Revolver—Sony Pictures (Blu-ray Import)

Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 0/5

Guy Ritchie made quite the name for himself with the comedy capers Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He also gave action star Jason Statham his big break. Revolver breaks new cinematic ground for Ritchie but unfortunately it didn't get much attention here in the US and barely made a cinematic release. I saw this film a few years ago and while I admit it does present some challenging and often confusing ideas, it is still a strong film. Ritchie's visual style continues to impress and his knack for stylish wit is plastered all over this one. As of right now this film will only be released as a standard DVD here in the US but anyone with internet access can find this one from Norway on Blu-ray as a region free release.

This is one slick looking film. Ritchie employs a lot of stylistic choices and creates a very cool look for this gangster tale. Contrast is exceptional at times lending to a very dimensional transfer that is full of bright lights and inky blacks. Colors are all over the place and the image tends to lean toward golds and yellows, which is understandable considering some of the themes of the movie. Color saturation can be a bit over the top at times, but this only lends to the style. There is even some animation mixed in that adds to the style of the film. Fine object detail is incredible at times, especially in close ups. This one just never disappoints.

Now for the downside. For some reason this was released with nothing more than a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. No advanced resolution stuff here. It is still quite good though, but it falls short of even the import DVD I own which features a full bitrate DTS soundtrack. The mix is quite dynamic and I loved the score. Ritchie is always great when it comes to musical selections and this is no exception. Not only does it heighten the experience, it helps the tone tremendously. Bass response is a bit lacking compared to the DVD I have, but it still has its moments. The soundstage is a bit limited in spatial quality compared to the better advanced resolution soundtracks out there. The mix is front heavy but the surrounds do get some nice discrete effects from time to time. Overall this is a good soundtrack, but I think it could have been delivered better.

It is really too bad that this film isn't getting the release it deserves stateside. This Blu-ray has the new cut that Ritchie did for American audiences and I think it goes a long way in solving some of the frustrations that I heard from critics. Hopefully we'll see this one in HD soon from Sony, but until then the import will have to do.