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Shaft (2000) - Blu-ray Review - Blu-ray Review

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Shaft (2000)

“It's my duty to please the booty.” 

And just like that Samuel Jackson steals the character of Shaft from Richard Roundtree, who played the character for three films.  Or maybe he just continues to carry the crown.  After all, Roundtree IS in the movie as his Uncle and the film walks tall as a continuation of what went down before in Shaft, Shaft’s Big Score, and Shaft in Africa.  Thanks to the expressive eye of the late John Singleton, the film absolutely works as a grown-up look at inner city exploitation elements. 

"Shaft, in a modern day viewing is a true treasure of steely-eyed fun."


New Line Cinema might be dropping the ball on promoting the new Shaft film, but Paramount, recognizing that their original blu-ray release of 2000’s Shaft needed an upgrade, know when to cash in.  And they do it with brand-new artwork and a new scan of the original film elements.

It’s a shame that director John Singleon’s Shaft retooling didn’t fare better back in 2000.  The film is action-packed and has a stellar cast, which includes AWESOME performances from Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Vanessa Williams, and Toni Collette.  Guided by Isaac Hayes’ retool of the original Shaft theme song (which he wrote) and composer David Arnold’s NEW score, Shaft (Jackson) is back on the streets again going head to head with a violent racist rich kid (Bale) who believes he is above the law after smashing Mekhi Pfifer over the head with a rail and, eventually, killing him.

And, yeah, it’s on like Donkey Kong as John Shaft, hurling his badge at a judge in disgust, works double time to bring justice to the streets of NYC, and continues to do duty on ALL the ladies’ booties.  While the film doesn’t offer anything new for cinematic detective yarns, the sheer joy in seeing Jackson deliver one smackdown after another, punishing criminals for making him run, is just damn fun.  Jackson deserved a series and this film, loaded with great characters and absolutely chilling sequences, absolutely works its ass off to bring an entertaining narrative for Jackson to shine in.Shaft (2000)

Not to mention the work of the rest of the cast.  From Busta Rhymes to Dan Hedaya, this film is full of memorable characters and performances, but it is Wright who delivers the best performance as Peoples Hernandez, a Dominican (small time) Drug Lord (of at least a couple of blocks), who goes absolutely bananas halfway through the flick after being double crossed by Shaft and his cohorts. 

Shaft, in a modern day viewing is a true treasure of steely-eyed fun.  Paramount has done more to draw attention to the new Shaft film being released this month thanks to a deal inked by New Line Cinema, Warner Bros, and Netflix, who will be releasing the new film in the series two weeks after its premiere date on its platform.

Let’s roll, Soul. Shaft is back in action, thanks to this re-release from Paramount on sparkling blu-ray.

4/5 beers

Shaft (2000)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- June 4, 2019
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The newly transferred High Definition Blu-ray presentation of Shaft is on point.  While it takes place mainly in and around big cities, this 1080p transfer captures crisp details in clothing and in locations that are textured and fine.  Loaded with juicy details, this is an atmospheric release that doesn’t shy away from the sunlight.  It has dark layers, yes, and those shadows are well-defined and crisp but the new transfer does not disappoint.  The brand new 1.85:1 HD master is detailed and looks better than ever. The image is reasonably well defined with crisp contrasts and solid textures. Colors are solid, with reds being a standout. Blacks are, too. Surprisingly, there's enough fine detail on display to make this seem revelatory. The color palette looks terrific, too. The disc comes with a DTS-HD audio track so that David Arnold’s soundtrack can shine.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

There are two featurettes that include interviews with John Singleton, Samuel Jackson, and members of the cast and crew.

  • Reflections on Shaft
  • Shaft: Still the Man

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4.5/5 stars

Shaft (2000)

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and language.
Runtime:
99 mins
Director
: John Singleton
Writer:
Richard Price; John Singleton; & Shane Salerno
Cast:
Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Christian Bale
Genre
: Action
Tagline:
Still the man, any questions?
Memorable Movie Quote: "Maybe I should "workshop" my foot up your ass!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
Jne 16, 2000
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 4, 2019
Synopsis: New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.

Shaft (2000)

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