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Red Sparrow (2018) - Blu-ray Review

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Red Sparrow - Blu-ray Review

2 starsIn which Katniss Everdeen gets down and dirrrty...but you still won't care.  From Russia with Love this spy game is not.  

Red Sparrow is a spy movie that should work. It has a very talented cast and the story, about a former Russian ballerina who becomes a lethal spy, is interesting…on paper. Unfortunately, all its checkerboard pieces just don’t come together in a way that makes this thriller (a) interesting and (b) worth your time.  Rent if you need to see Jennifer Lawrence get all hot and bloody, but do not buy this crap.  

Red Sparrow is as flat and as empty as Western Kansas. And, no, that is not a good thing.

Miss Lawrence is Dominika Egorova, a prima ballerina for the Bolshoi and she's all sorts of pissed off.  She's just been injured and, upon learning that her male counterpart caused her career-ending injury, decides to take revenge into her own hands and takes down both he and his new lover…with her cane. It is a beatdown worthy of the film’s R-rating.

"all too familiar and stale, even if it tries to shock with its rape and sexuality."


Unfortunately, for this "sexy" spy thriller, the movie begins and ends there.  The rest is all too familiar and stale, even if it tries to shock with its rape and sexuality.

Dominka agrees to go work for her uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) and he’s all about the game of Spy versus Spy. And so she gets sent to a “whore school” where spies are taught to use their bodies to manipulate their targets and get information from them. It’s all a magnificent game and it is there where Dominka gets her “Klebb” on. She kicks all sorts of ass as a temptress. Yet, she doesn’t do as she is told to do.

At the same time, CIA operative Nate (Joel Edgerton) blows his cover and winds up in deep doo-doo with his yattering bosses. He gets another chance to shine, though, when his suspicions about Dominika are confirmed. Maybe he can beat her at her own game. But maybe not. At almost 140-minutes, expecting sparks to fly between these two is like watching paint dry. The motions are there, but nothing else is. Perhaps because they are too busy playing each other.

Featuring talents like Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons and Ciaran Hinds, this thriller should have been, at the very least, a little thrilling. It is not. The film is far too airy for its own good. There’s no atmosphere and absolutely no suspense when there should be nothing but both present in this lavish affair. The film is dull and – outside of the sex (which isn’t nearly as graphic as it leads on), the psychological control from Dominka, and the violence – absolutely ass-numbingly hollow.

In fact, if not for a brief (and refreshing) performance from Mary-Louise Parker as a double-crossing assistant to a senator, the film would simply bore us to tears.

Directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games) and written by Justin Haythe, who is adapting Jason Matthews’, a former C.I.A. officer, book, Red Sparrow is named for the title the graduates of the “whore school” get from all other countries. Like this movie, it is supposed to be sexy and vicious. Unfortunately, it is neither. Without hard edges to any of its many storylines, Red Sparrow simply flops about aimlessly moving from one scene to another.

Red Sparrow gets its wings clipped all too soon.

Red Sparrow - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.
Runtime:
140 mins
Director
: Francis Lawrence
Writer:
Justin Haythe
Cast:
Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts
Genre
: Drama | Crime
Tagline:
The road to forgiveness begins with betrayal.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The Cold War did not end, it merely shattered into a thousand pieces."
Theatrical Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox
Official Site: redsparrowmovie.com/
Release Date:
March 2, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 22, 2018
Synopsis: Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

Red Sparrow - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
Available on Blu-ray
- May 22, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); Digital copy; Movies Anywhere; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

20th Century Fox releases Red Sparrow on blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.35:1. The film is expertly color graded and the color saturation provides minute detail puncturing, replicated here in great moments of detail, textures, and atmospheric environmentals. The mood is sharpened throughout the feature by the location. Fortunately, even threads are visible in this fine presentation. The transfer handles all the happenings expertly. Blacks are deep and colors, as mentioned early, are varied and supple. The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track that accompanies the picture is just as strong, rattling window frames and walls with its immersive field of sound.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The Director Commentary is provided by Francis Lawrence. For fans of the film only.

Special Features:

Standard supplemental materials round out the blu-release. We get interviews, discussions about the characters, a focused look on the locations, a look at the ballet and the stunts, and deleted scenes with optional director commentary.

  • A New Cold War: Origination and Adaptation (13 min)
  • Agents Provocateurs: The Ensemble Cast (15 min)
  • Tradecraft: Visual Authenticity (13 min)
  • Heart of the Tempest: Locations (11 min)
  • Welcome to Sparrow School: Ballets and Stunts (12 min)
  • A Puzzle of Need: Post-Production (14 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (12 min)

Red Sparrow - Blu-ray Review

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