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Parker - Blu-ray Review

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Parker - Movie Review

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3 stars

Ready for something new from Jason Statham?  Something like a romantic comedy?  Look elsewhere.  This is meat and potatoes Statham.  The protagonist of a series of thrillers by the author Donald Westlake, writing under the pseudonym Richard Stark, is the hero – or should I say antihero - in Parker.  He’s rough and tough and brutal and dominates the criminal world with panther-like poise.

Okay, okay, okay, so this role certainly isn’t a stretch for Statham.  His acting chops are firmly planted in the vigilante world and, here, his rock’em sock’em antics are on full display.  Thank god.  While strangled by Jennifer Lopez’s presence (she still can’t act), Parker is white-knuckled ride through Palm Beach and should easily satisfy Statham’s fans.

Specifically, Parker is based off “Flashfire”, the 19th book in the series, but it serves as a fine cinematic entrance for the character.  After a heist at the Ohio State Fair, Parker (Statham) finds himself at odds with his partners who want to kill him for his cut of the loot.  Burnt, scarred, and even more pissed off than he was before, Parker survives and with the help of Leslie Rodgers (Lopez), a local realtor-turned-accomplice, he tracks down his former partners and delivers their comeuppance with a vengeance.

Director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray) owes much of Parker’s success to Statham’s charisma.  He’s been aiming for the international action star mantle for quite some time and, in spite of JLo’s presence and Hackford’s misfires, this might be the role to take him there.  Might be.  The mindlessness of it all could be its own undoing.  Empty-headed, this film is designed for the January doldrums for sure.

The meaty carnage is gravy-topped with static performances from Michael Chiklis, Wendell Pierce and Clifton Collins Jr. as the triple-threat baddies who leave Parker for dead and then race to Florida.  They chew the scenery well but pose little threat to Parker who manages to infiltrate their new plans in the guise of a rich Texan with property on his mind.  While coherent enough to deliver a couple of punched to the gut, Parker won’t replace any memories you have of Steven Soderbergh's flawless Out of Sight.  That, dear readers, is a shame.  There’s no reason for Parker not to have that film in its sights.

Without any morality of any kind, Parker unloads on the audience in a formulaic action-packed manner.  It’s overly violent and its in-your-face attitude will turn off some viewers.  Knives are drawn.  Guns are loaded.  Blood is shed.  Wounds are opened and re-opened.  This film isn’t vying for any Parent of the Year award.  Its offensiveness is fast-paced and free of consequence.

Parker has a lot of bite but much of it is largely forgettable entertainment.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Parker - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language throughout and brief sexual content/nudity.
Runtime:
118 mins.
Director
: Taylor Hackford
Writer
: John J. McLaughlin
Cast: Jason Statham; Jennifer Lopez; Michael Chiklis; Wendell Pierce; Patti LuPone
Genre
: Crime | Thriller
Tagline:
To get away clean, you have to play dirty.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Civilized people need to follow the rules. These are mine."
Distributor:
FilmDistrict
Release Date:
January 25, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 21, 2013.

Synopsis: A thief with a unique code of professional ethics is double-crossed by his crew and left for dead. Assuming a new disguise and forming an unlikely alliance with a woman on the inside, he looks to hijack the score of the crew's latest heist.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Parker - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 21, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD); UV digital copy; Digital copy
Region Encoding: Region A

Sony’s 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer is crisp and clean. It offers a sharp picture that doesn’t disappoint. There is some digital noise in the transfer but clarity is strong with impressive textures and fine details, revealing every speck and grain on Statham's cheeks. Saturation is a little weak, but the varied palette offers solid primaries and decent enough pop. White levels frequently look overexposed, but the style works well enough with the material, and though a hair crushed, blacks are deep and consistent. Shot digitally in high definition, the picture offers pleasing detail with no major issues. The film is presented with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles. Lively and immersive, this is a well-produced mix.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Provided by Taylor Hackford, this is probably one of the most boring commentaries ever recorded. Hackford doesn’t seem excited to record it nor does he sound enthused about his own film. Every once and awhile he says something interesting about the making of the film. Most of this is a summary.

Special Features:

Including an UltraViolet copy of the film, the blu-ray comes loaded with special features that take the audience into Parker’s world and include a detailed look at Westlake’s creation. The supplemental material focuses on stunts and the creation of Parker. While not detailed by any means, the featurettes will please any fan of the novels, and might give the casual fan a better understanding of what makes Parker so right for the screen.

  • Bringing the Hunter to Life: The Making of Parker (7 min)
  • Who is Parker? (3 min)
  • The Origin of Parker (4 min)
  • Broken Necks and Bloody Knuckles (4 min)

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