88 Minutes Blu-ray Review
Picture88 Minutes looks acceptable on Blu-ray, complete with a 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen, but it does not really do a great deal to outclass its DVD counterpart. Detail is generally only average throughout, with visible variance in quality whether in the facial close-ups or the longer location shots. Clarity remains consistent for the most part, and keeps softness at bay, without too much interference from edge enhancement. There is some grain, but nothing really that distracts too much from the proceedings. The colour scheme is fairly lacklustre with its Seattle setting, with some authentically bland exteriors, and clinical interiors that boast strong blue and green hues but little else. Facial skin tones are realistic but black levels can be a bit variable, not quite as deep and solid as they should be. This is not the kind of quality presentation people have come to expect from Blu-ray and does nothing to promote the format.
SoundTo accompany the movie we get an equally technically-sound-but-practically-ineffective audio mix, in top-of-the-range TrueHD but simply coming across as little more than a lacklustre DD5.1 track. Dialogue comes across clearly enough, even Pacino's ramblings seeming coherent, and the screams piercing enough. There are a few effects - some gunshots, an explosion and maybe even a bit of glass breaking - but they seldom offer up any sign of dynamics or spatiality across the array. It really is quite a dull track indeed. The score is just a totally forgettable (and occasionally irritating) TV-movie score, upping the tempo whenever Pacino runs around in the desperate hope that, between the beat and Pacino's scurrying, the audience can be fooled into thinking something thrilling is actually happening. It's a sorry old track that really does not do the format justice.
ExtrasComing soon, suffice to say the Alternate Ending is exactly the same but for a pointless coda.
VerdictI have been eager for a decent new Pacino film for quite some time, so much so that I ignored all the bad press and waited - with bated breath - for his latest, 88 Minutes, to come out. I should only be grateful that it never hit UK cinemas, because I would have been doubly disappointed at not only having to walk out of a movie, but having to walk out of a Pacino movie. On Blu-ray it appears nobody could really be bothered to bring this in line with what the format can truly offer performance-wise. Video and audio are lacklustre at best, and the few nice extras rounding off the disc still don't make this worth your money, even if - for some reason - you feel compelled to put this in your shopping cart. I would recommend you steer clear, but those still tempted should strongly consider a rental first.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.15
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