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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Brian Kirk
Cast:
Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, JK Simmons
Writing Credits:
Adam Mervis, Matthew Michael Carnahan

Synopsis:
An embattled NYPD detective is thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of cop killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy.

Box Office:
Budget
$33 million.
Opening Weekend
$$9,261,268 on 2665 screens.
Domestic Gross
$28,539,757.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish

Runtime: 100 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 2/18/2020

Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Director Brian Kirk & Editor Tim Murrell
• Deleted Scenes
• Trailers & Previews
• DVD Copy


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RELATED REVIEWS


21 Bridges [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 17, 2020)

Affter the Marvel Cinematic Universe dominated his career across a couple of years, Chadwick Boseman returns to non-superhero work with 2019’s 21 Bridges. Well, at least until 2022’s Black Panther II hits, that is.

The son of a slain officer, Andre Davis (Boseman) joins the force as an adult and becomes known as a detective who hunts and takes out alleged “cop killers”, perhaps in violation of the law. With some questionable killings on his record, this leads to a certain reputation.

When a drug heist goes wrong and two cops end up dead, Andre finds himself on the case. As he pursues the culprits, he learns of a greater conspiracy, one that causes him to order a total shutdown of all exits out of Manhattan.

That’s where we get our title, as 21 Bridges alludes to the ways people can leave the island. Of course, it ignores other methods, but I guess 21 Bridges, 4 Tunnels and 3 Rivers became too much of a mouthful.

In truth, the Escape From New York-style notion of a completely isolated Manhattan proves more like a gimmick than a necessary plot point. I get the feeling the filmmakers came up with the premise to sell tickets, as it plays little real role in the story.

Not that Bridges does anything else to stand out from the crowd. A tale of corrupt cops and a crusading officer out to find the truth doesn’t feel especially fresh, and even with the “closed-off island” notion, the movie can’t come up with a new spin.

Universal released Bridges the week before Thanksgiving, a choice that felt odd. Perhaps the studio intended it to act as “counter-programming” to soak up sales to adults who didn’t want to see that same day’s juggernaut Frozen II, but an “R”-rated thriller seemed like a strange offering over a family holiday.

And the decision didn’t work, as Bridges failed to find much of an audience. Would it have fared much better with a more logical September or October release? Maybe not, but it still came across as an awkward fit with Thanksgiving.

I suspect Bridges also suffered because of its trite nature. After all, Knives Out didn’t look like traditional holiday fare, but it did well with a day-before-Thanksgiving release.

Knives found a way to intrigue the audience with its genre fare in a way Bridges didn’t. While the former gave us a fun twist on the murder mystery, the latter delivers a wholly ordinary cop drama.

Though not one devoid of entertainment value. Bridges comes with enough curveballs to keep us interested, so it never really threatens to lose the viewer.

In addition, Bridges boasts a solid cast. In addition to Boseman, we get professionals like JK Simmons, Sienna Miller and Taylor Kitsch, all of whom provide wholly capable performances.

None of this can quite save Bridges from its “been there, done that” vibe. While it attempts twists, none of them make a real impact.

These factors leave Bridges as a fairly “by the numbers” cop thriller. It musters decent watchability but doesn’t create a particularly compelling journey.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

21 Bridges appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a positive presentation.

Sharpness worked fine. The occasional slightly soft wider shot emerged, but I felt the majority of the movie offered nice clarity.

No issues with jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and edge haloes were absent. Source flaws failed to become a factor here.

In terms of palette, Bridges emphasized orange and teal to a substantial degree. Those tones seemed fine given their limitations.

Blacks were reasonably dark and tight, while shadows showed good delineation. Overall, the image looked fine, as it accurately reproduced the source.

When I examined the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Bridges, I thought it was fairly active and involving, as the mix used music and atmosphere to nice advantage. These elements created a good sense of place and movement that brought us an engaging soundscape, with the best material found in the smattering of action sequences.

Audio quality was fine. Speech was reasonably crisp and natural, and effects showed good punch.

Music was also clear and full. The soundtrack connected with the story in an appropriate manner.

A few extras appear here, and we get an audio commentary from director Brian Kirk and editor Tim Murrell. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, editing and cinematography, sets and locations, music, and connected domains.

Kirk and Murrell produce a wholly mediocre commentary. While they give us a decent look at the production, they also fall silent or go into “narration mode” too often. The track still gives us enough to make it worth a listen, but it seems pretty lackluster.

Three Deleted Scenes fill a total of two minutes, 55 seconds. We find "You're Going to Need Some Muscle” (0:51), "Iggy Peck" (0:50) "Black Car with Damage” (1:14).

“Muscle” shows young Andre at his father’s funeral and provides minor foreshadowing of his adult mindset. “Peck” gives us a more personal look at Detective Burns, while “Damage” delivers a smidgen of exposition in the aftermath of the initial police shooting.

Of the three, “Peck” seems most useful, as it humanizes Burns a bit. None of the segments feel crucial, though, and “Damage” becomes the most superfluous of the bunch.

The disc opens with ads for Countdown, Dark Waters and Queen and Slim. We also find three trailers for Bridges.

Despite an interesting gimmick implied by its title, 21 Bridges feels fairly ordinary. The movie manages to keep us moderately entertained across its 100 minutes, but it fails to become anything special or memorable. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio as well as a few bonus features. Bridges offers a painless but lackluster thriller.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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