The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Dania Ramirez, Jamie Chung , Wole Parks
Directed by: David Koepp
Music by: David Sardy
Written by: David Koepp & John Kamps
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 21, 2012
When a New York City bicycle messenger picks up an envelope at Columbia University, a dirty cop becomes desperate to get his hands on it and chases the messenger throughout the city.
Dodging speeding cars, crazed cabbies and eight million cranky pedestrians is all in a day's work for Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the best of New York's agile and aggressive bicycle messengers. It takes a special breed to ride the fixie - super lightweight, single-gear bikes with no brakes and riders who are equal part skilled cyclists and nutcases who risk becoming a smear on the pavement every time they head into traffic. But a guy who's used to putting his life on the line is about to get more than even he is used to when his last envelope of the day - a routine "premium rush" run - turns into a life or death chase through the streets of Manhattan.
I caught only glimpses of the trailer for Premium Rush when it was released this summer. It must have been the teaser and what I saw didn’t leave me with a burning desire to see it despite the presence of Joseph Gordon-Levitt who I like. I didn’t read anything about it prior to receiving it for review and I went in with reserved expectations. Conceptually speaking there is nothing original about the script and the characters are simply drawn within the context of the plot. The core of the story revolves around Wilee, a NY City bicycle messenger who inadvertently gets caught between a desperate, crooked NYPD detective’s quest for an item he is now trying to deliver and the importance that it reach its destination. Along the way are chases through crowded city streets/sidewalks, rivalry among co-workers, and a bit of mystery surrounding the reason that the item Wilee is carrying must not fall into the wrong hands.
As I mentioned there isn’t much depth to the plot/characters however there is plenty of excitement found in its execution. The idea of building the story around NY City’s bicycle messengers was a good one. They are essentially modern day cowboys with a bit of a crazy streak which is aptly conveyed in the film. The stunts and camerawork are slick, stylish and at times thoroughly engrossing. Formulaic or not everything comes together neatly as it is quite obvious that the purpose here isn’t melodrama or a complex narrative but establishing a viable correlation between the characters/plot to the primary focus, adrenaline rushing bike riding. Co-writer/director David Koepp and cinematographer Mitchell Amundsen pull off the action and visual elements with aplomb. The cast isn’t a who’s who however the choices hit the mark with the possible exception of Michael Shannon who tried a little too hard to be convincing in the role of dirty detective Monday.
Premium Rush isn’t an especially memorable film however while you’re watching it makes for a compelling and ultimately entertaining thriller that might just raise your pulse a few notches.
The rating is for some violence, intense action sequences and 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)
- 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:
Premium Rush comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.
This is a high quality video presentation that seems a perfect match for the source material. Colors are deeply saturated with eye pleasing vitality and delineated depth. Images are resolute, with stable sharpness, crisp detail and appreciable subtle refinement. Certain scenes appear better resolved than others although I suspect this is related to the photography. Contrast is dynamic without being overpowering and blacks are respectable in depth with discernible detail visible in low lighting and shadows. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts and thought that in general video quality was excellent.
The high resolution DTS-HD MA soundtrack is on par with the video and sounds full bodied, and articulated. Lossless audio provides the opportunity to thoroughly appreciate the potential inherent in digital movie soundtracks. This presentation delivers crystal clear sound that is rich in sonic detail and effortless dynamics. Excellent tonal balance makes pans across the left, center and right channels appear seamless. Bass reproduction is taut and on occasion exhibits a robust low end. The mix makes frequent use of the surrounds to reproduce the discrete and ambient sounds contained within the soundtrack. I enjoyed the enveloping nature of the audio and feel that the integration between the front and rear soundstages is spot on.
- (HD) The starting line – 9 minute featurette
- (HD) Behind the wheels – 12 minute featurette
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Premium Rush is a formulaic genre film that eschews deep storytelling in favor of compelling visuals and adrenaline raising thrills that result in an entertaining 90 minute experience. It races onto Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring resplendent high definition video, engaging lossless surround sound and a pair of featurettes that look behind the scenes at the production. I can’t say that Premium Rush qualifies as a blind buy but it’s worth checking out on Blu-ray so place it at the top of your rental queue and take it for a ride.
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