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post #1 of 8 Old 06-12-13, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Snitch - Blu-ray Review


Title: Snitch

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HTS Overall Score:90.5




Summary
Not that long ago Dwayne Johnson was simply known as The Rock. A hulking beast of a wrestling star, loaded with muscle, handsome features, a steer tattoo, and a devious raised eyebrow look that was both inquisitive and daring. After dabbling in television roles outside of wrestling, The Rock made his foray onto the silver screen by playing the Scorpion King in 2001’s The Mummy Returns. At that time he was still pigeonholed as a professional wrestler and his character didn’t do much to alter that perception. But something has changed over the years. The Rock, as we knew him, has slowly faded away and the man behind him (along with his real name) has emerged. His diverse roles as Agent 23 in 2008’s Get Smart and Derek Thompson in 2010‘s Tooth Fairy showed a new side to Dwayne Johnson. He can be funny and sentimental. At the same time he hasn’t fully lost his ability to be tough and gnarly (as shown by his recent Fast and Furious and G.I. Joe roles).

Director Ric Roman Waugh says Dwayne Johnson was a shoe-in choice for staring as a distraught and determined father in Snitch. He was looking for a sledge hammer to play the role of a man that would be humbled by the immense dangers associated with the gangs and cartels in America’s seamy drug world. It turns out his choice couldn’t have been any better. You’d expect a Dwayne Johnson character taking on the drug world to enter with force and brawn, brining it to its knees one blow at a time. But what we find is quite the opposite in a wonderfully contrasting role. Johnson’s brain and stubbornness conquer much more than his brawn, and his minimized physicality helps to accentuate the fierce power of the drug world.

Johnson plays John Matthews, a hard working and successful man who owns a construction company. His high school aged son, Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron), lives with his ex-wife Sylvie (Melina Kanakaredes) while he lives with his new wife Analisa (Nadine Velazquez) and his young daughter. Unbeknownst to Matthews or Sylvie, their son’s best friend sells drugs. Jason is a relatively good kid, but makes a mistake by allowing his friend to have a large quantity of MDMA (aka ecstasy) shipped to his home. The shipment is a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) set-up and Jason is arrested. He’s whisked away to jail and finds himself facing a decade-long prison term mandated by Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines for first time offenders.

Matthews and his wife are confused and panicked. The Feds give Jason an ultimatum: rat-out other individuals involved with drugs in exchange for a reduced sentence or spend a very long time behind bars. Jason claims his knowledge is limited to his best friend (who has already been nabbed) and won’t implicate any other friends. It’s at this point that Matthews uses his connections to arrange a face-to-face meeting with a local US Attorney named Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon). Keeghan is actively running an aggressive anti-drug campaign as part of an election bid for Congress. She is the only person, locally, with power to help Jason avoid longterm imprisonment and is reluctant to use it. Following a series of events, Matthews finally strikes a deal with Keeghan that would reduce his son's prison sentence to a matter of months. All Mathews must do is help the DEA find and arrest a major player in the drug world. Conveniently, one of Matthews employees named Daniel (Jon Bernthal) is a convicted drug felon. Matthews persuades Daniel to introduce him to a former drug connection. Keeghan introduces Matthews to DEA Agent Cooper (Barry Pepper), and two begin to plan how Matthews can deliver Daniel’s big fish to the Feds.

The remainder of the film is chock-full of intense and emotional situations delivered through drama and action sequences. Matthews finds himself dealing with dangerous and volatile individuals (including a ranking member of a drug cartel played by Benjamin Bratt) that begin to control him with puppet strings. At the same time, Matthews begins to doubt the reliability of US Attorney Keeghan and Agent Cooper. The fact that Snitch is inspired by true events makes it fascinating. While the storyline has some moments that seem routinely convenient, it’s a well written tale with plenty of surprising twists and turns. The acting (Johnson in particular) is also well executed, which makes Snitch an entertaining ride.

Rating:
Rated PG-13 for drug content and sequences of violence


Video
Summit Entertainment presents Snitch with an absolutely incredible - nearly flawless - AVC MPEG-4 1080p transfer. It beautifully maintains a consistent earthy color palate with an edgy push toward green during some indoor shots. Flesh tones are extremely natural. The film has quite a few nighttime scenes that boast more than adequate shadow detail without any evidence of crush. Contrast is excellent and bright objects maintain composure while popping off the screen. There are occasional moments where lens flair is subtly introduced but it’s never distracting.

The amount of detail contained in images throughout the movie is exceptional and jaw-dropping, making Snitch’s digital filming a spectacular delight for the eyes. Close-up shots are unbelievably revealing. Every pore, pot-mark, scar, freckle and hair on Dwayne Johnson’s face is visible with amazing clarity. The same is true of wide shots, which are also visually stunning with good contrast and extremely sharp lines. This amount of detailed clarity paired with the film’s 2.40:1 aspect ratio makes Snitch a veritable feast for the eyes.







Audio
Matching a truly superb video presentation is a dynamic 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation. Antonio Pinto’s (Get the Gringo) original scores sets the tone for the sound presentation. It has a wide, fluid, dispersion across the front sound stage with musical sounds careening left to right and occasionally settling into the rear channels for an enveloping effect. The score is punctuated by tight bass lines that pulsate and quicken during scenes featuring anxiety and tension. Matching the score’s movement of sound are realistic sound pans and directionality that perfectly match action on the screen. The dialog is well centered and completely intelligible throughout the movie. It also delivers many nuances (such as a character’s breath and lip smacking as they speak) and accurately represents environmental contexts (such as characters speaking in an echoey room). My only complaint about the dialog came at one moment when a camera pan should have forced a voice to move from the center to right channel (the voice stayed centered).

The film moves through stages of drama to scenes filled with action. As expected, dramatic scenes are typically accompanied by a forward sounding presentation with some ambient surround activity. Action sequences, however, ignite the surround channels with sounds of dogs barking, breaking glass, helicopters, bullets whizzing, and guns being fired. There are also moments where LFE is strong and present. Surprisingly, one of the largest crashes in the movie (a semi-truck flipping on its side) is accompanied by a very low frequency blast without a pronounced mid-bass slam, and to great effect. All-in-all, Snitch’s audio presentation is a true work of art and a great asset to the film’s presentation.





Extras:
• Audio Commentary with Director Ric Roman Waugh and Editor Jonathan Chibnall
• Privileged Information: The Making of Snitch
• Deleted Scenes
• Theatrical Trailer








Overall:
Snitch is a solid film with an excellent Blu-ray presentation. Simply put: its audio and video presentations are stellar and nearly flawless. While the storyline is inspired by true events, it can at times have a certain level of convenience that diminishes plausibility. But that shouldn’t discourage potential viewers. The bulk of the story is full of intense moments and plot shifts that keep the story alive, interesting, and entirely entertaining. The cast (particularly Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, and Berry Pepper) put on quite a show and the interplay between characters is compelling and fun to watch. Johnson, in particular, is perfectly cast as a smart and caring character who must rely on more than muscle to persevere. The Blu-ray includes an excellent “making of” feature that adds to the film’s depth and impact. It is rather easy to recommend this film as worthy watch and potentially a blind buy for collectors.


Additional Information:
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, and Berry Pepper
Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh
Written by: Ric Roman Waugh and Justin Haythe
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Summit Entertainment Entertainment
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 112 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: June 11, 2013


Buy Snitch Blu-ray on Amazon

Recommendation: Watch It!

Last edited by Todd Anderson; 10-22-13 at 09:01 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-12-13, 10:47 PM
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Re: Snitch - Blu-ray Review

Good review, good movie, rented it today. Dwayne Johnson sure has proven himself to be a very good actor. Susan Sarandon was good in this one as well.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-13-13, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Snitch - Blu-ray Review

Thanks. Barry Pepper played a great character too... rough and street hardened. All around solid movie.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-13-13, 05:00 AM
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I felt the movie was a little slow and I was hoping Dwayne Johnson's character would of been a bit tougher, overall I though the movie was good but def wouldn't buy it IMO until it gets down under $10 thanks for the review
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-13-13, 05:33 AM
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Re: Snitch - Blu-ray Review

Thanks for the review. I am a fan of Dwayne Johnson and so will have to check it out. I will wait for the price to go down thou.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-13-13, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Snitch - Blu-ray Review

You can rent it from Redbox, it's in circulation now.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-13-13, 08:50 AM
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Re: Snitch - Blu-ray Review

now you're making me wish I had reviewed this one .... I love the Rock (sorry, still can't call him Dwayne. he'll always be the Rock to me) and this one looked like a lot of fun, just missed it in the theaters for some reason.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-13-13, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Snitch - Blu-ray Review

@Mike: I think you'll enjoy it. I must have noted a good 1/2 a dozen times how amazing the PQ is. Dwayne is turning into a great actor. Glad he stuck with it.

Last edited by Todd Anderson; 06-13-13 at 01:58 PM.
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