Shoot Em Up—New Line (Blu-ray)
Check your brain at the door for this non-stop action ride. And I mean that literally. This is one of those films that almost makes spoofs look tame when it comes to unbelievable action. They've employed just about every "you've got to be kidding me" trick in the book and then some. The plot is paper thin and serves only to get you to the next shoot out. The film does have some style to it and I couldn't help but be entertained from time to time despite the udder ridiculousness of it. If you are looking for anything remotely resembling an intelligent action movie though, stay FAR away from this one!
New Line delivers what might be one of the best HD presentations I've seen yet with this Blu-ray release. Talk about detail!! There are two encodes of the film on this disc, one with a picture-in-picture commentary and one without. You'd think having two versions of the movie on one disc would hurt but that is definitely not the case here. Fine object detail is incredible and even medium to longer shots are razor sharp. Contrast is exaggerated but blacks are inky black and add to the dimensional quality of the image. Colors are also stylized and you'll see some obvious oversaturation, but this does add to the stylistic nature of the film. While the film didn't really grab me much the transfer is something I will probably use for demonstrational purposes for some time to come.
New Line continues to favor DTS and has included a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix on this release. I think you can make some assumptions about the sound design of this film by the title alone. Since this is pretty much a non-stop action film, dynamics play a big part in the presentation. Thankfully this disc delivers. What is interesting though is the filmmaker's reliance on hard rock tunes to add more octane to the action sequences, which tends to mask some of the sound effects. The rock music opens up the soundstage though and I was impressed with the balance and low end response. Dialogue sounds perfect throughout with no signs of strain or uneven recording levels. The 7.1 mix makes great use of the surround soundstage but I didn't think the discrete rear channels added a whole lot to the mix.
The biggest supplement for this release is probably the picture in picture commentary. This of course has comments from the director and footage from the other production features already on the disc. There are some deleted scenes and a "making of" documentary that sheds some light on the over the top nature of the film. Three trailers are also included.
This is a C- popcorn flick with a slick production style that makes up for its almost absurd action sequences. The lines are dumb, the stunts are unbelievable and the shootouts are even worse. But in the end the culmination seems to work. New Line has done a great job with the presentation but I'll leave it up to you as to whether the film was any good.