Striking Distance Blu-ray Review
PictureStriking Distance may be a seriously flawed movie, but it still had the potential to shine on Blu-ray. Presented with a 1080p High Definition rendition in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen, the video is a clear improvement over previous SD-DVD releases of the film, although it still has a fair few problems. There is some softness throughout, largely negligible, but nevertheless preventing the picture from ever reaching the kind of standards that we expect from the High Definition format. Print defects are hard to spot, but there is a fine layer of noise pervading many of the shots, along with some noticeable haloing. The colour scheme has been brought to life, blues, browns and greens all coming across vividly, and black levels are particularly commendable, allowing the night time sequences to stand out above the rest of the material on offer. The way it was shot and the budget of the film are probably both significant factors in the downfall of this film on the High Definition format, but it is still easily the best customers have ever seen of this movie.
SoundArguably one of the most lacklustre Dolby TrueHD tracks that I have come across recently accompanies this movie. Again, the material must bear the brunt of the blame, simply not presenting anything that could have been used to spark up your environment and bring your living room to life. Dialogue is presented relatively clearly and coherently, and thankfully seems unobstructed for the most part, mainly emanating from the frontal array. Effects come in various shapes and sizes, vehicles often spontaneously combust, and bullets ring out everywhere, which does give the surrounds some support, but seldom gives the track a dynamic feel. And since none of the more ambient noises are really paid any attention, the mix consequently has little atmosphere. The score is arguably the worst offender, simply becoming far too intrusive far too often, and clearly representing the most dated part of the production. Although not wholly unexpected, this is still a disappointing track for the format.
ExtrasThere is nothing to accompany the movie - not even the trailer, although that's probably a good thing as it's actually horrendous (unlike the main disc menu montage - which is arguably the best thing about this package, film included, and makes the movie actually look quite good)
VerdictStriking Distance is certainly at the bottom of the pile in Bruce Willis' action film history, and really has nothing about it to recommend. It had some kind of potential to at least be watchable, but clichéd dialogue, a terribly hackneyed script and some truly lame directing all come together to make this a sorry excuse for an action-thriller - with pedestrian action, and largely devoid of any thrills. Even Willis' here-restrained charm and humour cannot save this affair, and none of the other familiar faces have anything to work with or offer either. On Blu-ray we get better video presentation than ever before, but both the video and sound are still distinctly average in the grand scheme of things, and the extras are non-existent - although all of this is not much of a surprise for this kind of release. My advice would be to steer clear of this release unless you're a literally Die Hard fan of Willis and simply HAVE to own his ENTIRE collection. Irredeemable.
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