The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 110 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Natalie Martinez, America Ferrera, Frank Grillo, David Harbour
Written & Directed by: David Ayer
Music by: David Sardy
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 22, 2013
In their mission to abide by their oath to serve and protect, Officers Brian Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Peña) have formed a powerful brotherhood to ensure they both go home at the end of watch. But nothing can prepare them for the violent backlash that happens after they pull over the members of a notorious drug cartel for a routine traffic stop. Seen from the point of view of the officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, dash cams and citizens caught in the line of fire, a 360° perspective creates a gritty, compassionate and intense portrait of the city’s darkest streets, and the brave men and women patrolling them.
Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala are hard charging LAPD partners, and best friends, patrolling the streets in search of dope, money, and guns. In it for a bit of the glory but mostly for the satisfaction that comes with working with each other every day and the challenges associated with what they do Mike and Brian go about their job with an almost reckless abandon that some of their colleagues view as dangerous. Their proactive approach leads to several key arrests/seizures that step on the toes off a drug cartel that puts a bounty on their heads. Failing to heed several warnings their cockiness leads them into a trap that will ultimately test the very limits of their training and will to survive…
End of watch is everything I was expecting in terms of the subject matter it tackles. I mean it doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it’s visceral, edgy and fervent in the depiction of life on the streets for two LAPD police officers working out of Newton Division, one of the toughest in Los Angeles. The film uses the “found footage” style via various cameras, some mounted some hand held, which adds a bit more realism to the various car chases, foot pursuits and fly on the wall perspective from within the patrol car. End of watch is part buddy flick, gritty cop drama and to a slightly lesser extent edge of your seat action thriller that smoothly transitions between the three genres. The glue that holds it all together is the exemplary chemistry between leads Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.
Writer/director David Ayer borrows from info gleaned from watching real footage captured from police dash cams etc. to spin a dramatic web that clearly draws you in. Being in law enforcement isn’t required to appreciate the more authentic aspects in the film’s execution. I will say that being in law enforcement aids in delineating the more minute nuances found in the film’s depiction of the adrenaline pumping that active patrol can be. End of watch is a taut, gripping and visceral drama that presents a compelling view of the heroes in blue that put it on the line every day. It’s not classic Hollywood fare but it achieves its intended goal and is an evocative film that makes for great coffee table discussion.
It should be noted that viewers that are sensitive to or dislike the “found footage” shaky camera style may be bothered by its implementation here. It isn’t used exclusively however when applied there are instances where it moves around quite a bit.
The rating is for strong violence, some disturbing images, pervasive language including sexual references, and some 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.**
(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:
End of watch comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.
As mentioned previously the film utilizes the “found footage” as soon through the video camera style. This results in varying degrees of quality depending on which camera “perspective” is used. The segments of the film seen through the lapel mounted video camera and dash cams are purposefully soft but shots captured with Brian’s HD cam, building mounted surveillance/street cams and any other filmed segments (that don’t explain “who” was filming) take on much improved dimension and appropriate levels of high definition. The result is a solid video presentation that offers discerning resolution and appreciable delineation during close up and mid level camera pans. The video isn’t razor sharp but has an enriching quality. The color range sets the mood with either a purposely reserved palette or bolder chromatic emphasis. Rendering is clean and depth is appropriate. Fleshtones keep pace with the look of the rest of the film and have a balmy but natural texture. Spot on contrast yield crisp, bright whites and blacks are fairly deep and noise free. This is a pristine encoding that shows no obvious signs of video related artifacts or anomalies.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix does a nice job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has excellent intonation and clarity which allows even subtle changes in vocal pitch to be appreciable. This is a well balanced audio presentation that quite often engages the entire system. Dynamic range is excellent and the soundstage has an open expression that allows its elements to extend well into the room. Discrete rear channel activity isn’t extensive however the action based elements provide an enriching level of immersion. The large firefight in the final act is empowered by near field sound effects, robust dynamics and thumping low frequency effects that energize the room. The LFE channel is frequently active and reproduces the film’s music and extended lower bass frequencies with palpable impact that has excellent tactility. It sounds great and adds an involving element that enhances the film.
