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Blood Father (Blu-ray)

The Film:

Directed by Jean-François Richet, the man behind the remake of Assault On Precinct 13, 2016’s Blood Father stars Mel Gibson as a man named John Hyperlink. He’s lately been paroled and has quit the bottle, thanks to some support from his sponsor Kirby (William H. Macy), and is creating a new life for himself as a tattoo artist. He lives in a trailer in the American southwest and a lot more or less keeps out of trouble. Then one day he gets a phone get in touch with from Lydia (Erin Moriarty), his estranged daughter. She’s been missing in action for a whilst now but calls him out of the blue because she needs his help. John in no way really gave up hope when she went missing, so he’s really enthused to hear from her even if it’s below situations that are less than perfect.

See, while Lydia was off undertaking her own issue away from her old man, she was operating with some Mexican gangsters. She got involved with a man named Jonah (Diego Luna) and during a single of their runs, factors got poor and she wound up shooting him. Now she’s basically on the run from those gangsters. John sees this as a possibility to reconnect with this kid and make up for previous blunders, but of course, along the way he’ll have to break parole about as usually as he’ll have to break some necks. John’s not going to let the poor guys get to his girl, no matter how considerably all of this may well frustrate Kirby.

This movie may string with each other a bunch of clichés as far as the plot is concerned, but it does this well. Possibly a lot more surprising is how robust the character development is here. Yes, there are some pretty intense action set pieces and the opportunity to see Gibson busting heads and shooting undesirable guys will definitely be the principal draw right here, but there are dramatic moments between father and daughter that are very well done. Some of this stems from great writing. The characters are nicely fleshed out and have some depth to them. Just as significantly of this stems from the performances, nevertheless. The film plays to Gibons’s strengths as an action hero but it also enables him to remind us that, yeah, the guy can handle drama also. Gibson’s not a young man any longer and the film exploits that nicely. His face is starting to get weathered and planet weary and it suits this variety of character effectively. At the exact same time, he’s still completely capable of holding his own. His bushy beard and grizzled appearance give him the right sort of vibe to pull off the ‘tough old guy’ role truly effectively.

Likewise, Erin Moriarty is very excellent here also. We have no problems getting them as parent and kid, they have great chemistry in this image. Throw in some truly exciting supporting operate from the often great William H. Macy and Elysium‘s Diego Luna as Lydia’s connection to the criminal underworld and the principals shape up well. We even get a entertaining, if brief, appearance from Michael Parks as a preacher and from Miguel Sandoval too.

The film goes at a excellent clip, the pacing here is powerful and the editing is tight. The southwest places give almost everything a bit of a hot and dirty appear like one thing you might see in a Sam Peckinpah movie, but at the identical time it is nicely shot. The compositions are great and occasionally do an impressive job of displaying off some of the all-natural scenery that exists in these surroundings. Sven Faulconer’s score is also very very good, highlighting the ups and downs of the story fairly efficiently and assisting to punch up the action sequences a bit.

The movie also has a great sense of humor. Some of the dialogue is quite funny, witty even, but not to the point where it feels out of place with what is happening to our characters. The action scenes are grounded, never as well more than-the-top, and much more thrilling and tense for it. On the surface this might look like Mel Gibson does Taken but despite some of the thematic similarities, Blood Father is extremely a lot its own beast. This is a clever, well-written action film that gives up some believable drama to make the scenes of violence and carnage all the more compelling.

The Blu-ray:

Video:

Blood Father arrives on Blu-ray framed at two.35.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded transfer and the good quality of the image is rock strong. Detail is usually outstanding as is texture and there’s a lot of depth and dimensionality to the image all through. Colors typically appear genuinely very good as nicely, although some post production tweaking is apparent and in these scenes things are intentionally graded in such a way as to look a bit significantly less than organic. Black levels are good and deep even though shadow detail remains strong. Flesh tones appear good and lifelike and the image is cost-free of any apparent compression artifacts or edge enhancement. The image is also as pristine as you’d count on a not too long ago shot digital production to be. All in all, no complaints, this is a strong transfer.

