AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Blu-ray Reviewer
Joined
·
15,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·


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

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

87






Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 133 minutes
Genre: Thriller

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Brian Dennehy, Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde
Written & Directed by: Paul Haggis
Music by: Danny Elfman
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 8, 2011







"Lose who you are to save what you love"



Film Synopsis:


John (Crowe) and Lara (Banks) Brennan have the ideal family life until Lara is accused of a murder she says she didn’t commit. Lara is found guilty, and three years into her sentence John is finding it increasingly difficult to keep his family together. Upon the rejection of her final appeal, Lara becomes suicidal and John enlists the help of Damon Pennington (Neeson) to do the unthinkable – break his wife out of prison. Together the two develop an elaborate plot to save the woman that John loves and reunite his family, no matter the cost.




My Take:


What part of our lives is truly under our control? This question is posed in this thriller from writer/director Paul Haggis. The next three days is conceptually based on the 2008 French film “Pour Elle”. The plot revolves around an everyman named John Brennan whose life is thrown into turmoil when his wife Lara is suddenly arrested and convicted of murder. John spends three years raising their young son while fighting to appeal her case. When all hope is lost in the justice system John turns to the unjust and devises a plan to free Lara. His window of opportunity is small, the risks are many and the cost is high. But for a man who believes in and loves his wife there is little that can stand in his way. The question is can he do what needs to be done and still remain the same man afterward?

This film is part drama and part action thriller. The premise is fine but the plausibility factor gets in the way a bit too often. The primary characters in John and Lara are purposefully kept shallow in the beginning in order to elicit a more empathetic connection to them as the story develops. John sort of transmogrifies from a timid, loving, community college professor into a devious planner capable of acts of violence and desperation that presents a dark side of him that even his own wife doesn’t recognize. Early on little is divulged about the circumstance surrounding Lara’s arrest/case which leaves the question of her guilt or innocence looming. This is done for dramatic effect as a means to ponder whether John is going through all of this in order to free someone who is in fact a murderer. As John delves deeper into the execution of his plan the level of suspense rises along with the inherent dangers of such an undertaking. Over the years he has received emotional support from his mother but his strained relationship with his father (Brian Dennehy) leaves them unable to communicate. Ultimately he is in this alone which is where the film evolves into a character study based upon the human condition. There is a lot going on and the narrative gets bogged down in extraneous details that slow the pacing. Things pick up in the third act but the action descends deeply into the improbable while the psychological drama proves taxing.

I didn’t care for the pairing of Crowe/Banks. I never genuinely believed in their love which sullied the proceedings a bit. This is however where I appreciated the convoluted aspects of the script as it presented another side of John which allowed Crowe some room to work. I like Elizabeth Banks and other than her chemistry with Crowe had no problem with her performance. The finale didn’t hold any surprises. I didn’t feel the need for the tying of loose ends but Paul Haggis apparently felt otherwise by adding an incredulous segment. By that time I think that the question he answered was already pretty clear and its poor implementation didn’t make a lot of sense. At well over two hours this film is a little long in the tooth and isn’t as engrossing or taut a thriller as I’d hoped however it had its moments and held my interest throughout which says something. I understand that “Pour Elle” (the French film this borrows from), which stars Diane Krueger, is quite good. I like the concept and am curious to see how that film compares. I will have to give it a spin when time permits.



Parental Guide:


The rating is for violence, drug material, language, some sexuality and thematic elements.





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: 88


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:





Video: 86


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

The next three days comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate 4 Mbps.

This is an excellent high definition video presentation from Lionsgate. Image depth during brighter sequences is appreciable from nearly every camera perspective. The exterior shots of Pittsburgh exhibit excellent delineation, and long range acuity. Objects within backgrounds have definable structure/texture which makes them appear lifelike and three dimensional. The video is crisp with natural looking, well balanced colors. Shadow detail is discerning which enhances depth during dark segments that contain limited light. Blacks are deep, dynamic and stable which adds punch to sequences containing both light and dark elements. Contrast is strong which delivers bright punchy whites and vivid primary colors. Fleshtones are warm, creamy and lifelike. Resolution during a few of the darkened sequences softens a bit but not to a point that I found to be problematic.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is a good one that makes excellent use of the entire system platform. It is lead by Danny Elfman’s effecting music score that sounds fantastic as it sets the tone that drives the story’s elements. This is a fairly active and occasionally dynamic surround mix that utilizes the subwoofer and rear channels to stimulate the senses and draw you into the film. This creates a believable and enveloping sound field that replicates the film’s various interior/exterior environments. Low frequency effects have substantial weight and presence that occasionally fill the room with deep, punctuated bass. The front and rear soundstages combine perfectly as sounds emanating from both during panning and dimensionally spaced sequences are seamless. Dialogue and sounds within the recording are highly detailed and clearly articulated throughout the course of the presentation. It sounded great.



