16 Blocks appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. One of the earliest Blu-rays, the visuals showed their age.
Not that this became a bad presentation, but it lacked the precision we expect from the format. Overall definition seemed pretty good, though interiors tended to veer a little soft.
No issues with jagged edges or moirť effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to appear, but the image leaned toward a somewhat ďdigitalĒ look.
Blocks sported a cool palette that befit its gruff urban setting. The Blu-ray tended to make these gray-blue tones feel bland and dull. In addition, facial textures veered toward a clammy impression.
Blacks were a little too dense, while shadows tended to appear fairly smooth, albeit with a bit of heaviness at times. While this remained a more than watchable image, its dated origins made it less than impressive.
Overall, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of 16 Blocks seemed good, and the soundfield created a nice sense of environment. It gave us a fine feeling for the city locations and opened up well during the action sequences.
Those allowed gunfire and other elements to pop up all around us and form a strong three-dimensional impression. Music also displayed positive stereo imaging, and some directional speech appeared on a few occasions.
Sound quality was solid. Dialogue seemed natural and crisp, and I noticed no edginess or other issues.
Music was brassy and detailed, while effects showed good delineation. They boasted clean highs and strong lows. This became a pretty solid mix.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Both offered identical audio, which forced me to knock down the Blu-rayís grade, as I always do when these discs lack lossless soundtracks.
I strongly suspect the DVD and the Blu-ray shared the same transfer, so changes depended on the format. Despite the fact the Blu-ray seemed dated, it still appeared better defined than the DVD. An update would make this a more impressive presentation, though.
The Blu-ray replicates the DVDís extras, and in addition to the movieís trailer, we get some cut footage. The Alternate Ending (6:39) comes along with remarks from director Richard Donner and writer Richard Wenk.
They give us a little information about how this was the ending they intended to use, whereas the one in the film is the one that was written. They donít really relate why they made the change.
As for the scene itself, it allows one of the baddies to redeem himself, but it finishes the film on a much darker note. Although I often like downbeat conclusions to flicks, I prefer the ending for the theatrical cut. It fits the rest of Blocks better.
We also find a collection of eight Deleted Scenes. Weíre forced to watch these with commentary from Donner and Wenk. We canít deactivate their remarks, which means they talk over the sequences.
Who made that choice and why? At least Donner and Wenk provide good details. Along with some funny cracks, we find out why each of the pieces fell to the cutting room floor.
The eight scenes last a total of 19 minutes, 51 seconds, though some of that time comes from shots of Donner and Wenk as they introduce the pieces. While the ďAlternate EndingĒ provides a stark change, the deleted scenes mainly expand existing sequences.
We get a lot more of Eddieís rambling here, as many of the clips provide his thoughts on life and his past. We also see another chase, a quick intro to some baddies, and a goofy escape.
None of these scenes does anything for me. Theyíre all superfluous and were good cuts.
Note that although the DVD allowed the viewer to watch the ďAlternate EndingĒ reintegrated into the film, the Blu-ray doesnít include that option. Or if it does, I canít figure out how to access it.
Chalk up 16 Blocks as a flick with real potential that doesnít go much of anywhere. The movie relies on cheesy gimmicks instead of true cleverness and never manages to turn into anything tense or memorable. The Blu-ray offers dated visuals along with pretty good audio and minor bonus materials. This turns into a
To rate this film visit the original review of 16 BLOCKS