The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Chace Crawford, Rory Kulkin, Curtis Jackson, Emily Meade, Emma Roberts
Directed by: Joel Schmacher
Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
Written by: Jordan Melamed based on the novel by Nick McDonnell
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 28, 2010
"Always live the best life you can"
The privileged son of a restaurant tycoon, White' Mike (Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl) drops out of his Upper East Side prep school to peddle marijuana to his spoiled teenage friends on the party circuit. His drug supplier and friend Lionel (Curtis 50 Cent' Jackson, Get Rich or Die Tryin') introduces him to an exotic new designer drug known as Twelve, and Mike struggles to keep his underground lifestyle a secret from his naive friend and confidante, girl-next-door Molly (Emma Roberts, Valentine's Day). However, when Mike's cousin is mysteriously found dead and Lionel is accused of murder, Mike's world spirals out of controland the drugs that made him notorious threaten to destroy his life.
Twelve didn't entice me with a strong plot description or an abundance of noteworthy acting talent but I went into it with a modicum of hope that it would turn out to be a diamond in the rough. Nope. The less than original premise revolves around rich kid turned marihuana dealer white Mike who turns to dealing after the death of his mother from cancer and the loss of his father's restaurant due to the financial strain of his mother's medical bills. Mike aligned himself with Harlem drug kingpin Lionel who is a much more dangerous character than Mike gives him credit for. Mike prefers to keeps it simple and will only deal to his upper class Manhattan peers. When not doing that he tries to keep track of his strung out cousin Charlie and best friend Hunter. Surrounding Mike is a plethora of well to do and insufferable rich kids who obsess about one thing, themselves. Mike hides his occupation from lifelong friend and crush Molly who shares his feelings but senses the intentionally distant barrier he projects. Mike's world comes crashing down around him when Charlie disappears and a local teen who had a violent disagreement with Hunter is found shot to death with Hunter being the prime suspect.
Let's first go over the things I liked about this film. I thought that the cast, especially Emily Meade, Rory Kulkin and Phillip Ettinger is quite good. The cinematography is gorgeous and its incorporation into the screenplay works well toward establishing a visual connection with the subject matter. Moving on to the things I didn't care for, I found the script to be shallow, melodramatic and pretentious. The worst example of this being Kiefer Sutherland's incessant droning as the film's narrator. There is never any connection between the narrator and any of the film's characters which is odd. Character development is poor which in a film that purports to be character driven can be detrimental especially when combined with a weak script. It is clearly obvious that Twelve wants to be more than it is. Its glitzy, bleak and narcissistic urban world never truly catches hold and pales in comparison to much better films that expound upon similar themes. As I watched I found myself constantly wanting more but kept winding up with less. The film like its characters tends to be overindulgent as it belabors with an unfocused and derivative storyline that provides little to no satisfaction for the audience.
The rating is for strong drug content, alcohol abuse, language, sexual content, brief nudity and some violence - all involving teens.
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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Twelve comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.2 Mbps.
This is nice looking high definition presentation that exhibits video quality which is consistent with a newer release film on Blu-ray Disc. The film was shot on high definition video and features stylized visuals that utilize sepia toned filtering and muted colors that provide the distinctive look that the filmmakers were striving for. Fleshtones have a resplendent quality with appreciable tonal divergence among the varying complexional types among the members of the cast. Contrast is boldly applied and blacks are rich, dynamic and deep. Images are crisp and resolute with defining sharpness that provides excellent depth regardless of the camera's perspective. The video is whistle clean and displays no obvious signs of video related anomalies or artifacts.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack rendered clear, articulated dialogue that maintained a position of prominence across the front three channels. Sound effects exhibited good dynamic presence and sounded full bodied and authoritative. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere from time to time. The mix excelled at reproducing sounds at the right levels and accurately placing them within the sound field. Detail was rendered with aplomb which attenuated slight environmental cues and augmented the subtle texture of voices and sound effects.
- (HD) Fox sneak peeks:
- Mirrors 2
- Wall Street: Money never sleeps
- The A-Team
- Vampire suck
Twelve is an below average drama that suffers from a poorly conceived and derivative script that fails to thoroughly draw upon the potential in its young but talented cast. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox in a barebones offering that features excellent audio/video quality and no bonus supplements. If you happen to be a fan this will probably be the only release this title will see so feel free to pick it up. For those who might be curious a rent will more than suffice.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Samsung BD-C7900 Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
Might give this one a rental.
Kiefer Sutherland's narration was pretty good, I assume those were passages taken from the novel? If so, the book sounds interesting, darkly poetic.
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