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End of Watch (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
700
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
88





Studio and Year: Universal - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 110 minutes
Genre: Drama/Crime

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


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







"Watch your six…"


Film Synopsis:

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.

My Take:

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.


Parental Guide:

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.**


Audio: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


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.


Bonus Features:

  • Feature commentary with writer/director David Ayer

  • (HD) Featurettes (5 segments):
    1. Fate with a badge – 2 minutes
    2. In the streets – 2 minutes
    3. Women on watch – 2 minutes
    4. Watch your six – 2 minutes
    5. Honors – 2 minutes
  • (HD) 17 deleted scenes

  • My scenes bookmark feature

  • D-Box Motion code enabled

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy

  • pocket BLU

  • BD-Live




Final Thoughts:

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.






attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 29
This was an excellent movie and it is a shame it did not do better in the theater. Highly recommended!
post #3 of 29
I saw this in the theater and really liked it. A really good police drama that had a different flavor then many others that have been released.
post #4 of 29

Looking forward to it!,

even though i missed it in the cinema, but the previews looked great...

post #5 of 29
Ralph,

Considering your "day job," how realistic is the story?
post #6 of 29
I'm so disappointed by this movie. I really wanted to like it. As a matter of fact, I think would have liked it if it wasn't first-person perspective. It took me out of the movie, and I couldn't finish it. It's probably just me. Just my 2 cents.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Ralph,
Considering your "day job," how realistic is the story?

Greetings,

It's over the top but there are certainly aspects of it that have an air of authenticity Dave. Great material for filmmaking though.. wink.gif


Regards,
post #8 of 29
I'm looking forward to watch this film looks really good.
post #9 of 29
I've been wanting to see this movie for a long long time. I'd never really thought much of Michael Pena as an actor until I saw him in Observe and Report. That was the film that was a HUGE wake up call for me and how I saw him as an actor.
post #10 of 29
This one goes in my collection. I really love police stories.
post #11 of 29
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.
post #12 of 29
My copy was delivered today looking forward in watching it tonight.
post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

My copy was delivered today looking forward in watching it tonight.

Greetings,

Be sure to post back with your thoughts Frank. smile.gif


Regards,
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by recoveryone View Post

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.

Greetings,

I agree. I know guys that have worked those tough areas. Thanks for chiming in and condolences on the loss of your classmates...

Regards,
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Be sure to post back with your thoughts Frank. smile.gif


Regards,

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.
post #16 of 29

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.

post #17 of 29
Biggest problem with this film is the choice to present it in the "home video" and shaky-cam genre. I really hate this crap, its distracting to an extreme and adds nothing. There is plenty of suspense and drama in the story, but its just too punishing to watch in this format. It's also been done before and didn't succeed any better then. That said, I did find the story interesting and its a good adrenalin fix. I just wish that the creative team had enough faith in the story to present it without gimmicks.
post #18 of 29
Good movie! I bought this blind, never heard of it, but it turned out to be ok. My wife really liked it so I guess that is a win win. Not really a fan of the of the live reality type filming, but it is looking more and more like the future of films and TV, so just going to have to get use to it. If I had it to over again I would have passed on the buy and waited for it to come to HBO, but still worth watching.
post #19 of 29
I rarely stop a movie without finishing, but we had to quit on this one. The camera style was making both of us nauseous. That's what i get for not reading up on the film first.
Oh well, $1.60 at redbox is a small price to pay.
post #20 of 29
I thought it was a really good movie but like some of the others here, I didn't get what the whole bit was with the cameras. Jake's character having 1 and his partner as well made sense. But why the gang members? I mean really all these found footage films have gotten beyond old. Is it really that common these days for people to go walking around recording stuff all the time? I don't recall ever meeting any one in recent years and I mean like the last 10-20 years or so that did this sort of thing on a regular daily basis.

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.
post #21 of 29
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. smile.gif
post #22 of 29
Well said Toe. True some of us have some disdain for some cops for getting a ticket from them or whatever. Or how there might be times where it seems like there's never 1 around when you need 1. biggrin.gif

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. wink.gif 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. cool.gif
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

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. smile.gif

Greetings,

Your comments are greatly appreciated Todd...smile.gif


Regards,
post #24 of 29
I really enjoyed this one. The problem is my wife can't handle the shaky cam stuff so I had to watch alone.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post

I really enjoyed this one. The problem is my wife can't handle the shaky cam stuff so I had to watch alone.

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! smile.gif
post #26 of 29
After reading comments this on is no longer on my list. The end of End of Watch tongue.gif
post #27 of 29
I finally got around to watching this. The actors did an amazing job. Top notch performances and the chemistry between the actors was something rarely seen. I've been having a hard time getting into movies lately but not this one. I was hooked the entire time. I know hollywood like to go over the top with stories but they did a fine job with this. As for the "shaky cam," I didnt even notice till I read this thread. I think you guys are making way to big a deal out of nothing. I know some of you are sensitive to motion but come on! If its that bad for you watch it on a smaller tv

And for you men and women that protect and serve, thank you
post #28 of 29
Really anxious to see this because of the casting and subject matter but keep waiting for a price drop. I've gotten to where I hate to pay more than about $10 on a blu-ray movie and some of them take quite some time before they drop that low in price. It's definitely on my wish list, though.
post #29 of 29
I thought this movie was really good. Shaky cam? Didn't even notice.
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