Even Danny Trejo can't save this one
Bullet Blu-ray Review
With over 250 movies under his belt, and currently averaging about one a month, Danny Trejo clearly favours quantity over... well, everything else.Hack writer/director Nick Lyon’s bottom-bargain-basement feature, Bullet, adopts a not-so-subtle approach to homage with its titular character, Frank “Bullet” Marasco roaring onto the screen with a throaty American muscle-car (oddly, the poster even promotes it as a Ford Mustang, although his actual car is a Dodge Challenger!).
Thankfully the comparisons to McQueen’s iconic 1968 classic Bullitt pretty-much end there – although, that in itself makes you wonder why they even bothered – and the story instead lapses into an almost incoherent string of genre clichés, stacked up high in some desperate shotgun-blast attempt at making something work.
The truth is, none of it really does.Danny Trejo is normally a fairly enjoyable watch, but this is far from his tongue-in-cheek Machete series, and he looks old and tired in the lead role, which would have probably better suited somebody like Steve Austin. Beverly Hills Cop’s henchman Jonathan Banks provides an oddly blotchy villain who has zero chance of being memorable; and The Deer Hunter’s John Savage shamefully shows his face too.
Even for somebody proficient in schlock, Bullet is a pretty terrible entry, and it would appear to be largely thanks to the writer/director, who shapes what could have been a distinctly unmemorable DTV genre slice into an incoherent – and frankly boring – mess. Reputedly, this was possibly due to a lawsuit between him and producer Robert Rodriguez but, even if he didn’t get final cut, this is unforgivable.
What is Bullet Blu-ray Picture QualityBullet hits UK Region B-locked Blu-ray complete with an excellent 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation in the movie’s original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen; far better than a film of this ilk arguably deserves. The HD cinematography positively shines, with stunning detail that shows off every crag and crevice of Trejo’s mottled visage and every pink blotch that make Jonathan Banks’ villain look like a long-term vitiligo sufferer.
Despite the film’s shortcomings, Bullet looks excellent in HD.
Fine object detail is just as impressive, with weaves and textures that are clearly defined, but no signs of any digital defects; no edge enhancement, excess DNR application, banding, blocking or other issues. The colour scheme is fairly broad, although contrast has been tweaked to leave whites overblown. Black levels are strong and night time sequences don’t appear to have any problems handling shadow detail. Overall it’s a demo presentation.
What is Bullet Blu-ray Sound QualityThe accompanying DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also largely very good, although perhaps not as squeaky-clean as the video, let down marginally by the low budget arena within which the movie was made, which leaves sound design at the very bottom of the list.
It’s a very good audio track, but it’s nowhere near refined enough to earn a demo or reference mark.
Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout – even Trejo’s gravely mumbles which at times feel quite strained – and dominates the fronts and centre channels where appropriate. Effects are mostly bullet-or-body-blow-based, with a couple of explosions which engage the LFE channel more noticeably but otherwise decent surround usage as the bullets whizz around, and good heft to the fight sequences. Whilst not as refined as some of the best tracks, it comes close.
Bullet Blu-ray ExtrasJust a damn trailer.
Is Bullet Blu-ray Worth BuyingIt’s insulting that the writer/director even thought of McQueen’s 1968 classic when he came up with this downright abysmal DTV action-thriller, Bullet, which is so bad that even Danny Trejo can’t save it.
Even hard-line Trejo enthusiasts are going to struggle to find anything of merit in this dire mess.
This Region B-locked release comes with very good video and audio, and a trailer in terms of extras, making it a solid purchase for those non-existent fans out there. Hell, I doubt even Trejo completists will want anything to do with this mess.
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