The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 92 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater
Directed by: Walter Hill
Music by: Steve Mazzaro
Written by: Alessandro Camon based on the graphic novel “Du Plomb Dans La Tete” by Matz
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July16, 2013
Sylvester Stallone stars as Jimmy Bobo, a New Orleans hitman who forms an alliance with Washington D.C. detective Taylor Kwon to bring down the killer of their respective partners.
Based on Alexis Nolent's French graphic novel, Du Plomb Dans La Tete, Bullet to the Head tells the story of a New Orleans hit man Jimmy “Bobo” (Stallone) and Washington DC Detective Taylor Kwon (Kang) who form an unlikely alliance in search of answers involving the recent murders of Kwon’s ex-partner and Jimmy’s only friend/partner Louis. Each with their own agenda the two men clash as they slowly begin to uncover the truth. Finally coming to the realization that as much as they don’t like one another, no one else can be trusted, they come face to face with those responsible with only one possible outcome. The problem is that Jimmy sees it one way and Taylor another. Will it be the cop or the hit man that settles the score?
I like Sylvester Stallone and have since seeing Rocky in the theater in 1976. Over the years he has proven that once you find a niche you stick with what works. That isn’t to suggest that from time to time he hasn’t ventured beyond however it is evident that his bread and butter has been in the action/thriller genre. Let’s give credit where it is due and acknowledge that he is a bonafide star that has managed to remain successful for 40 plus years in a business where popularity comes and goes in the blink of an eye. I look at him at 67 years old and am amazed at the physical specimen that he is. If you’ve ever listened to him speak he is a very intelligent individual who truly knows his craft.
Okay enough about that and on to Bullet to the head. It’s a throwback style genre piece with a translucent plot and heady action that makes no excuses for its clichéd context and ineffectual characterizations. Its goal is clearly to provide a brash bit of escapism that asks very little of the audience other than to take it for what it is. While I had a few problems with the corny dialogue and veiled screenplay I got a kick out of some of the action and watching Sly shoot just about everyone he didn’t like in the head was entertaining especially with how they staged it. Jason Momoa was a fairly credible bad guy and his faceoff with Stallone in the finale wasn’t bad at all. The remainder of the cast including Sung Kang phoned it in and added little. At the end of day Stallone was the driving force and the sole reason to even bother with Bullet to the head. It’s really not a very good film but I think it achieves its goal and is a viable entry in the pool of mindlessly entertaining films we get a craving for from time to time.
The rating is for strong violence, bloody images, language, some nudity and brief 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.**
(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:
Bullet to the head comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.
This is a dark film both in tone and visual design and this video presentation capably conveys that. The use of muted secondary colors gives the film a stark visual aesthetic that coincides with the subject matter. When brighter elements such as shades of red, or blue are present, they have a vivid and pleasing quality. More often than not fleshtones lean toward lighter/pale looking complexions however I noticed livelier tonality during several sequences that utilized warmer accent lighting and deeper color emphasis. Detail in dark areas and low lighting is good which provides discernible visibility within backgrounds. Blacks are respectable but not definitively rich in contrast. High definition resolution is satisfying as close ups are well delineated and long range visuals are reasonably sharp. While not among the best high definition offerings on Blu-ray I found little to complain about with the overall quality of this video presentation.
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 which is generated by a seamless sound field, empowering by near field sound effects and robust dynamics that energize the room. The LFE channel is frequently active and reproduces the film’s extended lower bass frequencies with visceral impact that has excellent tactility.
- (HD) Bullet to the head: Mayhem Inc. – 9 minute making of featurette
- Bonus DVD
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
Based on Alexis Nolent's French graphic novel, Du Plomb Dans La Tete, Bullet to the Head is a throwback style genre piece with a translucent plot and heady action that is clearly designed to provide a brash bit of escapism that asks very little of the audience other than to take it for what it is. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring solid technical elements and a disappointing supplemental offering that consists of brief making of production featurette. Bullet to the head isn’t an especially memorable film however it musters enough testosterone to qualify for the kind of mindless entertainment we action junkies crave from time to time. In that light it’s not a bad quick fix rental on movie night.
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