The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Magnolia - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: David Belle, Cyril Raffaelli, Elodie Yung, Daniel Duval, Philippe Torreton
Directed by: Patrick Alessandrin
Music by: DA. Octopusss & Track Invaders
Written by: Luc Besson
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 27, 2010
Two years have passed since elite police officer Damien Tomasso teamed up with reformed vigilante Leito to save the notorious District 13, a racially charged ghetto populated by violent drug dealing gangs and vicious killers. A group of corrupt cops and elected officials begin conspiring to have the district redeveloped by destructive means - a proposed nuclear air-strike. Damian and Leito must join forces again.
Two years have passed since elite police officer Damien Tomasso (Cyril Raffaelli) teamed up with reformed vigilante Leito (Parkour originator David Belle) to save the notorious District 13, a racially charged ghetto populated by violent drug dealing gangs and vicious killers. Despite government promises to maintain order, the state of the district has deteriorated, and a group of corrupt cops and elected officials are conspiring to cause civil unrest in D13, looking for an excuse to raze the area and cash in on its redevelopment. Now Damian and Leito must join forces again, and use their mastery of martial arts and their unique physical skills to bring peace to the neighborhood by any means necessary before a proposed nuclear air-strike wipes it off the map.
I haven't seen the first film but everything that I have read suggests that it is well thought of. I tend to enjoy good mindless action films which is the category I think that District 13: Ultimatum falls into. The premise is singular, straight forward and homogenous while attempting to preach a little about politics. Ultimately the goal is to showcase the talents of stars Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle which is where the film excels. There is plenty of death defying stunts, martial artistry, and awe inspiring parkour from David Belle. I was unaware that Belle founded parkour but watching his mastery of it is incredibly entertaining. Cyril Raffaelli is no less engaging to watch as he seems to combine parkour (to a lesser degree) with martial arts expertise. The film's opening sequence which involves him fighting his way through a bevy of combatants while holding a priceless Van Goh painting is quite impressive. An intermediate storyline combined with solid action and thrilling stuntwork makes District 13: Ultimatum a decent popcorn flick that is worth checking out.
The rating is for some violence, language, and drug material.
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:
District 13: Ultimatum comes to Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.6 mbps.
This video presentation has a filmic quality that doesn't always lend itself to razor sharp images however resolution is excellent as both people and objects are rendered with clear definition that at times is meticulously resolved. The color palette isn't a diverse one and sticks mainly to sepia and de-saturated neutral tones that render a cooler appearance. Flesh tones are on the bland side but fit right in with the visual style of the video. Contrast is bold which adds dynamic emphasis to sequences containing bright elements. Blacks are dynamic, inky and slightly crushed. Scenes containing uneven and/or dim lighting reveal discernible but occasionally limited detail in shadowy backgrounds and darkened areas. These segments don't have the dimensional perspective of the brighter scenes and tend to appear flat by comparison. Images have a pristine quality that when coupled with the video's high resolution makes for terrific looking presentation.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio surround mix which comes in both English dubbed and French versions 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 which is generated by a seamless sound field. The chase and extended fight sequences are empowered by near field sound effects, robust dynamics and thumping techno rhythms that energize the room. The LFE channel is frequently active and reproduces the film's music and extended lower bass frequencies with visceral impact that has excellent tactility.
** CIH users should make note that the subtitles appear WITHIN the picture area.
- Making of District 13: Ultimatum - 26 minutes
- Production diary - 34 minutes
- Music video - Determine by Alonzo
- 9 deleted/extended scenes
- (HD) HDNET: A look at District 13: Ultimatum - 4 minutes
District 13: Ultimatum is the follow up to 2006's District B13. The plot is a little different but the premise remains the same as elite police officer Damien Tomasso and reformed vigilante Leito team up once again to save the notorious District 13 from annihilation. It combines an intermediate storyline with solid action and thrilling stunts which result in a decent popcorn flick that is worth checking out when you're in the mood. Magnolia HE has impressed me with the quality of their high definition offerings on Blu-ray Disc and this release is no different. District 13: Ultimatum boasts a technically strong audio/video package that will look and sound great in your home theater. The bonus supplements include a making of feature and production diary that offer an excellent behind the scenes look at the film and its production process. Feel free to give this one a spin on movie night.
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