Sound:

The only audio alternative on the disc is a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track. There are no alternate language alternatives although subtitles are provided in English SDH and Spanish. Once again, the disc scores best marks. There is lots of surround activity here, and even though it’s largely noticeable in the action set pieces attentive viewers will choose up on some neat ambient and background effects during some of the movie’s quieter scenes. Dialogue stays completely balanced all through and there are no troubles with any hiss or distortion to note. Robust bass response is a continuous and there’s excellent depth to the score and weight behind the sound effects.

Extras:

Aside from menus and chapter selection, the only added on the disc is a twenty-nine minute featurette named Lost Souls: On The Road With Blood Father. This is a fairly regular ‘making of’ piece that features cast and crew interviews and some reasonably fascinating footage of Gibson himself undertaking his point each in front of and behind the camera. Some of the footage is worth seeing but this is a pretty light piece, one particular of these EPK style segments exactly where every person interviewed talks about how great their experiences had been and how fantastic everyone else was to work with.

Final Thoughts:

Blood Father is just a solidly entertaining slice of action and drama. Gibson and Moriarty are actually excellent here and Macy’s supporting work is great. The film engages on all the levels a film like this must, supplying up lots of excitement along with a few heartfelt moments with no feeling sugary or overdone. The Blu-ray disc is light on extras but it does look and sound actually good. Recommended.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is pricey and loud.

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Blu-Ray Reviews


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Queen of Blood (Blu-ray)

Not to be mistaken for the 1966 movie of the identical name, this is a recent low-price range affair shot with consumer equipment from Canadian filmmaker Chris Alexander, who is noted on the cover as also getting the editor-in-chief of Fangoria magazine. “Queen of Blood” is the “spiritual sequel” to his initial operate, “Blood For Irina” and despite the fact that Alexander has stated that the two exist independently and that seeing the 1st should not be a requirement to enjoy the second, the 1st movie is integrated on this disc as a “bonus function” so I will go into that one particular very first:

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In “Blood For Irina,” the title character played by Shauna Henry is primarily a centuries-old vampire who lives in a run-down motel area and walks the streets of a city late at evening for blood. There is also a pink-haired prostitute who catches her eye, and a few sequences that appear to be flashbacks explaining how she got into the state she’s been in- general it’s a bit tough to figure out on first viewing as there is no dialogue or even live location sound- just a droning noise-music score with a few sound effects.

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“Queen of Blood” is accomplished in a related style (with no a single word spoken), but at least it really is backed up with extras such as a commentary track which clarify it a bit much more clearly. “Irina” is back, but this time she is “reborn” in a little lake in a forest region. She is located and taken in by a kindly hermit (David Goodfellow, who also serves as producer and cinematographer right here and on the very first film) but she soon feeds upon him, then goes wandering the woods and nearby farms for more. A preacher (played by Nivek Ogre of the industrial band Skinny Puppy) pursues her but also seems to have a basic desire to kill randomly.

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Even though I am quite aware that consumer video gear has made it significantly less difficult and more affordable for independent filmmakers to make their motion pictures and get them out there, I nonetheless have a tougher time seeing things created with such gear as “art” than I do anything shot on classic film. In truth it turns out the majority of these two had been shot with, of all factors, an iPhone, with a hi-def Canon camera also used for parts of “Queen of Blood”. The all round appear of these nonetheless says “video” to my eyes, which even on modern day devices has a look and really feel distinctly different from the digital technologies now employed on a lot of huge-budget characteristics that at least comes close to mimicking film. I can definitely see the atmosphere that Alexander was going for with these, and it virtually worked for me but not very as to me video and film are virtually diverse languages. Even Super eight film presents a much different feeling than some thing shot with a cell telephone or small inexpensive digital camera, with particular effects far much less convincing when captured electronically.

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Each runs about 75 minutes, which while brief for a conventional film feels just appropriate here. Even with quick running times they each move really slowly, with many scenes in slow motion as nicely as shots that linger for a lengthy quantity of time which will test the patience of some viewers especially these who routinely preserve their fingers on the rapidly-forward button (anything I strongly oppose, but I acknowledge that some people do that). That part I was capable to accept and go with, even though I was nonetheless at a loss as to what the actual purpose of these moments were.

