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The Lookout Blu-ray Review

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by AVForums Aug 16, 2007

  • Movies review

    1,140

    The Lookout Blu-ray Review
    SRP: £20.75

    Picture

    Presented in 1080p/MPEG4-AVC 2.40:1 the quality of The Lookout like the film itself is not all that it could have been. The print itself is fine, no scratches or marks but at times it is quite grainy. Filmed on the new Sony Panavision Genesis digital cameras this was quite surprising and I can only assume that the grain exhibited here is intentional by the director or director of photography. Often dark due to the nature of the scene requirements there are no problems - shadow detail in the bars, hangouts and bank raid more that live up to the task required. On the opposite end of the scale whites are never crushed, outdoor scenes of the ice rink, fog swept landscapes and snow show no blooming. The colour palette is somewhat narrow but in a film such as this it is no bad thing. There is no green to be seen anywhere.

    Detail is adequate and clear but not great. Certainly it's a step up from the majority of SD releases, but when watching HD you do expect to get jaw-dropping moments of clarity which make you wonder why you didn't invest in the format sooner. Unfortunately that experience just isn't there with this release.
    The Lookout Picture

    Sound

    The Lookout offers two English tracks, a Dolby Digital 5.1 and a whopping uncompressed 6.7mbps 5.1 PCM. Here I discuss the PCM track. Predominantly from the centre and fronts the audio more than serves it's purpose. Speech is crystal clear, as you would expect from a PCM track of this magnitude. Background noises from crowds, people in bars create an enjoyable ambience when there, never intruding on the main focus from the fronts. A comparison of some scenes with the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, encoded at 640kbps, just makes you understand why you have to listen to the PCM track if you can. There is much more range, much more clarity not only in the foreground audio of peoples voices and soundtrack, but specifically the extra detail from the additional sundry noises contained in the background.

    There tends to be a more than respectable bass heavy soundtrack, but LFE effects are kept to a minimum as are the use of specific direction to the surrounds. Until that is the closing scenes where a combination of flashbacks to Chris's original devastating car crash and a shootout at the bank bring these additional speakers to life. Not expecting this I can certainly say I was somewhat shocked to hear the deep thump of a helicopter's blades as it descended upon the crash we see at the start.
    The Lookout Sound

    Extras


    • Commentary with Writer/Director Scott Frank and Director of Photography Alar Kivilo.

      This is an engaging commentary by the two main contributors to the construction of The Lookout. Here we learn that Scott realises this he has made a few mistakes along the way. Alar Kivilo assists him in his commentary. Mainly they discuss how most of the shots throughout the movie were presented to us. The lighting requirements, what CGI if any had to be used any time, the aspects of lighting both natural and artificial. Also mentioned here is the lack of green within the movie. This was a decision taken by the pair early on, however and must infuriatingly they never actually say why though.



    • Sequencing The Lookout

      A 20-minute presentation separated into a few component parts, script, actors, locations etc... The director, producers and actors all give their own opinion on the film and each other. We get to find out that the film had been suggested for a few years and it took a number of attempts to get it off the ground. We see why the director chose the actors in question and why certain locations were selected. This is pretty much the standard fare these days, nothing exciting but one or two pieces of information are revealed which made me feel it was a worthwhile 20 minutes.



    • Behind the Mind of Chris Pratt.

      Here we predominantly have Joseph Gordon-Levitt discussing the role he was given in The Lookout and how he prepared for it. He comes across as a very dedicated young actor, backed up obviously by his fellow thespians. Unfortunately though perhaps more could have been shown about the real life research he did with people who had incurred such horrendous blights upon their lives.



    • Movie Showcase.

      4 extended clips of scenes from the film. Why this is on there I have no idea.




    The extras here are a little thin on the ground and the last, movie showcase is downright odd. They do show some insights though into the main actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt and how Scott Frank understands perhaps that making a movie isn't a natural progression from writing and never as easy as it looks. Worth a watch.
    The Lookout Extras

    Verdict

    I wanted to enjoy The Lookout and for large parts it did suck me in, only to let me down by not following common sense or taking cause and effect to their obvious and logical conclusion. I cannot fault the effort that all the main actors put into their roles. All of my disagreements with this film have to be directed to the writer and the director; in this case the one person - Scott Frank. No doubt that Scott was learning new skills whilst shooting this film and I feel that his script suffered because of that. Certainly until he manages to multi task a little better he should relinquish one of those roles to someone else. He acknowledges that he did make some mistakes during shooting this movie. You can also glean from the director's commentary that he involved himself with many aspects of the production and shooting, perhaps too many.

    There is no doubt that some people will enjoy this movie and some, like myself, will find it a little mediocre; that's the nature of things. Two last things to end on. I feel that Greg Dunham playing Boone, one of Gary's desperados, will no doubt become a cult figure in this his first movie. Also I must thank Scott Frank for leaving me with one of the best character names I've ever chuckled at in a film, namely Luvlee Lemons.
    The Lookout Verdict

    The Rundown

    Movie

    5

    Picture Quality

    6

    Sound Quality

    7

    Extras

    5

    Overall

    5

    5
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