Dr. Paul Kersey is an experienced trauma surgeon, a man who has spent his life saving lives. After an attack on his family, Paul embarks on his own mission for justice.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
20th Century Fox - 2018
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish, French
Bruce Willis, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kimberly Elise
June 5, 2018
"How Far Would You go to Protect Your Family?"
Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of his city’s violence as it’s rushed into his ER – until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts for his family’s assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media’s attention, the city wonders if this deadly avenger is a guardian angel…or a grim reaper.
I saw the original Death Wish
when it was in theaters back in 1974. Not sure how that happened since I was 10 years old at the time but, anyway. The movie which starred Charles Bronson and Vincent Gardenia, left an impression on me, probably due to the nature of its subject matter and my age, but I have always found it engaging. It led to numerous sequels but, none had the same effect. When I saw the trailer for this reimagining starring my man Bruce Willis I just wasn’t all that interested.
I watched Death Wish
with my wife and it most definitely doesn’t carry the same thematic impact as the original. The script makes a few changes but, keeps the primary plot intact. The story is rather contrived and the proceedings involving Dr. Kersey’s exploits as a vigilante know as the “Grim Reaper” don’t really hold water especially when you factor in the police investigation, which is apparently handled by the only two homicide detectives in the entire city of Chicago, who aren’t very good at their jobs.
I didn’t care much for the decision to make Paul Kersey a surgeon, as there is one specific scene which clearly have led the police to him given the nature of the death of the criminal at Kersey’s hands. I like Bruce Willis but, the way the character was drawn just didn’t work for him in the early parts of the film. I also felt that Vincent D’Onofrio was completely wasted in the role of his brother. I like Dean Norris and felt that he did the best with what he had to work with as the lead detective handling the Kersey case (s).
It sounds like I really didn’t like Death Wish
but, I didn’t hat it and simply took it for what it was. I assumed it would be lacking in character development, pacing, and narrative depth, and it was, but I allowed myself to get “involved” in the story as much as possible and tried to have fun with it. It’s references to the use/access of guns seemed notably up front, given recent events, which could certainly be off putting to some. I won’t comment on that. At the end of the day Death Wish
doesn’t hold a candle to the original film and is most assuredly a missed opportunity.
The rating is for strong bloody violence and language throughout.
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:
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
Death Wish comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This is a solid looking high definition rendering from Fox that sports plenty of fine detail with sharp edges and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective during wide angle camera pans. Colors range from warm, vivid and inviting to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Blacks are rich and noticeably deep with a slight boost to contrast that is just enough to give the video a visually dynamic aesthetic without negatively impacting fidelity. Visible detail in low lit scenes/backgrounds isn’t always definitive and I noticed some innate softening however neither proves problematic. I didn’t see any obvious signs of video related artifacts as the video had a pristine and generally pleasing quality.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack had no trouble rendering clear and articulated dialog. Sound effects had notable dynamic energy so that they sounded full bodied and aurally satisfying. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere and low frequency detail from time to time. The mix does a decent job of creating the right sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately in the sound field’s acoustic environment. Low frequency effects are used to add solidity to sound effects and the film’s music score. I thought the presentation served the source material well and sounded fine.
- ● Commentary w/ Eli Roth & Roger Birnbaum
● Deleted scenes with optional commentary w/ Eli Roth & Roger Birnbaum
● Mancow Morning Show Extended Scenes
● Sway in the Morning Extended Scene
● Vengeance and Vision: Directing Death Wish
● Grindhouse Trailer
- Digital Copy
is a poorly crafted, and ineffectual reimagining that misses the mark, resulting in a lackluster film experience. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video mated with a fair supplemental package that offers insights from the filmmakers. For those that may want to check it out, Death Wish
is best reserved for cable TV viewing.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems