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post #1 of 15 Old 01-26-11, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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RED - Blu-ray Review

Title: Red
Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Mary-Louise Parker
Directed by: Robert Schwentke
Written by: Warren Ellis, Cully Hamner, Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: 1/26/2011


Movie:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:
Overall:




Synopsis:
Frank Moses (Willis) is a single, retired and lonely ex-government employee who occupies his time, and keeps his sanity, by exercising, growing plants from avocado seeds, and calling into the government pension process center to report his monthly pension check MIA to Sarah Ross (Parker), the call center agent that repeatedly assists Frank with a replacement check every month. Sarah lives a similar existence in that she finds her life to be boring, lonely and longs for an exciting adventure that she only reads about in her romance novels.

After sometime of this monthly ritual, Frank finally decides to make the trek to Kansas City to meet Sarah, the only problem is that Frank’s plans are suddenly thrown out the window when a squad of assassins are dispatched to Frank’s house to take him out as he has become a risk. See, Frank isn’t the typical retired government employee. In fact, he is a retired agent for the CIA now referred to as a RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous) and evidently, he was one of the best.


Frank wastes little time dispatching the invaders and makes his way to Kansas City post haste to protect Sarah from a similar fate as she is now undoubtedly marked for extermination for simply talking to Frank. Agent William Cooper (Urban) is put on the case and is now on the hunt for the former super agent only to continuously measure up short of Frank’s skill and cunning. Now realizing that he can’t do this alone, Frank heads to New Orleans and begins recruiting more former CIA operatives, REDs, that he has worked with. Joe Matheson (Freeman) lives in a retirement home and is sick from cancer, but that doesn’t stop him from helping his old partner. Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) is an ex-agent who was the subject of many CIA experiments back in the day and is not only dagerous, he's out of his mind. Finally, Victoria (Mirren) is an ex-MI6 agent and former ally of Franks that has never missed a target. On their own, each one of these ex-agents was the best at what they did. Together they are unstoppable.

RED was a graphic novel that was written by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. I have not had the chance to read it and actually had not heard of it until the movie was being filmed, but it did make for an extremely entertaining film. For the most part, the cast delivered standard performances. Bruce Willis plays Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman plays a slightly colder version Lucious Fox from the Batman movies however; John Malkovich and Helen Mirren are an absolute hoot to watch. When Marvin gets started he is a one man annihilation force and is convinced that the world is out to kill him. Victoria was the best ‘wet work’ operative in the game. She’s cold, calculating and extremely patient and Mirren plays it perfectly.

It seems as if 2010 was the year for team oriented action movies. With such films as ‘The Losers’, ‘The A-Team’ and ‘The Expendables’, ‘RED’ came in at the end a gave an entertaining look at a genre that was tapped heavy last year. I found the film to be extremely entertaining and fun, but that’s not to say it didn’t have its flaws. I thought the movie was fairly well paced, but there was a bit of a lag getting it off the ground as the character development and plot were front loaded so it took a little time in the beginning. Additionally, I was expecting more comedy to it. There were some very funny moments and the film as a whole was very light hearted, but I thought there should have been some more one-liners, etc.

Rating:
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action violence and brief strong language.

Video:
The video was impressive, not reference material but impressive none the less. Blacks were inky and shadow delineation gave great separation between grays and blacks in the night scenes. Colors were plentiful and vibrant throughout and softly muted in some of the scenes where there was an overcast feeling such as outdoor winter scenes in the snow, etc. Flesh tones were warm and natural looking throughout the movie and detail and clarity were near perfect the whole time.

The ever changing landscapes were a great site for the eyes as the story moved from Kansas City to New York to New Orleans and Florida. Swampy areas were lush and green while the New Orleans streets popped with color and architectural detail. The cold wintery and weathered look of Chicago and New York were equally well represented providing a very large and well rounded pallet of hues to look at throughout the movie.


Audio:
For the most part, the DTS-HD-Master Audio provided for RED was extremely impressive save for one scene. In the beginning when Frank’s house is being attacked by the CIA operatives, there is a line of shooters with automatic rifles that descends on the house. When the scene cuts from the line of the shooters to the front of the house and places the shooters behind the viewer, the gunfire still erupts from the front speakers. I found this one detail annoying and a hugely missed opportunity for some great surround.