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Both works are presented at 1080i at 30 frames per second although several shots are intentionally slower, with “Blood For Irena” encoded in MPEG2 and “Queen of Blood” in AVC. Although the bitrate appears equal for both, “Blood For Irena” showed far more digital artifacting and gradient banding than something I’ve noticed ahead of on Blu-Ray. As it was shot with an iPhone, it is attainable that this could be inherent in the source material and not the disc encoding- I haven’t yet had knowledge with iPhones myself even though strangely sufficient I acquired my first the day right after I watched this disc and will have to see how its camera function operates on a bigger screen. Though the detail still came across reasonably nicely right here, digital artifacts in general are normally much more distracting to me than the imperfections located in analog video. “Queen of Blood” fares a bit greater, with a a lot clearer picture general with less compression but nonetheless far from excellent.

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Both works are mixed in 2-channel and presented in regular PCM. Once again, there is no dialogue or place sound despite the fact that “Queen of Blood” at least contains some artificial ambient sound including birds. Most of the audio in these consists of Chris Alexander’s unconventional music score, which conveys the intended mood a bit more than the digital visuals- this need to be played at a reasonably higher volume level.

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&#13 Extras:&#13

The extras shed a bit more light on “Queen of Blood” and also “Blood for Irena” to a lesser extent, creating me appreciate these a bit much more than I had initially. “Queen of Blood” involves a full commentary track with Chris Alexander, who explains the objective of numerous scenes- although some commentary tracks are a bit tiresome with descriptions of what is going on, it was really welcome right here as the narrative was so unclear by itself. Alexander also explains that he wasn’t looking to make anything on a grand scale right here but sought to do the ideal with the restricted resources accessible, saying that he is mostly happy with the quality of video shot with an iPhone. He says that “Queen of Blood” was meant to be a “Western” in numerous respects but does not genuinely explain that clearly, but also calls it a “tone poem” which fits considerably greater as nicely as a “moving painting” which it might have been had it been shot on film. (Speaking of paintings, there is one particular on the front cover which is far much more visually striking than any frame of video here.)

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We also get two straight looks at location shooting, one particular known as “Gore Gaffes” where blood effects never really go appropriate and we see that the actors had been getting told what to do out loud for the duration of considerably of the shooting as there was no dialogue to get in the way, and yet another called “Directing Ogre” focusing on Nivek Ogre’s scenes, as he was only available a brief time throughout production and they had to shoot all his material relatively quickly. Two alternate endings include 1 which just tacks on a couple of additional seconds and yet another which calls back to “Blood for Irina,” and ultimately there is a 23-minute director and cast Q&ampA following a premiere displaying at a Toronto theatre exactly where Alexander once more explains what he was going for. I personally would have liked to have heard a bit a lot more about “Blood for Irina” as I located the run-down motel place rather fascinating and would like to know the story behind it.

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&#13 Final Thoughts:&#13

I never like to criticize modest productions like this too harshly, as these involved normally put much more heart and soul into them than those who have produced a lot bigger films, and they are generally completed more for the really like of it than for the objective of producing funds. I nevertheless have a harder time accepting something shot with customer video equipment as “art”, and shot with a cell telephone camera even more so. Possibly I’ll at some point see something that alterations my mind about that, but I’ve fairly much felt that way since the analog days and digital overall hasn’t been various enough to modify that. I did appreciate the dialogue-free of charge strategy that each of these took, and hope to be capable to watch them a handful of much more instances in the future on the likelihood that they may well grow on me- the music score at least appears like something I could get into right after a whilst. Each of these have a few fans that enjoy them for what they are, but other viewers still may well not see anything in them and the “not for everybody” label undoubtedly applies right here. I’d suggest a rental initial for most audiences to see whether or not this does anything for them or not.

