PictureRighteous Kill comes to Blu-ray with a pretty excellent 1080p High Definition video presentation in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. Detail is outstanding throughout, and although the movie is clearly more focussed on facial close-ups than wide panoramas, but all of the shots get keen presentation - the lines and wear on the two leads' faces getting near-perfect representation. The colour scheme is quite broad considering the limited, almost entirely night (or interior)- based New York settings, and the skin tones come across well, extremely authentic. Reds and blues are rich and deep, blacks remain solid throughout and allow for superior shadowing - a big plus considering the mostly dark settings. This is a superb video presentation, simply no softness, digital defects or grain at all, one of the better Blu-rays I have reviewed of late - and despite the fact that this does not change the quality of the movie itself, at least it presents it in the best possible way.
SoundTo accompany the stellar video presentation we get a pretty punchy Dolby True HD 5.1 track that does a decent enough job. Dialogue comes across pretty well throughout, despite Pacino being reluctant to raise his voice, the gruff rumblings and pointed whispers coming across clearly and coherently, largely emanating from the fronts and centre channels. The effects are largely gunshot-based, from the opening shooting range montage which launches a pretty powerful salvo into your living room, to the latter violent confrontations, the punishing gunfire allowing for plenty of dynamic awareness across the surrounds, some nice echoing ringing out amidst the loud bangs. The score is pretty forgettable, nothing haunting, nor emotive, and certainly nothing to particularly heighten the almost non-existent tension. That said, it is presented well enough, rounding off a decent enough track, better than this film deserves.
VerdictAfter Heat, Righteous Kill could have been one last great collaboration for veteran actors De Niro and Pacino, but after the Director's last effort - 88 Minutes - proved he had no talent for bringing the best out of quality actors, this movie just cemented the fact. Predictable, unpleasant, tedious, unsatisfactory, poorly-plotted, badly-paced and shot like a nineties TV episode, Righteous Kill doesn't even have much from De Niro to hold things together, let alone Pacino, who appears to be in a coma. It marks a terrible disappointment for all their fans out there, not just because it's a really bad movie, but because these two should have known and given us far better. On Blu-ray, it at least looks extremely good, the audio also coming across well, and with a few self-congratulatory extras to plough through, fans of the movie (if there are indeed any out there) will probably find this a good package. For every other living human being, give this one a wide berth, and just go sit yourself down in front of Heat instead. Now that's a quality De Niro/Pacino team-up.
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