Blitz assaults Region Free US Blu-ray with a 1080p High Definition video rendition, presented in the movie’s original, theatrically broad widescreen aspect ratio of 2.4:1, and it looks considerably more ‘Hollywood’ than most Brit films as a result of the scope alone, but also thanks to the suitably cinematic cinematography on offer. The image looks really quite good throughout the proceedings, with detail remaining reasonably strong, no obvious DNR or niggling edge enhancement, and only a little bit of round-the-edges softness barely noticeable on a couple of occasions. Perhaps it was even intentional too, as the director and his cinematographer have clearly gone for this particular ‘look’ for the film. The colour scheme is obviously pretty restricted by the Brit location and inherent weather here (which, even in the Summer, isn’t really that good, is it!?), but the colours on offer are rendered quite satisfactorily, with a few richer tones and solid blacks at the lower end of the spectrum, allowing for decent shadowing and superior night sequences. A thin layer of grain is prevalent throughout the proceedings, adding to the mood of the gritty crime piece, and overall this is a very good, but not exceptional, video presentation.
On the aural front we get a noisy DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track to accompany the movie. Yes, it’s noisy. No, the movie isn’t action packed. Why is it still so noisy? Well, that’s because of the massively irritating and wholeheartedly generic score which assaults your senses at every stage and threatens to derail your entire enjoyment of the movie on numerous occasions. Although I shouldn’t take it out on the mark-out-of-ten of the sound presentation as a whole, it’s hard not to wonder what this might have been like had they dialled the score down considerably and allowed it to just strum around in the background. Mind you, I just don’t think it’s that kind of score – it’s too attention-seeking to take a back-seat. No, whether you find it utterly forgettable, or massively intrusive, it’s still the biggest noteworthy element on the soundtrack; getting pride of place in the presentation; bouncing around the array with full surround use, and giving both the rears and the LFE channel something to do. Dialogue is still clear and coherent throughout, but it definitely plays second-fiddle, although it fights for dominance over the frontal array whenever there’s the chance it’ll get overwhelmed. Effects are surprisingly average – with a few background ambient noises, and a couple of full-on gunshots, but no tangible atmosphere created, which is a shame. I suspect, once again, they relied too heavily on the in-your-face score, which rides high, even when one of the characters is just making a cup of coffee!
There really is nothing to write home about here. Whilst not quite a bare bones disc, this one certainly deserved more attention than just a couple of brief cast and crew interview snippets and a behind the scenes montage. Oh, sorry, there is more – there are some trailers.
Blitz is a surprisingly enjoyable new Brit crime thriller. It could have easily been just another derivative Dirty Harry rip-off, but, thanks to decent source material, and a hefty quota of memorable, familiar Brit actors playing mostly interesting supporting characters, it manages to end up being really quite effective, engaging entertainment. The fact that things don’t always make sense – that plot holes still abound, and that contrivance is often just around the corner; does not take away from the sense of at least an attempt at providing something different. Hell, even Statham himself tries something he hasn’t done in a while – acting; and for the full 45 seconds of this, he’s refreshingly watchable. As is the movie itself.
On Region Free US Blu-ray we get decent video and solid audio, and, although the extras are very thin on the ground, this is still worth checking out – whether you’re a fan of Statham (be warned: it’s not an all-out actioner), or a fan of the genre; there is something a little bit different on offer here. It may be far from perfect; borderline parody on many occasions; and often unintentionally funny because of its on-and-off adherence to all the genre tropes, and because of the rampant clichés, but there’s still a sincere attempt to break from the tried-and-tested mould. At least give it a rental – with reasonably low expectations, Blitz may very well surprise you.
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