- Feature commentary with writer/director David Ayer
- (HD) Featurettes (5 segments):
- Fate with a badge – 2 minutes
- In the streets – 2 minutes
- Women on watch – 2 minutes
- Watch your six – 2 minutes
- Honors – 2 minutes
- Fate with a badge – 2 minutes
- (HD) 17 deleted scenes
- My scenes bookmark feature
- D-Box Motion code enabled
- Bonus DVD
- Digital Copy
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
- pocket BLU
End of watch is a taut, gripping and visceral drama that presents a compelling view of the heroes in blue that put it on the line every day. It’s not classic Hollywood fare but it achieves its intended goal and is an evocative film that makes for great coffee table discussion. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, an involving lossless surround mix and a middling supplemental offering that includes a decent filmmaker commentary and five brief, repetitive featurettes that add little. Regardless, if you have no problem with the “found footage” filmmaking style and enjoy a good action drama End of watch on Blu-ray is a must see.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable 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 Pro 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
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
It ain't easy being green.
Considering your "day job," how realistic is the story?
David Vaughn Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer Sound & Vision Magazine (Print & Online)
My Atmos Renovation Part 1 http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...odyssey-part-1
My Atmos Renovation Part 2 http://www.soundandvision.com/conten...odyssey-part-2
It's over the top but there are certainly aspects of it that have an air of authenticity Dave. Great material for filmmaking though..
Well Ralph, I worked LBPD and many of the scenes shown in the film is what I saw on the streets. It may not repersent what many officers go through in other parts of the country, but in South LA county you can bet on seeing this stuff on the regular. From the traffic stop with gun out on your hip, to the vehicle chase in the begining it all brought back many memories for me and very thankful I made it out. I loss two classmate, one in a TC and another was ambushed in a unmarked unit.
I agree. I know guys that have worked those tough areas. Thanks for chiming in and condolences on the loss of your classmates...
What an amazing film, I really enjoyed this. I have to give credit to the police I couldn't do there job some of those situations i wouldn't be able to handle.
I thought this was a very powerful and emotional film. I know it's over the top as far as what a typical police officer goes through but it's Hollywood after all. I liked the camera work and the acting was great in my opinion. One of the better movies of the year for me.
Some audio history:
Reef's little theater
Oh well, $1.60 at redbox is a small price to pay.
Found footage needs to go the way of the dodo bird! Unless it's only for a few scenes here and there.
This was the first film I can recall seeing that utilized primarily the typical style of filming with a found footage combo to go with it. Thankfully it wasn't all found footage. I cringed early on in the movie at the prospect of this having that found footage style of presentation.
But having just seen this movie again a few hours ago, and seeing how these cops were portrayed in this movie, and all the hardships and life threatening stuff they put up with, day in and day out, it was nice to see them treated with such dignity and respect in this movie.
So yea it was a great flick, especially the ending. And I mean the very last scene that is. To end it that way after what happens before the last scene was a nice way to end it as opposed to how it looked like it was gonna end.
Watched this last night and thought it was a good movie. I know this was a movie and all, but wow does this give me an even deeper appreciation for this job. I can only imagine the countless potential scenarios that a police officer might face on a typical day and you would never know what kind of lunatic you could run into. My girlfriends brother was a cop in Houston for a number of years before moving on to work with the state department and some of his stories are just nuts. I have a lot of respect for people who do this though and makes me very thankful we have these folks out there.
Your comments are greatly appreciated Todd...
lol... I used to have the same issue with shaky cam films but watching Cloverfield a few times got me past all that. This looks to be a very good one so will be ordering and reporting back.
Thanks for reviewing it for us, Ralph!
And for you men and women that protect and serve, thank you
|End Of Watch Blu Ray , Blu Ray Movies|