or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews › Traitor (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Traitor (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=127123&d=1229605562
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

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

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109941&d=1210373637

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

87






Studio and Year: Starz/Anchor Bay - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 114 Minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Jeff Daniels, Said Taghmaoui, Neal McDonough
Written & Directed by: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Music by: Mark Killian
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 19, 2008







"The truth is complicated"



Film Synopsis:

Academy Award® nominee Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash) and Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) star in Traitor, a taut international thriller set against a puzzle of covert counter-espionage operations. When straight-arrow FBI agent Roy Clayton (Pearce) investigates a dangerous international conspiracy responsible for a prison break in Yemen, a bombing in Nice and a raid in London, all clues seem to lead back to former U.S. Special Operations officer, Samir Horn(Cheadle). But a tangle of contradictory evidence emerges, forcing Clayton to question whether his suspect is a disaffected former military operative—or something far more complicated. Obsessed with discovering the truth, Clayton tracks Horn across the globe as the elusive ex-soldier burrows deeper and deeper into a world of shadows and intrigue. Traitor is written and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (screenwriter of The Day After Tomorrow).




My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=127132&d=1229617650

I am a Don Cheadle fan and his presence in a film ups it potential for me. I find him to be engaging, genuine, and adept at his craft. I didn’t catch Traitor during its theatrical run but I saw the trailer on the Deadspace Downfall BD and thought it looked intriguing. This is an espionage based thriller that focuses on Cheadle’s character Samir Horn. He is an American citizen, born in the Sudan, who comes to this country after his father is killed, right before his eyes, in a car bombing. He joins the military and serves in the Gulf/Afghanistan. He disappears and resurfaces in Yemen during a joint FBI/Yemen police raid on a group of known terrorists where he is arrested. FBI Agent Roy Clayton (Pearce) is tracking a known Terrorist cell and its leader and suspects that Horn may be linked to them and is a traitor. As the events unfold it is clear that things are not necessarily what they seem and it is up to Clayton to find the truth in order to prevent a terrorist attack on U.S soil.

This was an above average thriller that was clearly made better thanks to a solid performance by Cheadle. The story wasn’t bad but there were a few too many convenient circumstances and cases where common sense (especially for Horn) didn’t dictate what occurred. The screenplay followed a basic formula that left no real surprises. I liked Clayton but his sidekick/partner played by Neal McDonugh was just plain annoying and in my opinion served no real purpose. I thought that Said Taghmaoui was excellent in the role of Omar. The fact that the story revolves largely around his and Cheadle’s characters is great because they had strong onscreen chemistry which worked quite well. Looking at the story as a whole I found it entertaining and worthy of its 114 minute runtime.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense violent sequences, thematic material, and brief language.






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=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 88


(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=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699
attachment.php?attachmentid=127131&d=1229617650

Traitor comes to Blu-ray Disc from Starz/Anchor Bay featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.8 mbps.

This is a strong video presentation that is reflective of the type associated with newer release films on Blu-ray Disc. Colors appear accurate with well delineated primaries and deep textures. Skin tones are as good as I have seen and looked superb. Images are rendered with excellent visual penetration, resolute sharpness and defining detail that is particularly striking during brighter sequences. Some of the darker scenes aren’t quite as definitively resolved and appear less dimensionally convincing. Blacks are nice and deep with appreciable visibility in uneven light and shadows. Contrast was boosted slightly which overdrove some of the bright sequences and washed out detail. This wasn’t damaging and in most instances wasn’t an issue at all. I noticed one or two noisy backgrounds but this was minor and would probably be missed if not looking for it.

The Dolby TrueHD soundtrack did a great job in balancing the mix of dialogue and action based elements in the recording. I never had trouble discerning the soft spoken and interpreted dialogue used in the film. It was crystal clear and slightly forward in presentation which made it more readily discernible. Dynamic range was strong and explosions and gunfire had palpable impact and energy. This is predominantly a dialogue driven film however the surround platform is utilized to excellent effect during several action based sequences. This results in good quality sound that is both immersive and vigorous as it fills the room with a nice blend of deep bass energy and 360 degree surround quality.