Jesse Skeen is a life-extended obsessive media collector (with an unhealthy preoccupation with obsolete and failed formats) and former theater film projectionist. He enjoys watching movies and strives for presenting them perfectly, but lacks the talent to make his own.&#13

What Do You Consider?&#13


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Blu-Ray Critiques


In Cold Blood: Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)

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&#13 Based on the greatest-promoting novel by celebrated author Truman Capote, Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood (1967) captures a horrific true-life occasion in painstaking detail, blurring the line among non-fiction and dramatic filmmaking in way most films just weren’t—and nonetheless are not—capable of performing. Even these casually familiar with the case, novel, and film are nicely aware of their progression: following the brutal 1959 slaying of a four-particular person family in Holcomb, Kansas, Capote (with his close pal Harper Lee, who would finish To Kill A Mockingbird the next year) traveled there to research the case, major to almost ten,000 pages of notes and a lot more than enough foundation for his eventual book. The finish result was a literary landmark and one particular of the earliest “non-fiction novels”, at some point capturing the interest of maverick director Richard Brooks, who took liberties to receive full inventive handle more than his films. &#13

&#13 Luckily, In Cold Blood the film doesn’t feel considerably different than In Cold Blood the novel. There are apparent exceptions: condensing 300+ pages into 135 minutes is no effortless activity, and the primary consequence is that Brooks offers murderers Perry Smith and Richard “Dick” Hickock (played by Robert Blake and Scott Wilson) far more screen time than their victims. Substantially far more. Does this glorify their actions, sweeping the unfairly shortened lives of Herbert, Nancy, Kenyon, and Bonnie Clutter below the rug? Possibly. But it also reinforces the nature of some crimes as almost entirely random: Hickock had been falsely told about $ 10,000 in cash on the Clutter property by a fellow inmate months earlier, and the subsequent murders most likely would not have occurred if Smith wasn’t along for the ride. So what we’re left with is a film that starts with the setup and goes right to aftermath and investigation, saving all the gory specifics until the quite finish. It’s a brilliant way to build suspense and, even though In Cold Blood seems to dwell also a lot on Smith and Hickock’s post-murder road trip, this tends to make their eventual fate all the a lot more affecting. &#13

&#13 Cinematographer Conrad Hall won an Oscar for his contributions to In Cold Blood (as did Brooks for his path and adapted screenplay, as effectively as Quincy Jones for his original score), and it really is straightforward to see why. Shot in a black-and-white format generally reserved for documentaries during that era, In Cold Blood is loaded with deep blacks and shadows but properly-lit and simple to adhere to, generating a heightened atmosphere that is aided by Brooks’ absolute commitment to detail. Numerous scenes were shot at their actual locations, such as a number of third-act scenes at Kansas State Penitentiary and those horrific murders at the Clutter property. A handful of minor characters, which includes four jurors, were played by their actual-life counterparts. This was undoubtedly a gamble by director Brooks—right after all, most audience members would not know the difference—but, considering Capote’s exhaustive novel, authenticity was more essential. Nonetheless, it paid dividends: In Cold Blood is usually regarded as a profession highlight for almost everyone involved, and the film was even entered into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry seven years ago.&#13

&#13 Not surprisingly, In Cold Blood‘s technical strengths, human story, and basic staying power guarantee that it really is held up virtually perfectly in the course of the final 48 years, even if the gruesome subject matter doesn’t make it a film that some will watch much more than as soon as. Luckily, Criterion’s striking new Blu-ray edition delivers much more than adequate assistance for the main function, serving up a terrific A/V presentation (sourced from a new 4K restoration) and a fine collection of new and vintage supplements that effortlessly trumps Sony’s DVD and Blu-ray from a number of years back.&#13

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Quality Handle Division

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Video &amp Audio Top quality&#13
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&#13 Presented in its original two.35:1 aspect ratio, In Cold Blood appears beautifully gruesome on Criterion’s new Blu-ray. I do not have the Sony Blu on hand for a direct comparison, but it’s clearly leaps and bounds ahead of their own 2003 DVD. This crisp 1080p transfer (sourced from a new 4K digital restoration) is loaded with detail, texture, and a pleasing amount of grain, whilst the film’s signature deep blacks are represented nicely with no signs of crush or contrast boosting. Other digital imperfections, including excessive noise reduction and edge enhancement, appear to be fully absent as nicely. In Cold Blood‘s stark black-and-white cinematography was intended to resemble that of a documentary the gamble certainly paid off, with an finish outcome that’s as challenging to appear away from as it is challenging to stomach at instances. In my opinion, this is a single of the studio’s best-looking discs of 2015…and that’s saying something.&#13


