The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 107 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Jaimie Alexander, Johnny Knoxville, Luis Guzman, Rodrigo Santoro, Peter Stormare, Eduardo Noriega
Directed by: Kim Jee-Woon
Music by: Mowg
Written by: Andrew Knauer
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: May 21, 2013
After leaving his LAPD narcotics post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with remorse and regret, Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy.
With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow. Cortez’ path: straight through Summerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement, including Agent John Bannister (Whitaker) will have their final opportunity to intercept him before the violent fugitive slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately rallies his team and takes the matter into his own hands, setting the stage for a classic showdown.
There is little need for a more in-depth plot breakdown than what is provided by the synopsis above. As genre fans we pretty know what is coming, the question is, is it worth an hour and a half of our time? The answer is yes, especially if you’re a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his particular brand of action hero. I mean don’t get me wrong, clichés abound and there is nothing we haven’t seen before however I appreciate the fact that the script doesn’t try too hard to be overly ambitious and keeps the noticeably silly humor to a minimum. There are a few eye rolling moments but predominantly speaking the action set pieces, gun play and physical encounters (even those involving the 66 year old Arnold) don’t extend far beyond the realm of action movie plausibility.
This is the first American film directed by Kim Jee-woon, one of the top names from contemporary South Korean cinema. He brings plenty of enthusiasm along with a stylish flair to the production. The characters are well defined within the construct of the simple narrative and the action adheres to the standard formula that we have all come to expect and appreciate from the genre. Arnold is Arnold and handles the lead role in assuredly typical fashion while capably supported by a decent cast that capably handles their respective roles. So, does The Last Stand live up to the “Arnold is back better than ever” build up? Not really, but it is an entertaining popcorn flick that is an appropriate vehicle for the iconic action star to return to the big screen.
The rating is for strong bloody violence throughout 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:
The last stand comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 36 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 6 Mbps.
This is a great looking video presentation that has a clean, filmic appearance that falls just shy of the definitive delineation offered by the best high definition available on Blu-ray Disc. Images onscreen exhibit plenty of fine rendering and crisp definition that on occasion rises to higher levels especially during close ups which can be very revealing. Long range shots appear resolute with good dimensional depth and notable object detail. The geographic locations and vista views featured in the film look magnificent in high definition. Bright exterior segments are punchy with crisp dynamic whites and appreciable texture. Colors aren’t overly engaging as the palette is limited to sepia tones and drab secondary hues that don’t offer much to catch the eye. Rendering is excellent though and the balance is kept in proper focus which mates well with the films overall visual perspective. Fleshtones are tonally divergent and appear lifelike in depiction. Blacks are rich/dynamic and shadow detail is quite good which reveals plenty of visible delineation in dark backgrounds and low lighting. I didn’t detect any deleterious artifacts or other video related anomalies.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack makes frequent use of the entire surround platform and features a highly detailed presentation that has excellent dynamic range which enables it to be bombastic at one moment and intricately nuanced the next. Dialogue is definitive and appreciably lucid through the center channel as it mixed just slightly in front of the left/right channels within soundstage. I never had any trouble distinguishing even the slightest changes in the pitch or inflection of voices. Imaging and channel separation is excellent which draws out both large and small sound elements and allows their directional correlation based upon the onscreen events to be definable. Depth and dimension are strong as the front and rear soundstages combine to immerse the listening position in a seamless blend of ambient and discretely placed effects during the action based sequences. This is a great sounding lossless presentation that compliments the film quite nicely.
- (HD) Not in my town: Making The last stand – 28 minute featurette
- (HD) Cornfield chaos: Scene breakdown – 11 minute featurette
- (HD) The Dinkum firearm & historic weaponry museum tour – 11 minute production featurette
- (HD) Actor-cam anarchy: With Johnny Knoxville & Jaimie Alexander – 10 minutes
- (HD) 6 Deleted scenes
- (HD) 7 extended scenes
- Digital Copy
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as a sleepy border town sheriff that stands between a dangerous cartel kingpin on the run and freedom over the Mexican border in The last stand. It doesn’t bring anything new to the genre table but I found it to be an entertaining popcorn flick that appropriately returns the iconic action star to the big screen. The last stand comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video quality engaging DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio surround sound and a pedestrian assortment of bonus supplements that offer insights from the cast/crew while looking behind the scenes at the production. If you’re an Arnold Fan this one is worth checking out.
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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 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)
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