Bonus Features:


  • Audio commentary with Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Don Cheadle

  • (HD) Action! – The stunts and special effects of Traitor – short featurette

  • (HD) International espionage: An look at the shooting locations featured in Traitor - short featurette

  • 3 Blu-ray Disc trailers from Starz/Anchor Bay entertainment

  • BD-Live enabled – Server access is not currently active but should be by release day

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc - Includes a standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable playback device
attachment.php?attachmentid=127130&d=1229617650



Final Thoughts:

Traitor is an above average and entertaining thriller that doesn’t deliver in the originality department however a fine performance by Don Cheadle helps to elevate its appeal. Starz/Anchor Bay Entertainment has done a wonderful job with its debut on high definition Blu-ray Disc. Its audio/video quality alone is worth the price of admission which is good because its slim bonus feature set is rather disappointing. I would recommend giving this a rent prior to purchase. If you have seen it and already like it then feel free to pick it up.








attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS1x 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel 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, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 27
Saw this movie in theater and thought the storyline and actors were pretty good. I'm getting a copy this saturday.

Thanks for the review Ralph.
post #3 of 27
I definitely have to see this. The previews looked really good. Nice review!
post #4 of 27
Not sure what the hell to make of any of this. Great Review as always Ralph! Gonna watch this tonight hopefully.
post #5 of 27
Pretty decent movie.....
post #6 of 27
I thought the video was very grainy/noise in a lot of places but most noticeably in the low light scenes. Is this normal for film movies like this?
post #7 of 27
I think if they removed the first plot twist, the other twist would not have been so obvious. Unfortunately the 2 plot twists ruin an otherwise great movie.

Great PQ IMHO.
post #8 of 27
Had a chance to sit down last night and watch this film. Found it quite entertaining with good overall PQ and DD TrueHD sound track. Well worth the ~2 hrs of your time watching it.
post #9 of 27
My wife and I got bored and shut it off half way.
post #10 of 27
I was hoping for more opinions but I'll rent it and hope I don't have to turn it off. It appears at least the PQ and AQ are more than acceptable which obviously is a good thing.
post #11 of 27
My wife and I watched the film on BD today. I was nervous that there might be some "hidden agenda" by the film maker. But, that was not the case. This is just an excellent espionage thriller that is well worth watching. The BD presentation was excellent and the soundtrack superb.

marcus
post #12 of 27
Still gotta see this movie. nice review Ralph.
post #13 of 27
I liked the movie but thought it fell apart in the third act. The movie could have probably used an additional 15 minutes to clean the ending up. Just felt rushed to me.

One of the better movies currently available.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.2K View Post

I thought the video was very grainy/noise in a lot of places but most noticeably in the low light scenes. Is this normal for film movies like this?

I noticed the exact same thing and it was so bad during those parts that it took away from the BD experience. The low light scenes had absolutely horrible video quality.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie however.
post #15 of 27
What a nice treat this was. I had never heard of the movie but since I'm a fan of Cheadle I decided to try it out. Cheadle, as Samir, turns in a fine performance as expected. Said Taghmaouri, who played Omar, was excellent in the supporting role. Guy Pierce was also very convincing. All three leads were captivating. When movie slowed down and focused on the relationship between Omar and Samir, and Samir's faith, that's when it was strongest for me. In the second half, when the plot is unraveled, it started to become formulaic. It started to be Hollywood but still more intelligent than average. Even at a production budget of 1/4 of its glossy cousin "The Kingdom", by Peter Berg, Traitor delivered much more in return in entertainment value.

AQ was note-worthy. Dialogue was clean thruout. The explosions were very dynamic. I was alone at home so i turned it up and the bombs were a treat. The music was nice but i couldn't help thinking it was a Black Hawk Down ripoff.
post #16 of 27
Ralph,

As always, you gave a good (and accurate) review and for the most part I agree with every point made. Here is a brief description I wrote up earlier today:

"More than anything, I was very impressed with the skin tones and facial close-ups (which easily met the criteria for Tier 0); they were remarkable in almost every scene except for a few scenes with high contrast where some detail was lost. Blacks were spot on as was shadow detail. Colors were natural, but somewhat muted at times. Sharpness, detail, and depth were all present as well, but there were a few scenes with heavy grain where these three virtues suffered the most. Scenes with light grain (and there were many) were excellent, giving it a nice film look without hindering sharpness and detail. I did detect a little digital noise, but only a couple of times. Overall it is a nice transfer and definitely worthy of a Tier 1 ranking.

The movie itself: I enjoyed it, though I'm a real sucker for political thrillers and so I'm usually quite biased. Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce were at the top of their game, IMO." (End of Quote)

The only thing I would add to this is that the Dolby TrueHD audio track was excellent. But unlike Bing, I was NOT home alone and so I didn't have the luxury of turning it up like I wanted to.
post #17 of 27
Hello Ralph,

Quite frankly, I've never paid much attention to film reviewers, as I've always felt that I'm the one best suited to determine what I will/won't watch.

But unlike other reviewers, I believe you are someone who actually enjoys watching the film as an enthusiast, not just a reviewer. That being said, I now find myself reading your review before renting, or especially before making a purchase. Thank you for your contribution.

