Ralph Potts reviews this eclectic and relevant urban satire inspired by the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata.”
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Lionsgate - 2015
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
English SDH, English, Spanish
Nick Cannon, Wesley Snipes, Teyonah Parris, Jennifer Hudson, Steve Harris, Harry Lennix, D.B. Sweeney, Angela Bassett, John Cusak, Samuel L. Jackson
Kevin Wilmott & Spike Lee
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
January 26, 2016
"No Peace. No Piece"
Two rival gangs, led by Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon) and Cyclops (Wesley Snipes), are locked in bloody combat on the streets of Chicago's south side. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, the beautiful Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) persuades the women of the Spartan and Trojan gangs to swear off sex with their men until the fighting stops.
Directed by Spike Lee and written by Lee and Kevin Willmott, Chi-Raq
is a searing satire of gun violence in America inspired by the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata.” It tells the timely tale of a community at war with itself, with scathing commentary on gun culture, black-on-black violence, corrupt politicians and urban decay. The film features raw, original music by Nick Cannon, and seeks to ignite a provocative dialogue on the nature of race, sex and violence in America and around the world.
pulls few punches and is intended to awaken our conscience with its hard hitting statement, biting social commentary and brash aesthetic. The narrative and execution have an air of mania that palpates with reverence to the subject matter as it speaks to the human condition with both cause and earnestness. Chi-Raq
is topical, stylized and innately ostentatious, driving home its message via dark elements of humor and artful optimism. It's not a particularly cohesive film from a contextual standpoint but then again it need not be. Where it succeeds is the urgency of its plea and the craftiness of its delivery. Chi-Raq
could be off putting to those not open to its edgy, urban theme and purposefully preachy topic.
Once I fully understood where it was coming from I was able to sit back, take it all in, and appreciate what a thought provoking and contemplative film it is. All in all I found Chi-Raq-
to be relevant, entertaining and well crafted.
The rating is for strong sexual content, including dialog, nudity, language, some violence and 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)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA
Chi-Raq comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This is a great looking new release title from Lionsgate. 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. Bright exterior segments are punchy with crisp dynamic whites and appreciable texture. Colors are vibrant with eye catching primaries and natural rendering that looked great in high definition. Fleshtones are tonally divergent and appear lifelike in depiction. Blacks are respectable and shadow detail is revealing of appreciable levels of delineation in dark backgrounds and low lighting. I didn’t detect any deleterious artifacts or other video related anomalies.
The lossless soundtrack doesn’t consistently engage the entire surround platform however it has moments where it energizes the room and reproduces the source elements with aplomb. Dialog has definitive presence with refined vocal character and excellent room penetration. Dynamic range is very good which lends subtle distinction to low level sounds and gravity to broader ones. The source elements don’t always call for this as dialogue, atmospheric ambience and musical enhancement is conveyed with little fanfare. However there are several sequences that engage the entire system to briefly produce entertaining and room filling sound that is measurable. This soundtrack isn’t demonstration worthy but it readily delivers a satisfying listening experience that didn’t leave me disappointed.
- (HD) 13 Deleted Scenes
- (HD) 4 Extended Scenes
- (HD) The Making of Chi-Raq – 4 minute featurette
- (HD) "We Gotta Do Better" Music Video
- Digital HD Copy
Inspired by the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” and directed by Spike Lee, Chi-Raq
is a relevant, entertaining and well executed film that tells the timely tale of a community at war with itself. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, crystal clear lossless sound quality and a subpar supplemental package. Chi-Raq
may not strike a chord with everyone but it's a worthwhile film experience that I recommend on Blu-ray.
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Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
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