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Cat Run - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

Cat Run - Blu-ray Review

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2 stars

Cat Run is an explosive mess of an action/comedy film.  Potentially, it could have been a surprise with fans of Tarantino and Rodriguez action flicks.  Director John Stockwell (Blue Crush) desperately wants the film to exist in the same universe as Smokin’ Aces but the script – written by newbies Nick Ball and John Niven - just doesn’t have the brains to completely take its audience there.

Featuring relatively bumbling performances from lead actors Scott Mechlowicz and Alphonso McAuley (in spite of box art suggesting the beautiful Paz Vega as the lead character), the antics behind Cat Run chortle along with fits and starts.  Unfortunately – and way before arriving to the final bang - Cat Run has tired even the viewer out.

Cat (Vega) is high dollar escort at night and a single mother by day.  When a pricey orgy ends with a vicious American senator (Christopher McDonald) strangling his sex partner and leaving only Cat as an eyewitness to the murder, Cat becomes somebody’s most wanted.  She takes to the streets with her child being looked after by a friend but when her bank account is frozen and her friends start dropping permanently out of touch, she realizes she’s in over her head and needs to get far, far away.

Enter childhood best friends Anthony (Mechlowicz) and Julian (McAuley).  After being reunited and deciding to open a private detective agency with triple amputee receptionist, D.L. Hughley (in the film’s only truly inspired moment), the two bozos decide to take Cat on as a their first assignment.  Rather quickly – with a Mary Poppins-like skilled assassin, Helen Bingham (convincingly played by Janet McTeer), trailing them – they discover that they are in way over their heads.

Because Cat has an encrypted disc detailing the murder, she’s a hot catch and, much to the young men’s surprise, everyone wants a piece of her.  Mixing dumb quips with lively action scenes that often defy logic, Cat Run moves along at a very uneven pace throughout most of its running time.  Because the two actors – especially McAuley (who mistakes himself for Chris Rock) – aren’t skilled enough to come off as anything but obnoxious, there’s no amount of concern placed with them.  Hell, they can’t even convincingly make us laugh.

Vega doesn’t seem all that concerned about her child but does – especially unusual for an escort – manage to keep herself very chaste as she worms her way into Mechlowicz’s heart.  She’s got the looks to keep male audiences watching (and let’s face it, Cat Run was made for men) but can’t quite get concern to manifest on her face as her child starts nursing on the barrel of a gun.  McTeer, however, is a master at her role and brings a great deal of energy and danger and warmth as the assassin hired to kill Cat and her companions.

The film isn’t a complete loss.  The violence is, at times, intense and over the top and lots of visual fun.  The problem lies in maybe another revision that needed to be carried out or in a refocusing on Cat as the central character and not the two best friends who do nothing but sink the film into the generic and the lame.

With no sense of manic energy inside of a premise that all but screams for that GONZO spirit, Cat Run just makes little sense.  It’s a film that I recommend only for a late, late, late night to cure the sheer boredom of a house too quiet while you wait for sleep to visit you.

Only then, lost beneath heavy lids and the lateness of the night, will Cat Run serve a purpose.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Cat Run - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, sexual content, nudity and language.
Director
: John Stockwell
Writer
: Nick Ball, John Niven
Cast: Paz Vega; Janet McTeer; D.L. Hughley; Christopher McDonald; Scott Mechlowicz
Genre: Action
Tagline:
CATch her if you can.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Some very bad people want her found before she can make a sound."
Distributor:
Paladin
Official Site:
www.catrunmovie.com/#/home
Release Date: April 1, 2011
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 19, 2012

Synopsis: Anthony always dreamed of being a famous chef. Julian only thought about women. With neither really working out, the childhood best friends decide to start a detective agency. Unfortunately for them, on their first case they must help protect a sexy, high class escort who holds the key evidence to a scandalous cover up. The two bumbling detectives soon find themselves running from the mob, a corrupt US Senator, and a ruthless Mary Poppins-like assassin - all of whom would stop at nothing to hide the truth. It's just an average day for two bumbling losers.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Cat Run - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
2 stars

2 stars



Blu-ray Experience
2 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - June 19, 2012
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Playback: Region-free

Universal just kind of dumps this film on the public.  It doesn’t even sport the traditional looking menu screen that Universal prides itself on.  That alone should tell all you need to know about the quality of the film or the studio’s belief in it.  It’s a “here today, gone tomorrow” sort of release.  The 1080p transfer, as a result, isn’t the best looking.  The contrast is a bit high and shadows do a bit of bleeding into the blacks and darker colors featured in the film’s natural palette.  Overall, colors are bold – not bursting with the flavor of other releases – and feel very natural.  Yet, the special effects (explosions and the like) get a bit shaky with their softness and slight banding issues.  Skin tones are solid throughout and the level of detail is serviceable.  Surprisingly, the audio track – kicking up a fair amount of dust from the movie – is presented with a superb DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track.  While dialogue becomes a bit too quaint to hear during the non-trigger happy scenes, the action sounds more than make up for it with crushing results.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • This gets a commentary?  Cat Run?  Yes, indeed and it’s actually a breath of fresh air.  Recorded by director John Stockwell and producer Bill Perkins, the duo openly discusses the many problems with the movie and both acknowledge the mistakes they made along the way.  While they are still somewhat vocally proud of the final product, their own criticism adds to the enjoyment of the commentary.

Special Features:

Let the dumping and self-congratulations continue.  The only featurette – outside of a collection of necessarily-cut deleted scenes – features the cast and crew praising each other about their work on the film.  It’s generic and only for those who really, really, really love the film.  It’s actually one of the most grueling featurettes I’ve seen in a long while.  As stated, the deleted scenes – featuring a slow-moving car chase, cooking scenes, a redefining of the word “no”, and just general weirdness – are beyond pointless.

  • Behind the Scenes (15 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (15 min)

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