are likeable which makes them difficult to root for, this would include the investigating detective from the local police department. Once they start getting bumped off you really don’t care.

The dialogue and interaction among the members of Breacher’s team is overtly coarse which smacks of stereotypical references that are not only over the top but simply don’t fit. There is a ham fisted element of mystery surrounding who may or may not be behind the whole thing. Later as the various parts of the case begin to unravel and secrets/motivations are revealed it just gets down-right silly. The finale is anything but gratifying as the story’s eye rolling descent that began right after the cartel raid continues right through to the credits. The action and production elements aren’t anything special while the use of hyper-violent imagery/effects adds zero to the film’s thematic tone. To say that I was disappointed would be a bit of an understatement even going in with some reservations. I couldn’t help but feel that this was an excellent opportunity that ultimately wasted a good cast and premise.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use.


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.**



Audio: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):


Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Sabotage comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

This is a reference quality rendering that features resplendent colors and deep, image penetrating resolution. Images boast transparent imagery, with defining sharpness that highlights fine object detail. The sweeping pans and vista views of the various shooting locations featured in the story offer three dimensional depth, lucid visual acuity and an almost tangible reach out and touch perspective. Contrast is boldly applied which slightly overdrives whites while adding punch to colors and dynamic quality to sun drenched sequences. Blacks and shadow detail are strong which provides dark scenes with excellent depth of field and noticeable gradational highlights. Colors are rich and vibrant, with deep, beautifully rendered primaries that stand out but appear natural and tonally delineated. Shot in high definition there is a clean, albeit non-film like, aesthetic that makes for a glossy video presentation that exhibited no artifacts or blemishes.

The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The eclectic music score, coupled along with integrated discrete and ambient sound effects, play an intricate role in the presentation. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is notable. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpable bass and dynamic impact associated with the action based sequences. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel and clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and balance within the front soundstage. I enjoyed this audio presentation but for an action based film there was little about it that left an indelible impression on me.

Bonus Features:
  • (HD) Making Sabotage – 8 minute featurette
  • (HD) 2 Alternate endings
  • (HD) 8 deleted scenes
  • Bonus DVD
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy





Final Thoughts:

Sabotage is a poorly scripted action/thriller that wastes the talents of its cast resulting in a genre entry that I found to be a complete swing and miss. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, decent lossless surround sound and a lackluster supplement set. I can’t recommend Sabotage as a blind buy but if you’re curious a rental would be the place to start. My advice would be to wait and catch it on cable TV.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 08:09 AM
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Don't mince words, Ralph.

So even your low expectations were not met?
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 08:18 AM
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Thanks for the review Ralph., I think not only do you provide a great technical analysis of the quality of the video transfer and content but I like your take on the actual quality of the film as entertainment value (in the instances where I’ve also seen the movie and can correlate my likes and dislikes)

I’ll be skipping this based on your review.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 08:26 AM
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I was really looking forward to this after Ayer's "End of Watch". Then I saw the preview and lowered my expectations. Then I saw the reviews and lost hope. It's unfortunate to hear this is so bad. Maybe his next film, "Fury" will be good. I think it's good he's finally moved away from cop films. I think he's drained that well dry and will find it hard to do something original in that genre and this is coming from a guy who loves cop flicks.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-03-2014, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
Don't mince words, Ralph.

So even your low expectations were not met?
Greetings,

Being able to look at this film purely from a mindless action viewpoint would have been one thing however the script was designed to be more which is a fairly large part of the problem. Watching the bonus content reveals that two differing plot paths were considered and shot. Elements of each were left in which left fragments that didn't help the flow.

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-07-2014, 08:43 PM
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Shame. I was kind of looking forward to this one as a blind buy.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 05:35 AM
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Ima still buy it to put next to all the other Arnold films.

Im going in not worrying about script and going for Mindless action.

You should atleat gave it a 2 since it dosnt star JaRule or Bow wow or some other Rapper looking to his hands on screen like maybe a lil Wayne haha, that would be bad

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100pr00f View Post
You should atleat gave it a 2 since it dosnt star JaRule or Bow wow or some other Rapper looking to his hands on screen like maybe a lil Wayne haha, that would be bad
Oh, I don't know if you can generalize. I thought Common and Ludacris were pretty decent on screen.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 06:39 AM
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Oh, I don't know if you can generalize. I thought Common and Ludacris were pretty decent on screen.
I Agree on that. Thats why I named movies that star those Guys were the film was a complete zero to me.

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 07:17 AM
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I'm still going to give this a go

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post #11 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for reviewing this, Ralph!

I've always been a big fan of Schwarzenegger, but I'm going to take your advice and wait for this one to cross the airwaves.

Do you think Arnold will ever become too old to make these tough guy movies?
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-11-2014, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozar View Post
Thanks for reviewing this, Ralph!

I've always been a big fan of Schwarzenegger, but I'm going to take your advice and wait for this one to cross the airwaves.

Do you think Arnold will ever become too old to make these tough guy movies?
Greetings,

Perhaps but for now he seems to be holding up just fine oz...


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