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&#13 DISCLAIMER: The resized screen captures and stills in this review are decorative and do not represent this title’s native resolution.&#13


&#13 I wasn’t genuinely expecting Criterion to stick with a DTS-HD 5.1 presentation here, even although Sony’s Blu provided a similar TrueHD 5.1 mix. I’ve only ever observed In Cold Blood as a 3.1 presentation (maintained by the DVD)…but whatever the purpose for this “improvement”, the film tends to make a fairly smooth transition. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting a presentation as complete and dynamic as this call it prejudice against most 1960s productions and the film’s documentary-like ambitions, but there is a strong spread all through the front channels and a surprising amount of low finish at occasions. Obviously the rear channels don’t get a regular exercise: for the most element, we only hear a couple of bits of background ambiance and some occasional support for Quincy Jones’ original score. Either way, this is a fine-sounding mix that very easily earns passing marks 1st-time viewers and seasoned fans alike will most likely be pleasantly shocked. &#13

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Menu Design and style, Presentation, and Packaging
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&#13 As usual, Criterion’s menu interface is effortless to navigate with separate options for the chapter listing, timeline, and other supplements. This a single-disc set is locked for Area A players it’s packaged in their common “stocky” case with striking two-sided cover artwork. The fold-out Insert features an essay by critic Chris Fujiwara and technical specs.&#13

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Bonus Functions&#13
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&#13 In contrast to Sony’s barebones DVD and Blu-ray, Criterion’s new disc actions up to the plate with a respectable quantity of old and new extras, leading off with 4 2015 Video Interviews that go over the film’s development and production. Author Douglass K. Daniel (16:59) contributes an overview of director Richard Brooks’ profession path prior to, during, and after the film, along with a few stills and candid photographs. Cinematographer John Bailey (27:04) speaks about Conrad Hall’s award-winning work as director of photography for the film. Film historian Bobbie O’Steen (14:36) discusses editor Peter Zinner and his distinctive style, although film critic and jazz historian Gary Giddins (21:09) analyzes the music of Quincy Jones. Collectively, they provide a fine quantity of second-hand information that fans will appreciate.&#13

&#13 Three vintage Interviews are also included the 1st attributes director Richard Brooks (18:25) on a 1988 episode of the French television show Cinema cinemas, as he discusses his profession (which had ended 3 years earlier with Fever Pitch) and the massive impact of In Cold Blood more than two decades right after its theatrical release. The other two interviews are with Truman Capote himself: 1 tags along with the author on his 1966 pay a visit to to Holcomb, Kansas (4:32), whilst an additional attributes him in conversation with NBC’s Barbara Walters 1 year later (9:46).&#13

&#13 We’re also treated to “With Enjoy from Truman” (29:06), a brief 1966 documentary by the celebrated filmmaking group of Albert and David Maysles that functions the writer himself just after the release of his very best-selling source novel. There’s a lot of extremely candid footage to be identified right here (Capote’s sooner or later all-consuming drug and alcohol issue is evident throughout a handful of scenes), which offers a uniquely individual portrait of the author throughout what may well be regarded as the peak of his profession. Final but not least is the film’s lengthy original Trailer (2:56).&#13

Final Thoughts

&#13 Nicely-crafted and incredibly influential, Richard Brooks’ adaptation of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is a visceral and affecting drama that replicates a horrific actual-life occasion with exacting commitment to detail. The chilling accurate story and Capote’s supply novel offer plenty of room for Brooks’ film to breathe, till its final moments when the audience is left gasping for air I am always reminded of Akira Kurosawa’s superb High and Low (released 4 years earlier), each for its methodical examination of criminal pursuit and an efficient humanization of “the bad guy”. Criterion’s terrific Blu-ray meets or beats Sony’s 2009 disc with a best-tier A/V presentation and a fine assortment of good quality extras, making this an absolute no-brainer for old and new fans alike. Really Hugely Suggested. &#13

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Randy Miller III is an affable workplace monkey by day and film reviewer by evening. He also does freelance style perform, teaches art classes and runs a website or two. In his restricted free of charge time, Randy also enjoys slacking off, juggling HD DVDs, and writing in third individual.&#13


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