As for Traitor, I enjoyed it very much. Despite a few minor inconsistencies, I thought it was very well done. As usual, Don Cheadle is just plain good, and I agree that Clayton's partner was unnecessary to the plot. I also felt that the overall BD quality was quite good.

Mike T
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Ralph,

As always, you gave a good (and accurate) review and for the most part I agree with every point made. Here is a brief description I wrote up earlier today:

"More than anything, I was very impressed with the skin tones and facial close-ups (which easily met the criteria for Tier 0); they were remarkable in almost every scene except for a few scenes with high contrast where some detail was lost. Blacks were spot on as was shadow detail. Colors were natural, but somewhat muted at times. Sharpness, detail, and depth were all present as well, but there were a few scenes with heavy grain where these three virtues suffered the most. Scenes with light grain (and there were many) were excellent, giving it a nice film look without hindering sharpness and detail. I did detect a little digital noise, but only a couple of times. Overall it is a nice transfer and definitely worthy of a Tier 1 ranking.

The movie itself: I enjoyed it, though I'm a real sucker for political thrillers and so I'm usually quite biased. Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce were at the top of their game, IMO." (End of Quote)

The only thing I would add to this is that the Dolby TrueHD audio track was excellent. But unlike Bing, I was NOT home alone and so I didn't have the luxury of turning it up like I wanted to.

djoberg,

Thanks very much for adding your impressions here..

Quote:


Hello Ralph,

Quite frankly, I've never paid much attention to film reviewers, as I've always felt that I'm the one best suited to determine what I will/won't watch.

But unlike other reviewers, I believe you are someone who actually enjoys watching the film as an enthusiast, not just a reviewer. That being said, I now find myself reading your review before renting, or especially before making a purchase. Thank you for your contribution.

As for Traitor, I enjoyed it very much. Despite a few minor inconsistencies, I thought it was very well done. As usual, Don Cheadle is just plain good, and I agree that Clayton's partner was unnecessary to the plot. I also felt that the overall BD quality was quite good.

Mike T

Mike,

Thank you. I appreciate the support...


Regards,
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hksvr4 View Post

My wife and I got bored and shut it off half way.

pretty much the same story here. went to see it in theaters, and it was a huge let down. the movie was just sooo boring, and there were a lot of anti-american vibes. I didn't like this movie at all.
post #20 of 27
i rented it, thought it was well acted, but that didn't make up for the weak plot. my wife was bored the whole time and i was not very impressed either.
post #21 of 27
If you take this film at face value, it's not going to please a lot of folks. It can be confusing and misleading, anti-american, and disturbing. I really enjoyed it, but I had to put the effort into understanding the meaning behind the film.

1) Basically, don't stereotype a whole group of people due to geography or religion.
2) Don't assume you know everything about someone at face value.
3) Hard choices and sacrifices need to be made for the greater good.

This was a movie that took you further into the psyche of orgainixed terrorism, and the internal "moral" struggles even within a given terrorist orginization.

The film looked decent, 3.5 to 4 out of 5, and sounded good, 4 out of 5.
The film itself gets a 4 out of 5 from me, but it took effort to delve into the meaning of what was going on.

Dan
post #22 of 27
I remember the previews for this film and, not for the first time, they were somewhat misleading (which might account for disappointment for some). However, I've never seen a Don Cheadle performance I didn't like, so I rented this last week. I enjoyed it for what it was--a political thriller with good performances--and I appreciated the effort at providing a different perspective on the issues presented in the film. I think it is important to be exposed to different points of view (I can still make up my mind as to whether to endorse those views--but not being aware of them limits my ability to make informed decisions; this applies to any contentious issue, not just those in this film).

Worth a rental, but I don't think it has much repeat viewing potential.
post #23 of 27
Excellent movie!

GREAT STORY, very good PQ and AQ. I thorougly enjoyed this film.
post #24 of 27
I absolutely loved this movie...Highly recommend [IMG]http://z09a0222gshv273.imageshacknow.info/img/3064************************[/IMG]
post #25 of 27
I thought the review was a very fair rendition of Traitor.

I enjoyed this movie immensely, and found the acting performances were excellent.
And the quality of this blu-ray disc is also very good.
And yes, the plot line is quite interesting, as also captivating. Well constructed.
So, for me, all in all, a good addition to my collection.
post #26 of 27
Mine will not transfer over
post #27 of 27
Anyone has a problem with digital copy?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mine will not transfer over
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home

Gear mentioned in this thread:

AVS › AVS Forum › Blu-ray & HD DVD › Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews › Traitor (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review