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LIONS GATE

MOVIE INFO

Director:
John Singleton
Cast:
Taylor Lautner, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Lily Collins, Maria Bello, Richard Cetrone, Jason Isaacs
Writing Credits:
Shawn Christensen

Tagline:
The fight for the truth will be the fight of his life.

Synopsis:
Taylor Lautner explodes on-screen as a young man whose secret past is set to collide with a dangerous reality. After uncovering a deadly lie, Nathan (Lautner) is propelled on a lethal, no-holds barred mission to learn the truth. Aided by a devoted family friend (Sigourney Weaver), Nathan’s hunt for the facts pits him against ruthless assassins and questionable allies.

Box Office:
Budget
$35 million.
Opening Weekend
$10.925 million on 3118 screens.
Domestic Gross
$28.064 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 106 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 1/17/2012

Bonus:
• “Abduction Application” In-Film Experience
• “Abduction Chronicle” Featurette
• “Initiation of an Action Hero” Featurette
• “The Fight for the Truth” Featurette
• “Pulled Punches” Featurette
• Sneak Peeks


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Abduction [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 20, 2012)

To date, none of the main actors from the Twilight series has been able to make a mark on other films – at least not in a lead capacity. The latest fizzled attempt? Taylor Lautner, whose 2011’s action flick Abduction ended up as a box office dud. While I admit I’ve never been wild about Lautner’s wooden performances in the Twilight movies, I was curious to see if he could show any spark on his own, so I gave Abduction a look.

Teenage Nathan (Lautner) suffers from issues like insomnia and rage. He tends to behave in a reckless manner and sees a therapist (Sigourney Weaver) to work through his problems, though even this assistance can’t halt the recurring nightmares that haunt him.

Nathan has a crush on classmate – and childhood pal - Karen (Lilly Collins) and he gets a chance to push their friendship to another level when they become partners for a sociology research paper. As part of their work, they find a website with missing kids that also shows computer-generated “age progression” images.

One of these looks a whole lot like Nathan, a discovery that throws him for a loop. Before long, his parents Kevin (Jason Isaacs) and Mara (Maria Bello) confirm that they aren’t Nathan’s biological relatives, but before they can explain, thugs break into the house to attempt to abduct Nathan. This leads to much violence as Nathan escapes, takes Karen with him and goes on a wild attempt to stay alive and discover the truth about his mysterious path.

In terms of story, Abduction actually has potential. It sets up the mystery related to Nathan’s childhood and creates intrigue as we want to learn what happened. I like the fact the script doles out information gradually and doesn’t tell us too much too soon.

In terms of execution, however, the flick falters, and I can’t blame all of the missteps on Lautner – though I will pin quite a few on him. In a smart move, the movie boasts an excellent supporting cast; with Bello, Isaacs, Weaver and Alfred Molina, I find it tough to fault the more experienced actors. They add some credibility to the project, and they get its best moments; the film probably peaks when the Isaacs and Bello characters fight off assailants, a scene that made me wish the flick was all about them.

But it’s not; Lautner’s Nathan dominates the proceedings, and given his distinct lack of talent, that’s a problem. Maybe a stronger actor could do something with Nathan, but Lautner can’t. Nothing here changes my impressions of him from the Twilight flicks; he possesses the emotional range of a stale donut. Lautner seems a bit more believable in the action scenes, but even those don’t really fly; he always feels out of place and out of his league.

Perhaps in an attempt to compensate for the lead actor’s weaknesses, director John Singleton makes the film a frenetic affair. We get one of the crummiest character introductions in memory: when we first meet Nathan, he sits on the windshield of a vehicle as he and his pals speed along a road. I guess we’re supposed to view him as cool and daring, but instead he comes across like a reckless idiot, and a subsequent party sequence does nothing more to endear Nathan to us.

The rest of the movie progresses in an overly active manner as well. The flick pours on rock songs and score in a manner that telegraphs emotions and tends to overwhelm the material. All of this means that the story gets little room to breathe as it churns on its merry way.

