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post #1 of 4 Old 07-27-10, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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The Losers - Blu-ray Review

Title: The Losers
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Oscar Jaenada
Directed by: Sylvain White
Written by: Peter Berg, James Vanderbilt
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 97 min
Release Date: 7/20/2010 (Blu-Ray)



Synopsis:

When the members of an elite black ops team are sent on a classified mission to take out a drug lord everything appears to be going their way, until the team's superior (Max) tells them to paint the target for bombing despite children on the premises. When the team refuses, Max jams their radio signal and orders the pilot to fire.


Rather than letting the children be massacred Clay (Morgan), Jensen (Evans), Roque (Elba) Pooch (Short) and Cougar (Jaenada) jump into action, bursting onto the property of the drug lord and start a frantic firefight as they advance into the compound. With only minutes before the compound is obliterated Clay and his team collect the children and herd them into a school bus. The team drives wildly to just outpace the explosion and arrive at the extraction site. The gunner tells Clay that the helicopter can only carry the children or his team, not both. Clay tells his team to get the children on board as the chopper begins to lift off. The helicopter
clears the tree tops and begins to gather speed as a missile from a nearby jet hits it - the explosion is massive, leaving nothing but a charred pile of metal fragments on the jungle floor. Realizing what Max was attempting to do, Max takes the dog tags from each member of his team and throws them into the flames.

Some time later the team (who is presumed dead) is found living in Bolivia, attempting to make money and buy their way back into the US to clear their names. When at the bar one evening Clay is seduced by the mysterious Aisha (Saldana) who has her own plans for Clay's team. Aisha wants Max dead, and the team wants their names cleared, in the interest of mutual benefit Clay agrees to help Aisha if she can get the team back into the United States.

Smuggled into the country inside CIA caskets, Clay and his team soon find themselves preparing for a daring mission in Miami, to capture the armored car that according to Aisha, is transporting Max. The team is able to capture the car with a magnet carrying helicopter but find nothing inside but a hard drive. The hard drive contains Max's illicit money in a package that is easy to transport - in order to track Max down the team hatches a plan to break into a corporation's headquarters in Houston to steal the technology required to decrypty the hard drive.

Jensen is able to steal the Hard Drive decryption technology and in the process the team discovers that Max is actually planning to purchase powerful weapons of mass destruction. Several more firefights, deceptions and witty (not really) scenes later the team will find themselves on a collision course with Max in the showdown that will determine their future.


Video:

The Losers comes to Blu-Ray featuring a 2.40:1 aspect ratio VC-1 encode on a dual layer 50GB disc. The first thing you are likely to notice about The Losers is the overblown color pallette which for a moment fooled me into thinking I had accidentally put my projector into torch mode. It turns out that this was not the case after all, and throughout The Losers viewers will be reminded that the colors are surreal in an attempt to convey the comic book feel the DP must have been going for.

Fine detail and clarity are excellent with little to no noticeable imperfections in the transfer. Blacks are inky and deep without any crush and the majority of surface texture and detail is perfectly preserved. While there are one or two instances of what looks like faint DVNR (Digital Noise Reduction) the effect is minimal and only briefly on the screen. If you enjoy a cartoonish color pallette you will likely find very little wrong with the visual presentation of The Losers. While I personally found the overblown colors slighly distracting I can find little technical fault otherwise.







Audio:

The DTS-HD Master Audio track bundled with The Losers is certainly not a loser of any kind. It is a well defined track with an authoritative bottom end and clear upper mids and hights. Environmental and spacial effects are precisely placed and the overall effect is a very well balanced sound track with plentiful surround action. Dialogue throughout the film remains intelligible and clear with no discernible veiling.




Extras:

Zoe and the Losers (HD, 6 min.) Zoe Saldana, director Sylvain White, and producer Akiva Goldsman talk about Zoe's character Aisha.

Band of Buddies: Ops Training (HD, 16 minutes) - A look into how the film was made and filmed in Puerto Rico with a brief talk about how special ops do their jobs.

'The Losers': Action-Style Storytelling (HD, 10 minutes) - Andy Diggle (the comic writer) and Jock (artist) talk about how the comic was always cinematic in nature and transitioned well to a movie.

Deleted Scene (HD, 1 minute) An alternate ending more than a deleted scene, the one extra I highly recommend watching.

First Look: 'Batman: Under the Red Hood' (SD, 14 minutes) A commercial called a first look, not worth calling an extra in my opinion.

Overall:

The Losers is a pretty good popcorn flick if you compare it to similar films that focus on action rather than storytelling. Comedic relief in the film is fairly well timed and Jensen (Evans) in particular is a funny character to watch. While there are plot holes and pacing issues in the film, The Losers manages to hold your attention fairly well all things considered. With a limited list of extras and a story that doesn't do much to distinguish itself from peers in the genre it's not exactly a home run, but if you are looking for some decent entertainment on a quiet night, The Losers should do nicely.


Res non sententia.
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-27-10, 05:22 PM
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Re: The Losers - Blu-Ray Review

Great review Dave, I loved this one if for nothing more than it's simple premise that allows the viewer to switch everything on and switch the brain off and still be entertained.
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post #3 of 4 Old 07-28-10, 10:43 AM
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Re: The Losers - Blu-Ray Review

Thanks for the review I'll give this one a look!
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-25-10, 01:55 PM
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Re: The Losers - Blu-Ray Review

Thanks for the review. Had heard this was OK, sounds good for a few hours of minimal thinking stress relief.
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