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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

79






Studio and Year: First Look Studios - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 122 minutes
Genre: Crime drama

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Alvin Xzibit Joiner, Jennifer Coolidge, Brad Dourif, Fairuza Balik

Directed by:Werner Herzog
Music by: Mark Isham
Written by: William Finkelstein
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 6, 2010







"The only criminal he can't catch is himself"



Film Synopsis:


Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is at scoring drugs -- while playing fast and loose with the law. He wields his badge as often as he wields his gun in order to get his way. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he becomes a high-functioning addict who is a deeply intuitive, fearless detective reigning over the beautiful ruins of New Orleans with authority and abandon. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves (played by Eva Mendes). Together they descend into their own world marked by desire, compulsion, and conscience.



My Take:


I have never seen the original Bad Lieutenant which has become somewhat of a cult classic. When I saw the press release for this film (which I had not even heard of) it garnered my interest so I decided to give it a look. I consider myself a Nick Cage fan and I read a few positive things about his performance in Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans. He plays New Orleans PD Detective Terence McDonagh, a guy that seems to be dedicated to his job and the people he serves, until an on duty injury to his back leaves him chronically suffering from back pain. This apparently leads to an addiction to pain killers which branches out into other narcotics. Terence's reliance on drugs finds him constantly on the prowl as he uses his police powers to shake down anyone that might be carrying heroine, cocaine etc. which he takes from them (for himself) under the guise of getting it off of the streets. His abuse of authority knows no limits as he engages in illicit activities that include stealing drugs from the evidence vault, robbing those in possession of even small quantities at gunpoint and exchanging freedom for sexual favors. Terence likes to gamble and is in hock with his bookie for thousands of dollars. Lastly, he has fallen for Frankie (Mendez), a high class hooker, who shares his addiction for narcotics. Amidst all of the chaos in his life, which includes managing is alcoholic father and his beer drinking stepmother, Terence is handed a high profile murder investigation that appears to be drug related. To add more fuel to the fire Terence's aberrant and caustic behavior has put him in trouble with internal affairs at work, and in debt to an out of town mobster who has given him three days to come up with 100 grand or else. In order to keep pace Terence will have to stoop to new lows and push new limits. The real question is, do fish have dreams?

I don't know, this is a strange film. First, at just over two hours it has pacing problems and runs to long. Second, there is just way to much going on and focus seems scattered. The plot is okay initially and I didn't mind the premise of a deviant cop who is so out of control that you never know what he is going to do next. Unfortunately there are subplots that muddy the water along with credibility issues as the over the top nature of his conduct would easily have caught up with him as he does nothing to hide what he is doing. The subplot involving his father and his stepmother isn't bad but it is never fully realized. Later it just gets silly when he begins cavorting with the area's drug kingpin/murder suspect with the promise of giving him tips on local drug raids etc. in exchange for cash and or drugs (something that wouldn't happen as there is no way someone like that would trust any cop). This leads to a convenient series of events that allow Terence to wrap up several loose ends (once again not making much sense). If you suspend disbelief and go with it, Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans is tolerable and even offers up a few laughs. Cage gives a credible performance in the lead role and pairs well with Mendes. I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent supporting turn by Jennifer Coolidge (probably best known as Stifler's mother in the American Pie film series) in the role of Cage's frustrated stepmother. I am still scratching my head over the role given to Val Kilmer who is in the film a total of 5 minutes (in the beginning and then resurfacing at the end). Nicholas Cage is past him prime but I still enjoy watching him. I think that a shorter runtime and a more cohesive story would have yielded a better outcome but when all was said and done I found it watchable.



Parental Guide:


The rating is for pervasive drug use and language, some violence and sexuality.





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)


Audio: 80


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 78


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans comes to Blu-ray Disc from First Look Studios featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 15 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.1 mbps.

Overall I found this to be a satisfying yet somewhat inconsistent high definition video presentation. Ostensibly detail is abundant as close ups and mid level camera shots offer excellent delineation and crisp definition. Occasionally the perception of detail wavered leaving those same shots lacking fine articulation and clearly defined edges. Wide angle camera pans are a mixed bag. I noticed during the long range shots of the run down areas of New Orleans that buildings/structures in the background were less refined and that resolution appeared slightly diminished. The color range varied with some scenes having an intentionally muted/cooler palette while others featured slightly warmer tonality that offered deeper hues. Flesh tones appear bland and lacking individual characteristics among similar skin types although this is notably a result of the filtering applied. I didn't find it distracting per se but it's noticeable. Contrast is boosted which results in crisp whites that appear slightly washed out. This doesn't negatively impact black levels as they had good depth and appreciable gradational quality. Scenes containing uneven or dim lighting revealed plenty of detail in shadowy backgrounds and darkened areas. These segments didn't have the resolute clarity and dimensional perspective of some of the brighter scenes and on occasion looked a little flat. I saw splashes of grain here and there but its presence was never intrusive. If I had to sum this video presentation up in one word I guess it would be lackluster.

The high resolution Dolby TrueHD audio presentation does a nice job rendering the film's soundtrack. Dialogue has excellent intonation and clarity which allowed subtle tonal differences in the voices of the cast to be noticeable. This is a balanced surround mix where the music score was put to good use that often engaged the entire system. Dynamic range is tangible as the audio has an open expression that extends well into the room. Surround activity isn't prevalent however Mark Isham's purposeful and involving music provides an enriching level of immersion that creates a cohesive sound field. The short exchange of gunfire between the gangsters/drug dealers later in the film has palpable dynamic energy and low frequency pop. I noticed a repeatable audio dropout and momentary volume reduction during this sequence (at around the 1:39.00 mark). I didn't have any other such occurrences and otherwise thought that this was a very decent audio presentation.