Because the basic story offers intrigue, Abduction still manages to keep us mildly interested along the way. However, the combination of a weak lead actor and frenetic filmmaking leaves it as a disappointment.

Trivia time! In 2012, we’ll get two Snow White movies. Lilly Collins plays Snow in one of them – and the other plops Lautner’s Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart in the lead.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

Abduction appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The film provides an attractive visual experience.

Sharpness proved excellent. At all times, the film displayed solid clarity and accuracy. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmer, and edge enhancement seemed to be absent. Source flaws also failed to be a concern. The film featured natural levels of grain and didn’t appear to have been subjected to excessive noise reduction.

Like most modern films of this sort, the movie went with a subdued, stylistic palette. A moderately bluish tint appeared at times, and other sequences went with a yellow or golden tone. The hues reflected the nature of the material and looked fine. Blacks were dark and dense, while shadows seemed decent. Across the board, this was an excellent transfer.

I also felt pleased with the DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Abduction. The film’s action pieces offered the most dynamic elements. Sequences with explosions, gunfire and chases opened up the soundfield well and gave us a nice sense of involvement. Music showed good stereo imaging, and the flick used the surrounds well. The back speakers worked as active participants and placed us in the action.

Audio quality proved pleasing. Speech was natural and distinctive, without edginess or other concerns. Music appeared lively and dynamic, and effects fared well. Those elements sounded full and rich at all times. Low-end response was quite good and brought out a good sense of depth. This turned into a positive package.

With that, we head to the set’s extras. The lead feature comes from an “in-film experience called Abduction Application. This offers a fairly traditional “picture-in-picture” piece that mixes shots from the set, storyboards, and interviews. We get information from writer Shawn Christensen, producers Eric Edmeades, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Lee Stollman and Pat Crowley, stunt coordinator Brad Martin, director John Singleton, effects supervisor Geoff Heron, visual effects producer Rose Duignan, and actors Taylor Lautner, Denzel Whitaker, Lily Collins, Jason Isaacs, Sigourney Weaver, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist and Alfred Molina. We learn about what brought Lautner to the film, stunts and action, story/script/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, some effects, influences and Singleton’s contribution to the flick.

Though “Application” starts out pretty actively, it fades before too long, as empty spaces become more dominant. The quality of the material remains spotty from start to finish; while we get a fair amount of good info, a lot of the time, the program feels like little more than a paean to the wonders of Taylor Lautner. It still delivers a decent take on the flick, but it’s not a great “in-movie” piece.

Four featurettes follow, though some will be redundant if you watched “Application”. The first three - Abduction Chronicle (18:17), Initiation of an Action Hero (11:57) and The Fight for the Truth (12:07) – all appear during “Application”. Since I already discussed them above, I won’t dig into them again.

With these three featurettes available on their own, is there any reason to watch them via “Application”? Perhaps – the Blu-ray claims “Application” provides “exclusive content that cannot be viewed anywhere else”. I don’t know if that’s literally true; I didn’t memorize the material in the “Application”, so I couldn’t tell you if it offered some footage that’s left out of the individual featurettes. If you’re determined to see everything possible, I suspect the “Application” is the way to watch these featurettes, but it’s also less efficient, as it comes with a fair amount of dead air. At least the featurettes are all meat, all the time.

Pulled Punches delivers a gag reel. It goes for three minutes, 37 seconds and shows the standard array of goofs and giggles. Most of these show Lautner’s mishaps and his mirth. “Team Jacob” sorts will enjoy it but probably not many others will dig it.

The disc opens with ads for the Abduction soundtrack, One for the Money, The Hunger Games, Warrior and The Devil’s Double. These show up under Also from Lionsgate as well, but no trailer for Abduction appears.

Perhaps Taylor Lautner should stick with Twilight movies, as Abduction shows he’s not ready to handle a flick on his own. The film has potential but Lautner’s lack of skill does a lot to harm it; we simply never take him very seriously in his role. The Blu-ray provides solid picture and audio as well as some erratic but occasionally informative supplements. Despite some fitful entertainment, Abducted ends up as a flat thriller.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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