That being said, the rest of the movie was very engaging. Gunfire was impactful and the channel separation was superbly performed as shooters moved from left to right and even behind as the camera panned around the scene. Explosions were roaring and deep as RPG’s and grenades blasted the set pieces apart. There was a healthy dose of love given to the surrounds in general as ambient sound could be heard subtly enough not to distract the viewer yet with enough presence to be noticed. Dialogue was clear and concise even when presented during the action sequences and nuanced sounds came across with the utmost clarity. I found this audio presentation to be very well rounded and a pleasure to listen to.

Update
Thanks typ44q for pointing out that the bare bones $12.99 bluray for sale on Amazon and at Best Buy DOES NOT contain a DTS-HD-Master Audio presentation. Dolby Digital 5.1 only.

Extras:
No Digital Copy or DVD Copy for a "Special Edition"? Weak...
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Access Red: Immersive 6-part interactive feature including pop up trivia, videos, interviews and more!
  • Audio commentary w/ retired CIA field agent Robert Baer

Overall:
As I said earlier, I very much enjoyed RED and found the story to be very entertaining and well executed by the actors and filmmakers that brought this graphic novel to life. Save for a few brief moments when the story was getting off the ground, I really believe that most viewers will find it entertaining as well. I will be buying it because ‘RED’ also strikes me as the type of movie that will get better as time goes on, not unlike the characters that brought the story to life. Highly recommended. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night!


Regards,
Dale Rasco




“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas A. Edison


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Last edited by Dale Rasco; 01-27-11 at 06:36 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-26-11, 02:31 PM
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

This is one of the best movies released for 2010 and is fully enjoyable. Is it over the top? Yes. but its plain fun and typical of Bruce Willis but what really makes this movie fun is that it is quite clean with very little language and sex. Just an all around fun movie

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-26-11, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
This is one of the best movies released for 2010 and is fully enjoyable. Is it over the top? Yes. but its plain fun and typical of Bruce Willis but what really makes this movie fun is that it is quite clean with very little language and sex. Just an all around fun movie
I completely agree Tony. Overall, this was an extremely entertaining and action packed movie that had a lot of fun in the mix.

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“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas A. Edison


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post #4 of 15 Old 01-27-11, 03:03 PM
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

Thanks for the great review, I have it at the house as a netflix rental, I was very tempted to blind buy it and have a feeling I will end up purchasing it if I like it nearly as much as you two
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-27-11, 03:16 PM
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

In my opinion its a must have for a collection, The problem is that I have been to three walmarts and all of them are sold out of the BluRay

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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post #6 of 15 Old 01-27-11, 03:27 PM
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

Quote:
tonyvdb wrote: View Post
In my opinion its a must have for a collection, The problem is that I have been to three walmarts and all of them are sold out of the BluRay
I was going to order it from amazon for $12.99 but that is for the "standard edition" which only has DD 5.1 audio, supposedly the special edition has DTS HD master audio. I am trying to confirm if that is true or not.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-27-11, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

$12.99 is for the movie only edition and is not DTS-HD per the package but the special edition is DTS-HD.

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Dale Rasco




“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." -Thomas A. Edison


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Last edited by Dale Rasco; 01-27-11 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Wrong information posted
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-28-11, 06:52 AM
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

The version I received from Netflix was Dolby Digital, If I was going to buy it I would get the special edition just for the better audio quality.
I really enjoyed the movie, lots of fun from start to finish. It has Helen Mirren in combat boots firing a machine gun! how bad can it be
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-28-11, 07:14 PM
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

Sounds like it could be a good one..particularly if there's very little bad language in it!
Good review..

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post #10 of 15 Old 01-30-11, 08:50 PM
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Re: RED - Blu-Ray Review

Very entertaining movie.
I was very disappointed to find only Dolby Digital on the Netflix!!! Still sounded and looked very good.
Verbally and visually it was pretty unoffensive. Not gory at all. The best was probably the first guy that got blowed up (from his own grenade I think), that was more fun than offensive, my wife laughed.

One specific scene looked terrible on my tv and wanted to ask if it's the same with anyone else.
Exactly 4 min into the movie, Bruce Willis takes the trash out, the neighbor says 'hi' and hangs a wreath on her door. Then Bruce looks around the street, as the camera pans in a circle the picture starts a bit jittery and gets worse and worse.
For a second it looked like I was watching it on one of my buddies cheap $800 LCD set. I have seen many fast panning shots with my system and have never experienced this.

Last edited by gdstupak; 01-30-11 at 08:56 PM.
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