Bonus Features:

  • Photography book: Photos by Lena Herzog - Still gallery

  • The making of Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans - 31 minutes

  • Alternate trailer





Final Thoughts:


Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans is an unremarkable crime thriller that more than likely won't reach the cult classic status of the original Bad Lieutenant. Nicholas Cage gives a credible performance as does supporting actress Jennifer Coolidge but neither can vanquish the film's poor pacing and overdone script. Going in with low expectations may yield a more satisfying experience as the movie isn't without merit. Its high definition presentation on Blu-ray Disc isn't among the best that I have seen from the format but it gets the job done. Fans will be disappointed by the barebones bonus supplement package which consists of an average making of feature and photo gallery. My advice would be to catch this one on cable TV but if your curious a rental should suffice.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/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)

Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)

Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel 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

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Hm interesting, is this suppose to be a remake to Harvey Keitel's Bad Lieutenant? I kinda like that one, or should I say it was very memorable. Sounds like this would be the same.


Thanks Ralph.



DJoel
 

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The previews show this as being another typical kind of Cage flick. Cage doing some goofy type role were used to seeing him in, then plus having Kilmer in it doesn't lend to much credibility to it. I've been wondering about this film for quite sometime. A couple of months ago or so, some well known critic had this movie listed as being 1 of the best movies from the last decade. Which really made me wonder if this is really any good. I mean just look at the back cover, Cage seems as nutso in real life as he is in his movies.
 

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Will watch this as a rental.

If there are any spicy scenes with "Eva Mendes" than it's all worthwhile.


Thanks Ralph for the review.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale124 /forum/post/18430759


I don't remember this one in the theaters. Straight to DVD is usually a give away that it sucked.

Dale.

It had a theatrical release.
 

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+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by del /forum/post/18434544


you should give the original a try sometime... Great movie!
 

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This movie had a limited run in theatres less then 100 theatres to be exact, because no studio wanted to push it. It also had a 25 million dollar budget, and got extremely high reviews from real movie critics, almost a combined score of 90 on Rotten Tonatoes. People who haven't seen the original Bad Lieutenant should not review this film. The PQ/AQ sure review that, not the film though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Semp1 /forum/post/18434833


This movie had a limited run in theatres less then 100 theatres to be exact, because no studio wanted to push it. It also had a 25 million dollar budget, and got extremely high reviews from real movie critics, almost a combined score of 90 on Rotten Tonatoes. People who haven't seen the original Bad Lieutenant should not review this film. The PQ/AQ sure review that, not the film though.

Greetings,


What is the definition of a "real" movie critic?




Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semp1 /forum/post/18434833


This movie had a limited run in theatres less then 100 theatres to be exact, because no studio wanted to push it. It also had a 25 million dollar budget, and got extremely high reviews from real movie critics, almost a combined score of 90 on Rotten Tonatoes. People who haven't seen the original Bad Lieutenant should not review this film. The PQ/AQ sure review that, not the film though.

It's like I said in my earlier post. 1 really well known critic had this movie listed as being 1 of the top 10 movies from the last decade. I find this extremely hard to believe. I will soon find out for myself this weekend when I finally get to watch it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Semp1 /forum/post/18434833


This movie had a limited run in theatres less then 100 theatres to be exact, because no studio wanted to push it. It also had a 25 million dollar budget, and got extremely high reviews from real movie critics, almost a combined score of 90 on Rotten Tonatoes. People who haven't seen the original Bad Lieutenant should not review this film. The PQ/AQ sure review that, not the film though.

I have the original on laserdisc (with the subsequently-removed Led Zeppelin KASHMIR samples) and in no way do I expect this newer take to be as daring. However, I'm glad that Cage will not follow Harvey Keitel and we'll be spared the full-frontal. By the way, the first film also did not have a big theatrical release so the two remain in synch in that respect.
 

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I've seen this Blu-Ray and I think it is a fascinating and unpredictable modern film noir. It is not a remake of the original "Bad Lieutenant" and does not focus on just the downward spiral of the lead charachter. It blends the shattered atmosphere of New Orleans with what the director calls "the bliss of evil." Mr. Cage has made a lot of dogs recently, but here he reminds you of what depth he can bring a role when he has something to work with. All of the actors are first class and Eva Mendes has never been better. The picture quality is less than Blu-Ray stellar, but the dialogue is easy to follow and the sound, while not surround flashy, is first class.


A "real film critic" is someone who really loves movies and can write well enough to draw people into his/her point of view and make you want to see the film yourself. I look forward to Ralph's reviews because they fit the bill above. I enjoyed "The Bad Lieutenant" more than he did because I found the film to be so offbeat and well acted. I served on a Grand Jury recently and, believe me, people act as crazy in real life as they do in this film. See it if you want something different and compelling.
 

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I rented this yesterday and didn't care for it. Not really a bad movie, just one I would buy. Ralph's review is pretty much the same as my thoughts.
 

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This movie was ok, but nothing special. I thought this was Cage's best job in a while. He played a very good character.
 

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Rented this one last night and what a disappointment.


This guy's behavior is so over the top that even the New Orleans police department would catch on to him.


I got the impression that the film makers were more interested in portraying the dope sniffing scenes accurately than telling any kind of a coherent story. Maybe they did a lot of "rehersal" for these scenes, which would explain why this film makes little sense.


This thing needed a good editor to get a story told. They seem to have included every scene they shot for the film, regardless of whether it added anything to the story.


I'd say rent this only if you have seen everything else on the rack. This film is as big a mess as Nick Cage's finances - and that is saying something.
 

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Passed on it while seeing it sitting on the shelf at a BV store. I was curious though about it and I didn't read this review beforehand. Something tells me I will not miss it!
 
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