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Repo Men - Blu-ray Review


Repo Men

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If you think the Health Care System in America is an absolute mess, just wait until you see the future as imagined by director Miguel Sapochnik and writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner in Repo Men. This nightmarish vision of future Health Care services is as brutal as it is fiercely honest if things don't change and its twisted vision should give every consumer in America a reason to pause before using any amount of credit as a form of payment; it's that focused of a theme and that unsettling as a movie - despite its flaws.

Imagine having a job where, if the patient who had a heart transplant can't pay for what's inside them, it becomes your job to repossess - or extract - what was purchased on credit from a licensed bank. Talk about crappy jobs, right? Now, imagine that's your job and you have your own stresses, your own unhealthy vices, and none of them are putting you in a good mood...ever. In Repo Men, those are the qualities that define your heroes. Meet Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker), superfly collection agents for a body parts placement program called Union (it's a bank, get it???). Unemotionally moving through their lives and their jobs, Remy and Jake flag and tag men, women and children, slice and dice'em open, remove their leased parts for safe delivery to the Union, and then, as the job is done, they leave them bleeding and dying right there on the floor. They do what is required of them because it is their job; sometimes taking specific assignments from their heartless boss (Liev Schreiber), and, more often than not, moonlighting in the slums, randomly scanning burnouts and bums for delinquent accounts. When Remy finds himself owing the same company he works for because of his own operation, he suddenly discovers empathy for the people he has to extract parts from and, quite simply, at odds with his partner over the morality involved in what they are doing. At this point, Repo Men becomes a glorious game of chase that destroys damn near everything standing as Remy attempts to flee his pursuers, his debts, and his once-called friends.

The film is dazzle of sci-fi special effects and gore and, giving the filmmakers credit here, certainly has the promise in being a thoughtful approach to Health Care and future hazards of inaction; however, the film finds itself at odds with its own identity and trades character development for super-polished action scenes all too soon. It's a common occurrence in this day and age of 3-D cinema, but for certain tastes it still doesn't disappoint the senses or the intelligence (all that much) but the heavy-handed message and violence certainly doesn't elevate it either. Repo Men is what it is advertised as: a cheeky and fun adventure with lots of gore. Law, still aiming for action star glory since the high of Sherlock Holmes, doesn't disappoint in the role of the antihero here and, worth mentioning, the chemistry between Whitaker (also insanely good in this performance) and himself is pitch-perfect throughout the film; they are perfectly cast as close friends and (with tongue firmly in cheek) just what the doctor ordered as foils.

What doesn't work with Repo Men is the choppy editing. It seems apparent as it was based on a book written by one of its screenwriters (Eric Garcia) that there is certainly more than what the audience sees to all the characters of the movie and, if trade papers are to be believed, there certainly was more filmed to add to the human side of the story. The question is where exactly is that footage? This film easily could have been a high mark in the science fiction genre and, while its promise is still there, it can't escape from being anything more than an air popped bag of 100-calorie Orville Redenbacher popcorn feature film. Combining dark and twisted cinematic renderings with extreme Old Boy-styled action and buddy-cop moments reminiscent of Die Hard 3, Repo Men finds solid footing grounded in the realization that, despite all hope for the promise in its sci-fi premise, it's just a no-nonsense B movie for a Saturday afternoon... and, despite what other critics suggest, sometimes that isn't such a bad thing at all.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
3
3
DVD Experience
3

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 2.35:1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1

The film’s 35mm traditional print makes for a solid transfer in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  Mostly grim and stylized in solid blues and washed greens, Repo Men is rendered splendidly on HD.

This action-heavy release is presented with a dynamic DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio quality soundtrack.  Universal has done the film proud with a mix that uses all speakers effectively and not center-heavy.

Bonus materials are a mix of HD and SD formats.  While not conclusive in the bonus features department, the disc does feature Universal’s BD-Live format and pocket Blu, allowing users to use their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, Blackberry, Android, PC, or Mac to connect with their players.

Supplements:

Commentary

  • Feature Length Audio Commentary with Director Sapochnik and Writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner.

Featurettes

  • U-Control: Composed of two different sections, the standard “Picture-in-Picture” that is essentially commentary with video, and “Artiforg Tech Specs” which provides information on the varying organs that The Union uses.
  • Union Commericals (4 mins):  Union commercials that tell the audience exactly what The Union is about.
  • Inside the Visual Effects (6 mins):  Scenes that are detailed and compared from raw footage to its finalized look.

Deleted Scenes (9 mins) - Thoughtful and interesting deleted scenes with optional commentary from Director Sapochnik and Writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner. -

The Truth About Fanboys (5:49): an EPK with the theatrical trailer broken up with interview segments.

Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc Single disc (1 BD); Bonus View (PiP); BD-Live; D-Box; Social network features; Mobile features

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