Bonus Features:

  • Filmmaker’s commentary

  • (HD) The making of The next three days – 18 minute featurette

  • (HD) The men of The next three days – 6 minute featurette

  • (HD) True escapes for love – 7 minute documentary hosted by Jason Beghe

  • (HD) 18 Deleted/Extended scenes

  • Bonus DVD of The next three days

  • Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:


Conceptually based upon the French film “Pour Elle” The next three days is a mildly entertaining albeit average thriller that would have benefited from better pacing and a less ornamented script. I suspect that genre fans will be more forgiving of its shortcomings but it falls below the standard set by the better films in its class. Its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate is a good one that features crisp high definition video, rewarding DTS-HD Master Audio sound, and a fair assortment of extras that include two production featurettes, filmmaker commentary, outtakes, and deleted/extended scenes. If you’re a fan this is worth picking up otherwise I would recommend a rental prior to purchase.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

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-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Samsung BD-C7900 3D capable 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)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal 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, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,827 Posts
Ralph. Thanks for the thoughtful review.


One of my personal favorites of my career so far.



And Elfman delivered a great score.
 

·
Blu-ray Reviewer
Joined
·
15,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer /forum/post/20051490


Ralph. Thanks for the thoughtful review.


One of my personal favorites of my career so far.



And Elfman delivered a great score.

Greetings,


The pleasure was mine Marc. Well done!



Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Actually liked this film when it first came out and thought it was great. Ending was somewhat kind of sad but not bad either. The ending was a clincher for me. Overall decent movie to collect.


Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,553 Posts
Spot on Ralph, i agree also with the end they should have just left it rather than try to tie ends..I enjoyed this hell of a lot more than 'Unstoppable'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer
Ralph. Thanks for the thoughtful review.


One of my personal favorites of my career so far.



And Elfman delivered a great score.
Well then I guess I will need to at least rent this one. I thought you did a really good job with Law Abiding Citizen and after I rented that one I ended up buying a copy for my collection. Looking forward to viewing it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
900 Posts
Thanks for the review, I will check this out, now. Quick OT question, where do you guys get the cover art for the BD's. They would look great in mediabrowser. Thanks.
 

·
Blu-ray Reviewer
Joined
·
15,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogues /forum/post/20055945


Thanks for the review, I will check this out, now. Quick OT question, where do you guys get the cover art for the BD's. They would look great in mediabrowser. Thanks.

Greetings,


We generally get them from the studio press websites which aren't open to everyone.


Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Blu-Ray release Date: March 8, 2011 if that is you mean by drop.


And on another note from an earlier post, could we please use the spoiler tags for "happy/sad" endings?

IMO, that is too descriptive vs. using "didn't care for the ending" or "I liked the ending"
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
900 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts
Greetings,


We generally get them from the studio press websites which aren't open to everyone.


Regards,
Thanks for the info, Ralph.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
875 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFVUE3
Blu-Ray release Date: March 8, 2011 if that is you mean by drop.


And on another note from an earlier post, could we please use the spoiler tags for "happy/sad" endings?

IMO, that is too descriptive vs. using "didn't care for the ending" or "I liked the ending"
Yep thats what I meant. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,763 Posts
Lionsgate sure is starting to release a lot of titles with 7.1 surround. I am jealous as I only have 5.1, but an upgrade may be in the foreseeable future perhaps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,727 Posts
I found the French version w/ Diane Kruger quite believable and shorter. I'll put this one on the queue.


Quite sure that the US version has more action/chase scenes, considering 2x the budget.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
174 Posts
Good movie! Too long in spots for a thriller, but excellent acting by Crowe and the others make it special for me. I feel more flashbacks as opposed to the prison scenes, where intimacy is discouraged by the guards, might have helped with the chemistry between Banks and Crowe. The audio mix is sublime. At home, I hear faint background sounds I didn't catch in the theater's surround system. The "documentry" feel comes from, I think, Hi-Def photography which is well handled in the Blu-Ray disc. The end is thrilling, and if it moved faster in the first acts, the movie might have been a hit. Give it a watch!
 

·
Blu-ray Reviewer
Joined
·
15,093 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnvid /forum/post/20109182


Good movie! Too long in spots for a thriller, but excellent acting by Crowe and the others make it special for me. I feel more flashbacks as opposed to the prison scenes, where intimacy is discouraged by the guards, might have helped with the chemistry between Banks and Crowe. The audio mix is sublime. At home, I hear faint background sounds I didn't catch in the theater's surround system. The "documentry" feel comes from, I think, Hi-Def photography which is well handled in the Blu-Ray disc. The end is thrilling, and if it moved faster in the first acts, the movie might have been a hit. Give it a watch!

Greetings,


Thanks for sharing your thoughts capnvid!



Regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
506 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt /forum/post/20059464


Lionsgate sure is starting to release a lot of titles with 7.1 surround. I am jealous as I only have 5.1, but an upgrade may be in the foreseeable future perhaps.

Yea, I do have a 7.1 system and it is nice when you get one to decode. That said, my Netflix copy was encoded DTS 5.1 Master Audio! So what is that all about?
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top